Location: Haunted Forrest of Altadena
The north end of Lake Ave @ East Loma Alta Drive, Altadena (map)
Behind the big gate (pictured above)
Come out for this year’s first free outdoor screening tomorrow (Friday, 0ct 21, @7:30pm) and see “Haunted Forest” at this real haunted forest (like the one in the movie). Also, hear about this local landmark’s history (and ghost stories) from Skylaire Alfvegren from SoCal L.O.W.F.I.
Don’t forget to bring chairs and flashlights.
Altadena’s Haunted Forest (sometimes called “The Enchanted Forest” or “The Super-Natural Cemetery”) is Southern California’s own version of the fictional story told in “The Blair Witch Project.” The wooded area under Echo Mountain, where a large mansion once stood has supposedly claimed the souls of many hikers that have just mysteriously disappeared when entering these grounds.
The land was originally owned by Oregon lumber tycoon, Charles Cobb, who was said to be a Mason, as well as a member of other secret societies. Local lore claims he (with others) performed strange rituals out in these isolated woods, perhaps summoning dark forces, and even torturing and sacrificing humans (who are also said to buried under the estate).
A year before Charles Cobb died, a woman who was hitchhiking her way to the 1939 World’s Fair in San Francisco, and who accepted a ride from a butcher from San Diego, found herself at the large gates to the Cobb Estate. The butcher brought her to this spot, with the apparent intent to murder her. While he was bludgeoning her with his metal sausage-stuffer, the Cobb’s housekeeper called the sheriff. When, the sheriff arrived, they were both unconscious, and she was still alive. The butcher maintained that the last thing he remembered was driving through Whittier, as if he were in a trance that brought him to the Cobb Estates large iron gates.
After Cobb’s death, nuns took over the property until it was eventually purchased by legendary comedian Groucho Marx and his family, who intended on turning the land into a cemetery as a business venture. The cemetery never happened (at least not in that form), and today it is a park maintained by the Forestry Service for everyone (even spirits) to enjoy.
According to legend, there is a ghost in chains that wanders these nature trails looking to feed on the life force of unlucky hikers that cross its path. Could this be some renegade demon summoned by Cobb’s coven. It is said that people hear disembodied screams and see glowing orbs floating down the paths, which are thought to be the spirits of this dark entity’s victims.
However, there are also stories that in the 1890’s prospectors mined this area for gold. Northern California’s folklore is filled with stories of ghosts that protect their gold deposits, or “ghost lights” that mark a location of hidden gold (this phenomenon is even referenced in the novel Dracula). Could that be the true nature of the haunted forest’s mysterious glowing orbs?
Come out and join us, and maybe you will find out for yourself.