When I was younger, I was practically terrified of ghosts. I just had this fear of the unknown. I was afraid of shit that I just couldn't see with my own eyes. I had a strong belief in the existence of the paranormal and steered clear of television shows and movies that had anything to do with ghosts. I just couldn't handle it.
Years ago, I had experienced an occurrence that would change my outlook on the subject forever. At this time I was living with my parents. One evening while I was laying in bed, I awoke around 3:00 am. My bed was firmly nestled on one side of the room. My sleeping position always consisted of me lying on my side facing my desk that was planted across from me. And that's when I saw it. A tall, solid black figure with broad shoulders was standing in front of my desk. This figure wasn't transparent and had significantly blocked out my desk from view.
And it was watching me.
I wasn't dreaming. I wasn't hallucinating. This was real. There was something standing there. I couldn't move--my body was paralyzed in fear. I laid there dead still as the figure leaned in to take a better look at me almost inches from my face...
Gasping for air, I quickly switched my light on. Before I could process what I saw--it was gone...
I was terrified. I couldn't go back to sleep especially after what just happened. In a panic, I called my boyfriend at the time waking him out of a deep sleep. Worried and barely awake, he invited me to drive over to his place that night. I did not hesitate. I packed a bag with trembling hands and as quick as the apparition disappeared, I was out the door. My heart was racing. My palms were sweaty. ('Knee's weak, arms are heavy. There's vomit on his sweater already, mom's spaghetti.' I'm so sorry, I couldn't help it. If you stop reading the rest of this, I totally get it...)
I'll be fully real with you here--I couldn't sleep for weeks after this. I'd force myself to sleep all day just so I could stay awake all night and on alert. I had become a vampire minus the blood. My parents didn't get it. My mom thought I was actually insane. She had become concerned for my well-being. But to my credit--it's not like I could go to her and say; 'Hey Mom! I saw a ghost and it was in my room and now I can't sleep." There would be no way in hell that I'd receive any sort of positive response from my Catholic mother. She'd complain that I had been watching far too many 'scary' movies and that would be the end of it. During all my nights binging whatever show I could just to stay awake--my fear suddenly transformed into curiosity. I had to know what was in my room. I had to know if it had an insidious agenda. I had to know what was watching me...
I decided to consult a medium. I know, I know--you're probably wondering what the credibility of this person. But I'll have you know that she was marked in the top percentile of people with a special ability through a university--and she's been my friend for years. She definitely has a gift and gives you everything at face value--my kinda gal. Once I consulted with her about the occurrence in my room, she revealed to me what it was. A very old family member had been visiting me recently and got curious. He had meant me no harm and was only there for protection. Realizing that this wasn't something harmful, I fell down the rabbit hole of the paranormal. I had become fascinated with the other world. My fear of ghosts became an immediate passion for the other side.
This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to join a paranormal infused hike through the Cobb Estates of AltaDena. Haunted Hiking is a team of two guides that combined their love of the paranormal with adventurous hikes at night through some well-known haunted locations in California. This dynamic duo conducts research about their location while mapping out a 90 minute tour for their participants. They also provide ghost hunting materials!
I decided to bring along my friend Katie (@hello.ktlou) on this hike. Katie and I have become close friends and have bonded over our love for horror movies and ghosts. What a better way to solidify said friendship with a spooky hike at night? After meeting up, we set off to Alta Dena--an hour drive from Topanga Canyon in Santa Monica, California.
Upon arrival, we had noticed a small gathering near the gates of Cobb Estates. Bumping into one of our tour guides, Alain Camiling we briefly introduced ourselves and expressed our excitement about the festivities that would unfold. As we waited around for other participants to join us, we also got to meet our second guide for the evening, Jose Prendes. After we conducted our interview with the two guides, we were briefly introduced about the history of the Cobb Estates.
Retired Lumber Magnate, Charles Cobb constructed his estate north of Pasadena, California in 1918. His mansion incorporate Spanish-style elements. He had imported exotic hardwoods and covered his property with palm trees and eucalyptus. Unfortunately, his home would fall prey to the La Vina Fire in 1935 that almost engulfed his entire property in flames. In preparation for this disaster if it were ever to occur, Cobb had built a 200,000 gallon reservoir prior to the fire. Because of this water reservoir, he was able to save his property.
Stated in his will, Mr. Cobb wanted the land to be given to the Scottish Right Temple in Pasadena. When he died in 1939, the home was sold and used by the Sisters of St. Joseph. This spiritual retreat would lead to one of the most heinous crimes to have ever occurred on the property. It is rumored that one of the nuns was raped and hung in the forest. There have been reports of witnesses seeing a nun walking on the hiking trail. When I visited on the evening of our haunted hike, I remember visiting two different trees where the suspected assault and murder may have happened.
I'm an empath. An empath is defined as 'a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.' If I'm at a location that has insane levels of energy or paranormal activity, I usually pick up on it physically and emotionally. Empaths feel everything on an extreme level.
One of our tour guides on the Haunted Hike, Jose had mentioned his theory about two different locations where the assault occurred. The first, large tree that we came upon as we hiked up the path instantly made me feel sick. I felt almost dizzy and strange as we approached it. The second location is this tree (as pictured below) near the water fountain. This tree in particular made me feel unbelievably sad. It was as if the walls were caving in on me and it almost became difficult to breathe. As we visited these two locations, I couldn't help but feel the insane levels of energy that were pulsing from these two locations. Piggybacking off of Jose's theory, I do believe that the assault occurred at one of these locations. But after feeling the way that I felt, I couldn't help but think that the assault occurred at the first tree, and the hanging had taken place at the tree near the water fountain. I don't believe that those incidences occurred at just one location.
Going off on my theory, Katie and I decided to play around with the Spirit Box while we were standing near the water fountain. I had asked a simple question that I just couldn't help but ask...
"Did someone die here?"
Two responses came through that two other people overheard;
The property was then purchased in 1956 to the Marx Brothers. The once luxurious home and property was now being used as a hangout for suspicious individuals. According to a quote in an article in the Native La Tourist; the article state that;
"Police took “175 juveniles and 20 adults into custody for petty crimes in and around the disintegrating mansion. Its remnants were removed in 1959, leaving only a foundation and scattered low stairways and walls as a legacy to its former grandeur.."
Mr. Cobb gets angry whenever someone stands on the steps of his property. At this time during our hike, I got to play with some dowsing rods. Once I began asking questions, I had learned rather quickly that Mr. Cobb was more willing to converse with women than with men. Not sure why, but I wasn't about to argue with that! There have been reports of people being pushed or nudged off the stairs. I didn't experience any sort of negativity when I traveled up and down the steps that evening.
Reports of satanic rituals were said to have taken place here which doesn't surprise me in the slightest. As well as satanic rituals and KKK gatherings--there have been claims of potent smells drifting through the haunted forest of rotting flesh which is a common sign of a demonic presence.
The Estate is also haunted by a ghost by the nickname of Crystal Calhoon also referred to as the Wicked Witch of the West by some locals. Crystal was an actual witch who grew quite fond of the land and according to some--she continues to wander throughout the property even after her death.
As we continued our hike up the path, we came up on the reservoir that Mr. Cobb had installed to protect his home from any potential fires. This is another hot-spot for paranormal activity. There have been reports of body parts being found here that were dumped by the Mafia...
The Cobb Estate is wired with paranormal activity. A nun who was murdered, a curious witch, a wealthy land owner and various other spirits haunt this eerie location...
I want to hear YOUR thoughts.
Would you ever visit the Cobb Estates at night? Where do you think the nun was murdered? Sound off in the comments!
Be sure to follow @hauntedhiking for any updates!
Also, if you're interested on going on a hike in the future (which I highly recommend) you can receive $5.00 off with the code below!
Just ENTER the PROMO code SCREAMHIKE during checkout at HauntedHiking.com
If you end up going on this fantastic hike--be sure to tag me (@madame.leatherface) in all your photos so I can see your epic hike in all its spooky glory! And obviously, be sure to tag @hauntedhiking as well!