“Shadow Hills” – Fontana California Hauntings

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“Shadow Hills” – Haunted South Ridge and Fontana area, California

According to the Inside the Inland Empire web site and various other ghost hunting blogs, the South Ridge area of Fontana is quite haunted. It has been nicknamed “Shadow Hills”. One family off of Jurupa street claim much paranormal activity in their home. Foot steps up the stairs with no one around, doors slamming on their own, microwave fan turning itself on, lights flickering, a little girl spirit on the stairs, spirits demanding the family to “Get Out”, apparitions of blood in the shower, zombies, and shadow creatures in the yard. Shadow creatures are commonly reported around the Inland Empire, especially at Mt. Rubidoux. Several of their neighbors off Jurupa street also claim a lot of activity. Rumor has it, there occurs a lot of moving in and out of the Jurupa street neighborhood. Stories and reports extend off Jurupa into the houses along Cypress, Coleen st, oleander ave, corner of Woodcrest drive, and Citrus. Some of the hauntings were reported in brand new homes without former residents. Apparitions of a little boy wearing a striped shirt, plumes of smoking rising up from the closet floor, feelings of being touched, jiggling door knobs, and chairs moving on their own. Some conclude that these houses are built atop an ancient Indian burial ground, although the reportings and activities don’t necessarily support such a theory. A house on the corner of Oak Park Elementary reports seeing a 1800’s dated apparition of a woman wearing a bonnet, lights turning on and off, voices, shadows, stuff moving around, etc. Another resident nearby also claims seeing women with white bonnets and powder blue dresses in their homes in the South Park district at 17203 Avenue Del Sol. A South ridge resident claimed poltergeist activity – reflections of people standing behind the sofa when the tv was off, doors opening and closing, banging in the walls, etc. Also reports on Heritage by various neighbors one claiming a mirror in their house on the east wall was a portal for entry as dictated by a psychic investigating the activity. A haunted house report on 14774 Mountain High Drive off Canyon Crest with apparitions of a silhouette atop the stairs, shadow beings, voices, etc. Another house below baseline near Beech Avenue reports of shadow beings, a little boy made of rock in the fire place, a little girl running about. Again more legends of houses built over a Indian Burial Ground. One claims their house was built above John Redcorn’s burial ground and had a apparition of a woman. Others report sightings and activity off Argentine by Oakwood Drive and behind the Pancho Villas.

Sightings of a chariot drawn by horses coming down the street, a figure in a trench coat with glasses, off Green Vista drive behind Southridge middle school. Reports of an area with creepy trees and bomb shelters with a ghost of a girl wearing a hospital gown also declared. Off of Woodcrest drive there was a family sighting a gnome in one of the bedrooms. This gnome was spying on the resident while he was sleeping, was no taller than the electrical socket, wearing weird dirty sport coat and a evil Leprechaun smile. There is the fabled Victorian style manor at 4701 Sierra Avenue in Hesperia (can be seen from the 15) reportedly haunted. Some say the house was relocated from where it was originally built atop a ancient burial mound. Some say the ghosts moved with it (house originally was in Redlands built in 1888 for Judge George E. Otis by D.M. Donald). One report of a spirit of a giant angry man who hurled a trespasser onto stones causing severe injuries to the man reporting it. Some say the owner confirms the hauntings.

Along highway 66 originally, the foothill boulevard is believed to be haunted by a young man in a striped shirt carrying a long stick or buggy whip, he is reported to cross the street when cars approach then disappears. Sometimes he is accompanied by a black dog. (GPS 34.10648057912253, -117.47255516122095)

Green Acres cemetery has reported occurrences of blood appearing on the table between the three marble chairs in the southeastern part of the cemetery every Halloween. East end of 7th street (GPS 34.039240814445115, -117.39045982811149) Also at the Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery there are rumors of a mother that haunts the bend around this cemetery and is the spirit of the mother who drowned her 6 children. According to Hispanic legend she is known as La Llorona or the Weeping Woman searching for the children she murdered. The spirits of two people who were executed here also reportedly haunt the cemetery and have been known to be the cause of fatal car accidents on this bend (2001 Agua Mansa Road – GPS 34.0420097, -117.36421819999998)

On Valley between Fontana and Colton there are reports of a man covered in black often walking the roadside. Reports of decayed children walking about at night. Multiple ghost sightings reportedly around Jurupa Park or Martin Tudor Park.
The Big Lots store (formerly Pic n Save) at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra is reportedly haunted with reports of several ghosts flickering lights, making noises, voices, knocking things off shelves, pulling of employee’s hair, etc. Some say the Ghost of a former Pic n Save employee named Manny haunts the store.

Along the Thompson Creek Trail, some report shadow beings following them when hiking this trail, and that skulls appear in the clouds above. Also that trees and bushes bleed on occasion. Some say they have had visions of levitating boulders, invisible walls blocking the path, and violent images. GPS 34.1290555, -117.7222145. Also the old boy scout’s cabin that burnt down up there is reportedly haunted.

    Properties:
  • Aqua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery
  • Aqua Mansa Road (2001 Aqua Mansa)
  • Argentine
  • Avenue del Sol (17203)
  • Beech Avenue
  • Big Lots store (Foot Hill boulevard and Sierra)
  • Citrus Street
  • Coleen Street
  • Cypress Street
  • Foot Hill Boulevard and Citrus Ave
  • Green Acres Cemetery
  • Heritage
  • Jurupa Street
  • Mountain High Drive (14774)
  • Oak Park Elementary
  • Oakwood Drive
  • Oleander Ave
  • Sierra Ave (4701)
  • Southridge Middle School
  • Thompson creek trail
  • Valley between Fontana and Colton
  • Woodcrest Drive

    References:

  • Ghosts of America unknown “Fontana, California ghost sightings” http://www.ghostsofamerica.com/9/California_Fontana_ghost_sightings.html website referenced 5/22/2015.
  • Haunted Hovel unknown “Fontana, Ca. / Renne / Sierra Ave off the 15 fwy.” http://www.hauntedhovel.com/fontana-ca-renne-sierra-ave-off-the-15-fwy.html. website referenced 5/22/2015.
  • Haunted Places unknown “Haunted Places in Fontana, California” http://www.hauntedplaces.org/fontana-ca/ Website refrenced 5/22/2015.
  • Inside the IE.com unknown “Haunted House in South Ridge Fontana”. http://www.insidetheie.com/haunted-house-fontana. Website referenced 5/22/2015.
  • Palmer, Chuck 1982 “Old House has new home”. The Sun Feb 15, 1982. DM Donald built the home in 1888 in Redlands for Judge George E. Otis.
  • Wikipedia unknown “Shadow Hills California” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_Hills,_Los_Angeles website referenced 5/22/2015.

If you’ve experienced sightings in this area, please share here.

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IrishCentral’s: Ireland’s top ten haunted destinations

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With his last breaths, Puck the jester swore he would forever haunt Malahide Castle in Malahide, Co. Dublin.Photo by: Wikimedia Commons

With a long, long history rife with wars and massacres, Irish land is bound to have a few ghosts here and there. That is, assuming you’re a believer in the paranormal.

From castles to beaches, here’s a list of our top 10 supernatural destinations in Ireland. Spanning the country, these destinations are supposedly haunted by ghosts of all sorts – soldiers, brides, court jesters and more.

1. Ross Castle

On the edge of Lough Lane in Killarney, Co. Kerry, this five bedroom stone castle built in 1536 is currently run as a B&B. Visitors have reported supernatural activity both in and out of the castle: apparently every May Day for hundreds of years, a Medieval knight named O’Donoghue rides along Lough Lane past the castle, accompanied by a group of spirits who play music behind him. Inside the castle, visitors have reported waking up in the middle of the night to sounds of screams or doors repeatedly opening and slamming shut. One of the spirits is believed to be Myles ‘the Slasher’ O’Reilly, an Irish folk hero who spend his last night in Ross Castle before dying in battle in 1644.
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The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Based in the town of “Sleepy Hollow”, New York formerly known as “North Tarrytown” experiencing the name change to honor this story in 1996. The tale is not documented as an actual legend, but rather a tale by the American author Washington Irving while he was traveling abroad in Birmingham, England. He was a resident of North Tarrytown, New York and used the area as a setting for his short story. Irving included it in a collection of short stories and essays he wrote in 1820 called the “Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.” “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a classic example of American fiction, alongside his masterpiece “Rip Van Winkle” which made Washington Irving become a legend in the literary world. As of an “actual” headless horsemen, there exists no evidence of a prior legend or reporting in the means of how Washington Irving told the tale, though there does exist a headless corpse buried in a unmarked grave in the Old Dutch Burying Ground (Sleepy Hollow Cemetery) that matches the “Headless Horseman’s” lack of a head and being a Hessian soldier. (The Full legend and short story can be read here: http://www.sleepyhollowcemetery.org/sleepy-hollow-country/the-legend/. )

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The story details Sleepy Hollow and its inhabitants living there in 1790 around the historical Tarrytown as it existed in that day. The area was inhabited by all Dutch settler descendants who moved to this sleepy little glen called “Sleepy Hollow” by Irving’s story which was already basked in myths and legends making it a dreamy and drowsy place even before this tale came to be. Full of ghost stories and the paranormal, Sleepy Hollow was the perfect place for the existence of the spirit of a Headless Horseman. He was seen by some as the most popular curse upon the village, as he was apparently a ghost of a angry Hessian trooper who lost his head by a stray cannonball during the American Revolution and “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head” eager to victimize those of ego and arrogance. The tale involves the local superstitious ego-centric school master named Ichabod Crane who was after the hand in marriage of 18 year old farmer’s daughter Katrina Van Tassel. He was in competition for the proposal with the town mischief maker named Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt. Crane was after the farmer’s wealth, Van Tassel estate, and saw marriage to Katrina as a way to obtain that status. “Brom Bones” however, also interested in Katrina, was interested in her for love. In his fight for the bride, he tries to mishap and veer Ichabod away from Katrina by performing numerous pranks on Crane, based around Crane’s paranoia and superstitions. Tensions become high, and during the annual Van Tassel harvest party, Crane is told ghostly legends of the area by Brom Bones and the locals. Crane is made so jumpy and nervous on that night that his intended proposal to Katrina was interrupted. He rides home “heavy-hearten and crest fallen” through the ghostly woods that the locals and Brom Bones told the tales of … edgy and spooked traveling from the Van Tassel farm to the Sleepy Hollow settlement. He passes by the tulip tree that had been struck by lightning and was reputedly haunted by Major André, the British spy. Instead of seeing that specter, he sees a cloaked rider at an intersection to the menacing swamp. This cloaked rider approaches him and rides alongside Crane. The man, large stature and size, appears to Crane not to have a head on his shoulders, but rather a decapitated cranium sitting on his saddle. Crane becomes spooked and races off to the bridge next to the Old Dutch cemetery. Upon reaching the bridge, the Headless Horseman vanished “in a flash of fire and brimstone” upon crossing the bridge. Ichabod crosses the bridge, but not before the specter re-appears on the bridge and hurls his head into Crane’s face. The next day, Ichabod could not be found except for his wandering horse, trampled saddle, discarded hat, and a mysterious shattered pumpkin. With Ichabod Crane nowhere in sight, the match with “Brom Bones” for Katrina’s hand in marriage was forfeited. Brom and Katrina married. Suspicion amongst the villagers bounced between believing the legend and “Brom Bones” being the villain who had the stature and size of the Headless Horseman. Many believe it was Brom in disguise, playing on Ichabod’s fears, and as a prank used to scare off Crane. However the Old Wives tales prevailed, stating that Crane indeed was “spirited away by supernatural means” and thereby increasing stories (mainly fabricated) of numerous sightings of the Headless Horseman to this very day.

Folklorists compare the American short story to the German folktale of “the Wild Huntsman” when a phantom races through the woods atop a horse scaring trespassers out of the forest. This tale most probably was the one that inspired Irving during this travels through Germany to concoct the tale of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

The German folklorist Karl Musäus states that the Headless horsemen was a staple of Northern European storytelling especially in Germany (“The Wild Huntsman”), Ireland (“Dullahan”), Scandinavia (“the Wild Hunt”), and English legends. These “headless” horsemen would race through the countryside with their decapitated heads tucked under their arms, often followed by hordes of coal-black hounds with fiery tongues (demon dogs). Folklore would talk of these as being omens of ill-fortune for those who chose to disregard their apparitions. These ghosts would mainly focus on individuals who had egos and arrogance, were overly proud, and/or scheming persons with misguided intentions such as the likes of Ichabod Crane. There are other folk tales and poems of a supernatural wild chase including Robert Burns’ 1790 “Tam o’ Shanter” and Bürger’s Der wilde Jäger, translated as the 1796 “The Wild Huntsman”.

The legend of Sleepy Hollow is classified as a fictional tale. It was set on a local bridge in Sleepy Hollow that crossed the Pocantico River into the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Irving most likely incorporated local residents as characters in the tale, whereas Katrina’s character has been matched by folklorists to local resident Elanor Van Tassel Brush. However, there is ample evidence to make it an actual legend based on place names, characters, and history leading to the fabricated tale by Washington Irving. There was a farm owned by Cornelius and Elizabeth Van Tassel that was raided by English and Hessian soldiers in November 1777. They tried to fight off the invaders which led to their farmhouse being burnt down and their family being held hostage. While they watched in horror as their farmhouse was burning, Elizabeth could not find their baby Leah anywhere, and upon trying to run into the flames to search for her baby, was interrupted by a Hessian soldier who led her to a shed where Leah was safely wrapped up in a blanket safe and sound. The family was so grateful to this soldier for the safety of their baby. After the event, when a Hessian soldier was found in Tarrytown (around the area now called Sleepy Hollow) dead missing his head, they gave him a proper Christian burial and buried him in the Old Dutch Burial Ground (now Sleepy Hollow Cemetery) in case he was the soldier who saved their baby.

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Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow was one of the historical sites where many battles and events of the American Revolutionary War took place, and was a great backdrop for this invented myth as many matching actual reports of hauntings and ghostly sightings that pervade the area. After these battles were done, a 30 mile stretch of scorched desolated lands were left to outlaws, raiders, and the corpses of the dead. One of those corpses was indeed a headless corpse of a Hessian soldier nicknamed Mr. Jäger found in Sleepy Hollow after a violent skirmish took place there. He corpse was buried by the Van Tassel family in a unmarked grave at the Old Dutch Burying Ground. While Washington Irving served New York Governor Daniel D. Tompkins, he had met an army captain named Ichabod Crane during an inspection tour of the fortifications in 1814. This meeting took place in Sackets Harbor, New York and not Sleepy Hollow. This meeting most likely inspired him to name the character as the schoolmaster for the name, and the schoolmaster image as Jesse Merwin, a local teacher in Kinderhook, New York he also inspired Irving.

This short story has been one the most well studied and examined of tales of its time and of Washington Irving’s works. Numerous re-tellings and re-writings have come about through the ages. Numerous plays, films, and television shows were done to memorialize the legend such as Edward Venturini’s silent 1922 silent film “The Headless Horseman” playing Will Rogers as Ichabod Crane; 1948 Broadway Musical “Sleepy Hollow”; Walt Disney’s “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad” in 1949; Disney’s 1958 “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”; the 1980 Henning Schellerup “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” television classic; 1988 PBS adaption; The one-act stage adaptation by Kathryn Schultz Miller in 1989 called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”; Nickelodeon’s 1992 “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” episode “The Tale of the Midnight Ride”; Rocko’s Modern Life “Sugar-Frosted Frights” parodie; Canadian television’s 1999 “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”; The 1999 Speaker and Orchestra 15-minute composition by Robert Lichtenberger called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”; and the most famous 1999 Tim Burton’s “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” starring Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Casper Van Dien, and Christopher Walken. The Legend continued through film and audio tellings with the 1999 computer animated classic “The Night of the Headless Horseman” by Fox; Porchlight Entertainments 2002 “The Haunted Pumpkin of Sleepy Hollow”; Steven J. Smith, Jr.’s 2004 “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in Concert”; the television movie by ABC Family Channel in 2004 called “The Hollow”; 2004 “Charmed” episode of “The Legend of Sleepy Halliwell”; PBS “Wishbone” series “Halloween Hound: The Legend of Creepy Collars”; The 2009 Opera “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Robert Milne; William Withem and Melanie Helton’s 2009 Legend of Sleepy Hollow Opera; the Jim Christian and Tom Edward Clark 2009 Musical “Sleepy Hollow”; The 2011 Hunter Foster book and play called “The Hollow”; Darkstuff Productions 2012 adapted Legend of Sleepy Hollow; and in 2013 a Fox TV series pilot called “Sleepy Hollow” is in production as a modern tale.

North Tarrytown in 1996 changed their name to “Sleepy Hollow” as a memorial to Washington Irving, and its local high school team are called “The Horsemen”, by 2006 a large statue of the Headless Horseman chasing Ichabod Crane was erected, and since 1996 at the Philipsburg Manor holds a Legend Weekend where the story is retold and played out just before Halloween.

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The Brennivin Ghost


Icelandic Wonders Museum, Iceland

The Brennivin Ghost of Iceland

While visiting the Icelandic wonders museum, we learned about the infamous Brennivín Ghost, haunting the region where the original Icelandic Schnapps is named. Haunting the halls at Kolviđarhóll, who is the apparition of the Danish “Assistant” who worked in the Sunchenberg Store in Reykjavik. His job was to keep count of liquor in the store, and as a avid lover of the spirits, would travel by horse back to Kolvidarhóll and Marardalur to drink. He passed away in his bed while in Reykjavik. He apparently haunts the stores, halls, and the meadows on Kolviđarhóll.
The first recording of his apparition was two men the following winter from Suarnes travelling over the heath and stopping to sleep at the refuge hut in Kolviaarholl. As they entered the hut, heard chanting in the loft, and were greeted with a vision of a man sitting alone, striking, and elegant with a large top hat and wig, drinking a big container of brennivin. Other reports were as similar. The Icelandic Wonders Museum claims the ghost watches over them.

    “The Brennivin Ghost: One of many acquaintances Kolviaarholl was the Brennivin Ghost. He was believed to be the ghost of the Danish ‘Assistant’ Sunchenberg store in Reykjavik. He had the responsibility of counting the beverages in the store, but he was very keen on the beverages. It was his custom, summer after summer on holy days, to ride his horse up to Kolviaarholl and into Marardalur to consume a substantial amount of the libation. He thought that those trips were his greatest pleasure in life … Now, this man passed away in his sickbed in Reykjavik, but the following winter two men from Suaurnes went over the heath and were planning to sleep at the refuge hut at Kolviaarholl. When they opened the hut, they were shocked when they heard a chant up in the loft. The two men weren’t expecting anyone to be there, because they didn’t see anything outside that indicated that someone was there. When the two men went inside the house and up to the loft, the most surreal vision awaited them when they opened the hatch. On the floor, just by the window, there was a man sitting alone who seemed to be very mellow. He was striking to see and very elegant, with a large top hat and a wig, and was wearing clothes with silver buttons on both lapels. Between his feet on the floor, he had a biggish container full of brennivin, from which a sweet smell emanated. In one hand the man had a tin mug that he used to take brennivin from the container, and then he drank from the mug and tipped the rest of the brennivin back into the container. He looked roguishly at what he was doing. The two men greeted the strange man and made his see how surprised they were about his behavior and how well stocked he seemed to be with beverages. He didn’t respond to their greetings, but instead he extended one of his feet, on which there was a Danish shoe, and said a little verse with his dark voice. Then he stood up and swung out his hand with the bennivin mug. With that he disappeared in an instant with a bright glow, and the loft became dark. The two men felt uncomfortable and a little shaken, and ran down the stairs and out into the bright spring night, after whch they started to feel better. Needless to say, the two men continued over the heath until they reached Reykir in Olfus early next morning.” ~ museum sign in Icelandic Wonders Museum.


Icelandic Wonders Museum, Iceland

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