Abandoned and spooky location. ToNic Pics/Pixabay/Courtesy
Looking for something to tide over your need for something spooky and macabre before Halloween? OC Ghosts and Legends “is the #1 source for authentic haunted tours and events in southern California and beyond. If you’re seeking an intimate and authentic paranormal experience, you’re in the right place.” This year in celebration of their 10-year anniversary in business, big plans are underway to expand their tours throughout Southern California.
OC Ghosts and Legends has been featured on “Ghost Adventures”, the Travel Channel, OC Register, OC Weekly, and CBS Los Angeles.
This company has a variety of different tours and lockdowns. It started out in Orange County, California – hitting infamous haunted locations in the cities of Santa Ana, Orange and Black Star Canyon. Their longest and most popular tour at the moment is their tour of Black Star Canyon. In the past two years, they have expanded their location to San Juan Capistrano by popular demand.
As their business and customer loyalty grew, they decided that just walking tours were not enough and they needed to take it to the next level – so they decided to also provide exclusive lockdown investigations for guests.
The whole group is very kind, personable and definitely immerse guests into the history of the locations on the tours. The lead investigators/tour guides consist of one of the owners, their assistant and a psychic medium (a person who is in-tune and sensitive to the spirit world.) Guests are allowed to bring cell phones and take as many pictures and videos as they please, and even guests who are serious when it comes to ghost encounters are allowed to bring voice recorders and dowsing rods to try to pick up on spirit energies.
OC Ghosts and Legends has also paved the way for many new or novice paranormal investigators. I spoke to frequent customer and fellow paranormal investigator Victor Huesca about his experience with OC Ghosts and Legends.
“I’ve done the San Juan Capistrano tour.” Said Huesca.
I know that he visits haunted locations all over the country and I asked him if he was thinking about ever starting his own business.
“It’s funny I’ve been asked that before,”said Huesca. “But for now, I have no plans. So pretty much doing it for fun right now.”
One of their tours takes place in downtown Santa Ana where guests meet at the Howe-Waffle House and tour guides take guests to haunted locations walking distance from the initial meeting point. Locations include a home that was a mortuary-turned-private business, the Old Orange County Courthouse, the Yost Theater and the site of the one and only lynching in Santa Ana’s history.
The Old Towne Orange tour hits locations such as the Royer Mansion and an old home of an alleged, now-deceased Satanic worshipper.
In San Juan Capistrano the tour goes to Mission San Juan Capistrano, El Adobe restaurant and private homes and properties that are allegedly haunted.
Their Blackstar Canyon tour is the longest of the current ones they have at the moment, it is basically a small hike through the canyon since it is allegedly haunted by spirits of Native Americans who were massacred by Spanish immigrants.
Tour guides are respectful, considerate and careful not to take guests on to private properties. So, on tours, the guides will take guests on sidewalks either in front of or across the street from private properties, but close enough for guests to bask in the spookiness of the location.
All are very eerie locations and tour guides do a phenomenal job to tell as much detail about the locations and history as possible – even urban legends.
Unfortunately, since the COVID-19 pandemic, like many small businesses, the company had to put a brief hold on tours. They have just been given the green light in the beginning of 2021to resume tours while following state guidelines for COVID-19 protocol. This meant mask mandates, limited people on tours and social distancing. They are now operating well below 50% capacity as well. Thankfully customers were compliant and more than happy for work with the protocols so they could get their paranormal fix!
Once their business was back up and running, there was more demand from their customers to expand to other locations. They had entertained the idea of possibly expanding walking tours and lockdown locations up to Los Angeles County as well as down to San Diego County.
They have finally got permission from San Diego County to expand their tours and business to a couple haunted locations in the city! The two confirmed locations that are also open for lockdown tours are the Star of India tall ship and the Berkeley Steam Ferry, which are both allegedly very haunted.
“We have expanded our lockdown events to Arizona and Nevada over the years as well and we will continue to do so when people feel comfortable to start traveling more.” Said owner Cris August.
As well as their expansion in Southern California, they have also revealed that they will potentially bring back their lockdown events in Arizona and Nevada once guests feel more comfortable about traveling more. They are also looking to potentially restart their rare, annual tour of Bracken Fern Manor in Arrowhead County, which has proven to be a huge hit.
“We also have much success in Lake Arrowhead with our annual Bracken Fern Manor event we do once or twice a year.” August added
As much as the small business appreciates guests who are regulars for all of their tours in hopes for a paranormal experience, it is also very humbling for them to consistently get new clients waiting for weeks or even months to get to experience their tours.
OC Ghosts and Legends is very grateful for being able to stay in business since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and won’t let setbacks deter them from continuing to do what they love.
Potential guests can check out their website for upcoming dates for future ghost walks and overnight paranormal lockdowns.