Thursday, September 3, 2015


I’ve always been fascinated with a good ghost story. Growing up I heard lots of stories from my grandfather that had supernatural elements. I decided to combine these two elements when I used North Sacramento, California as the setting for my YA paranormal Crossed Out. Plus, one of the areas, the Sacramento tunnels, only recently has been opened to the public.
So here’s a few haunting sites I thought I’d share:
  1. Photo courtesy of Autumn Baccellia Ibahim
    Photo courtesy of Autumn Baccellia Ibahim
    Sacramento City Cemetery: My Grandpa Baccellia’s father was an Italian immigrant who owned a saloon in Old Town Sacramento. His father died of consumption in the early part of the 1900s. His body originally was buried in the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery along with some founding fathers of the town.
I do know that some of the dead were ‘relocated’ to another site in the ’50s to make room for more urban
Photo courtesy of Autumn Baccellia Ibahim
Photo courtesy of Autumn Baccellia Ibahim
development. Some of the relatives of the dead, couldn’t be found so they ended up putting them in a few places with only one tombstone to acknowledge that they existed. I can’t help but think if my body had been moved and no one remembered me, I wouldn’t be too happy. There’ve been sightings of ghosts and other ‘unexplained things’ there. I can’t help but wonder why! But it has great potential for a horror novel!
  1. Old Town Underground tunnels:
Spooky underground ghost town, buried underneath Sacramento.
Spooky underground ghost town, buried underneath Sacramento.
There’s a lot of history in these underground tunnels in Old Town. Old Sacramento was rebuilt over the original town. There are tunnels and a hidden town underneath, buried because of the rising waters of the Sacramento River. Grandpa Baccellia told me that before the Oroville Dam was built, the Sacramento River would flood the city. There were lots of cases of malaria in the early part of the 1900s.
Rumors have been circulating of what might have actually happened in these tunnels. Some say they were used for bootlegging during the Prohibition to even smuggling in opium.
The tunnels are now opened to the public! I still need to go with my sisters and check it out.
Photo courtesy Pamela Celeste Reese Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy Pamela Celeste Reese
Photo courtesy of
3. American River
My Grandpa Baccellia used to tell us about these women all dressed in black who would walk up and down the river in the early 1900s. He said they were always so sad and mournful. Some say it’s not women but a man who haunts that site.
Here’s a little more info on that urban legend: The ghost of a man who drowned in the American River is said to haunt the banks. There’s something about water and ghosts. Urban legends are filled with them. This picture of the American River with the infamous thick Sacramento fog is certainly eerie.

  1. Photo courtesy of
    Photo courtesy of
    Leland Stanford Museum
In 1883, Leland Stanford and his wife lost their only son  to Typhoid fever. He was fifteen years old. Rumor has it that the spirit of their son appeared to the father to comfort him after his death. Also the spirit asked his father to put money into building a university for young men.
5. May Woolsey
In the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery is the grave of May Woolsey. In 1879 just before her thirteen birthday, she died of a possible viral infection fro the measles. She was the only child of Mary and Luther Woolsey. Her parents were so devastated by her death that they used a Spiritualist to try to contact her.
Fast forward 100 years later. When the family house was being remodeled by the newest owners, they found a closet with a false ceiling. Inside was a very old trunk packed with some of the Woolsey family’s belongings, including some of May Woolsey’s hair. Here’s where it gets interesting. Inside the truck was a letter:
Sacramento Historical Cemetery
Sacramento Historical Cemetery
Dear Momma,
I am so happy as I did write to you and say I was happy. Now Momma dear, do not weep for me. I am not dead, no, only gone before to wait your coming when you will be out of all sorrow and care and will be happy with me. Oh, what pleasure there is in the spirit life no one can tell. Only think of everlasting life and pleasure where we know no sorrow; all is sunshine, there is no cloud to darken our path as on earth; we have our choice of mission . . .
No one knows why and how that letter ended up in that trunk.
Do any of you know of places with hauntings? Do share!

Originally posted at

1 comment:

  1. Ghost stories fascinate me. Yes, I believe in ghosts as spirits that for whatever reasons haven't crossed over yet. I once attended a ghost convention where they showed pictures and played tapes that very possibly were ghosts. It's wonderful that you have all of this information from your grandfather. Family history can lead to great stories too. Thanks for the information, Kim. Enjoyed reading it.