Five Scariest Places in Sacramento


Every city experiences paranormal activity, but Sacramento, California, is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the country. Homes rattle from ghostly activity, theater actors give names to visiting specters, and businesses hire paranormal investigators to see what can be done about problematic energy from the other side. Here is a list of the top five places to experience a Sacramento-styled spooking.

Crocker Art Museum

Once owned by the Crocker railroad and banking family, the mansion-turned-art museum is said to be haunted by a male ghost who causes wood flooring to squeak and visitors to feel "a presence" as if they are being watched.

Old City Cemetery

This site is home to the bodies of early Sacramento pioneers and settlers. Some of the old crypts are both creepy and beautiful on their own, but visitors have reported seeing ghosts wearing mourning clothes, a pit bull running loose and following visitors before turning to mist and disappearing, and a little girl who plays near the headstone of a deceased child.

The grave of May Woolsey is also here. She is Sacramento's most famous ghost, who died in 1879 at the age of 12. She supposedly appeared to her parents and told them she was not dead, but simply "waiting for them on the other side." Her belongings are on display in the Sacramento History Museum.

Sacramento Theater Company

This building is rumored to be the most haunted in the city, and reportedly, five ghosts live here, including the infamous Pinky, who is believed to be a former stagehand. Phantasms have been photographed in the theater during seances, and paranormal investigators have been hired to see what can be done about flickering lights, apparitions, footsteps after hours, and other disturbances.

The Martinez House

Like the nearby Sacramento Theater Company, this home on 22nd and H is under paranormal investigation. According to legend, the founder of Sutter hospitals, Dr. Arden Hart, gifted the house to his family patriarch, who had dementia and killed everyone in his family, including the grandkids and family cat. In 1976, the house was sold to the Martinez family who experienced struggles in the kitchen in the middle of the night, seeing a panting figure wearing a white lab coat, a woman in a flowered dress, grandchildren, and even the grey and white cat. The Martinez's grandson lived in the house briefly, but he abandoned it in 2000 when he reported being scared by something constantly changing radio stations.

Old Sacramento Tunnels

There was a time when the tunnels were used as brothels, opium dens and evil rituals at the early part of the 20th century, but flood waters eventually buried them. Now that flooding is no longer an issue, the tunnels are accessible, but they are said to be so haunted and full of menacing presences, transients won't sleep near them, and business owners have hired paranormal investigators to see what can be done about the frightening noises and negative energy within the tunnels.


Shawna McGregor-King is a freelance writer in the Sacramento area. When she isn't hammering a keyboard, she can be found tinkering with a camera, playing with knitting needles, or handling video gaming situations like a boss.