Here’s Why California’s Black Star Canyon Is the Most Haunted Spot in the State


Black Star Canyon lies among the Santa Ana mountains in Orange County and it may be one of the most popular areas for bikers and hikers for its remoteness and scenic views. But behind the seemingly harmless facade lies a rather grim history.

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The violent background of Black Star Canyon dates back to the 1800s, where hundreds of members of the Shoshone American Indian Tribe lost their lives on the hands of the Spanish and early American settlers. The canyon has seen more violence than any other place in the area. Nowadays, there are only a few remnants of its haunting past left, namely the unruly spirits of the lives that ended in bloody battle.


It seemed like the violence was passed on through history. There were several identified and unidentified deaths in the area particularly what seemed to be the remnants of the Wild West. Nowadays, Black Canyon serves as a playground for paranormal investigators who have shared their experiences online.

This specific Redditor said he received a chilling note that read, Please, go away. Don’t come back. 

As nobody can claim if this is true or not, a lot of people who have visited the canyon have agreed that the place does provide a rather eerie atmosphere even during the day.


Among the stories that surround the area was of the infamous Black Star Canyon Indian Massacre in the year 1831, after many natives were gruesomely killed by American fur trappers when they were caught stealing horses for meat.


At that time, Spaniards had Los Angeles at a choke hold. So the presence of Americans or natives for that matter was not welcome. Spanish ranchers also happened to have owned the stolen horses so the Americans, who wanted to maintain a pleasing impression with the Spaniards, devised the plan to murder the thieves tracking them down to the Hidden Ranch.

The natives were quickly overwhelmed by the Americans, and blood was spilled on a land that was once theirs. The Americans, on their part, was led by fur trapper William Wolfskill. He and his men did not suffer any casualties, but as the Indians left, they made sure to curse the area, not realizing how this curse would pass through the ages.


As if the violence that took place in the Hidden Ranch wasn’t enough, the dark history tragically repeated itself in 1899. At this time, there were no more Spanish ranchers, instead the place was inhabited by Anglo-American and Mexican homesteaders who had bad blood between each other.

However, the murders that took place were between two feuding American families namely the Hungerfords and the Greggs. It was reported that there was a deadly shootout, resulting in the death of James M. Gregg. In the end, a judge found Henry Hungerford guilty of the murder. After a short period, the case was surprisingly thrown out the window. But since this happened during a time when murder wasn’t common, public interest quickly grew with crowds of people suspecting that the judge’s decision to dismiss the case was based on political reasons.

Needless to say, it would be no surprise that Gregg’s restless spirit wanders the area seeking justice.


Another tragedy happened during the 1970s in Black Star Canyon, when a bus drive tragically lost control of the wheel and drove directly to a cliff. The accident cost the lives of the school teacher, the driver, as well as multiple children on board.


Thus, a long list of murders and sufferings surrounds the Black Star Canyon, and because of these dark stories, the place has paved way to countless urban legends and creepy campfire tales. Among those is the story of “Black Star Bill that doesn’t want anyone to disturb him and he will chase you off as he fires his rifle at you.” Other than that, there have been stories of satanic rituals and sacrifices reportedly done in the area.

True or not, it is a sad piece of land that witnessed countless deaths and injustice brought upon what could have just been left as a serene place gifted to humans by nature. The unhappy beginnings seem to resonate through the hollow mountains and trees as the frustrations of the past seep through them.


Anyone who decides to pay a visit will agree that it is naturally eerie. Somehow, the wind does create howling noises debunking some claims that they have heard voices, especially those armed with a digital recorder. But for those who have their heart set out on believing in the paranormal, they believe that it is the sound of the distraught spirits. Nonetheless, if you happen to be in the area, explore with caution and learn to respect the lives that were lost.

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