The Black Earth: Tales From The Shadowside

Introduction | The Queen Mary | Galster Park | Zelda's Pit | Spadra Cemetery | The Haunted Forest | Suicide Bridge | Oakdale Cemetery | The Hollywood Roosavelt Hotel | A Touch of The Devil | Judas Ghost! | Strange Sightings | Diabolical Environmental Reverberations | Turnbull Canyon

Haunts in Los Diablos


Tales From The Shadowside
Blackthorne Paranormal Investigations


As seems to be common of wilderness environments, especially from those not living therein, all sorts of urban legends crop up which seem to be collective fears in general, thus the almost identical relations by 'witnesses'. At various points, I can see how people can imagine spectral formations in the trees, bushes, overgrown weeds, plants, darkened trenches, caves, or if urban structures, in windows, around corners, etc. Like gazing at shifting clouds, the brain's ability to "fill in the gaps", as it were, in an attempt to organize amorphous imagery, combined with the suggestion of a haunted spot, creates a most dramatic experience in those so inclined. So if you want a thrill, suspend disbelief, but if you want reality, apply speculation. Both can actually be appreciated in their respective roles.

The Queen Mary
{Long Beach, CA}

Also known as "The Grey Ghost", I have been to this magnificent luxury liner on a couple of occasions, and I must say, that I did actually experience some rather "interesting" occurrences. These were experienced as a Dracling, as I accompanied a parent thereof, where he routinely would attend various conferences and conventions around Los Diablos:

The Pool Girl

It is said that a little girl haunts the lower deck where the pool is located. That her voice and laughter echoes on through time, This was a little girl named "Jackie" said to have drowned therein, where she has been spotted playing around the area. In My own experience, let us say that I did perceive what seemed to have been a smallish white apparition, like a cloud in what may have been a baby doll dress, and it was the reputed sounds of laughter that initially attracted Me to the area, where I had not previously heard of the legend.

The Ghostly Crew

Being rather rambunctious and enthused about being here, I took to wandering around the entire ship, inspecting the souvenir shops and theaters thereon {one of which was presenting a Marilyn Monroe impersonator show}, when after a couple of hours, dusk began to settle in, and I wondered where my father had gone to. I asked an employee, so the next thing I knew, I was seated in a darkened location, I believe somewhere in the crew's quarters, when eventually, it was as if the fabric of space and time began to as if shift, deriving the impression of being upon this ship in its hey-day. The atmosphere assumed a hazy white phosphorescence, as if in a mist. Even whatever crew I spotted assumed uniforms from what appeared to be from the early 20th century, circa WW2. At one point, a man in a sailor's uniform gazed into the room from around a corner where there was none, as if he had peered through the wall from where an entrance may have been before the remodeling.

Door 13

At another point while wandering about, I did actually traverse into that infamous "Door 13" located by the engine room, where two men had been crushed to death on two separate occasions. There was a definite cold gust sensation thereabouts.

Additionally, I can also attest to the strange "knocks", "bumps", and slamming doors being pervasive, in those quiet areas about the ship, as if "someone" {a 'poltergeist'?} was directly on the other side following one's stride... As a matter of fact, all during the visit, one derives the feeling of not only being "watched", but followed.

She made her final voyage on December 9th, 1967, where she has been docked in Long Beach harbor ever since. In its 13 "Bride and Baby voyages" {where she would transport said occupants to visit their fathers}, The Queen Mary has claimed 49 lives to date. Now a landmark and tourist attraction, she now resides as a hotel and museum featuring restaurants, tours, shoppes, and exhibits, including a Halloween show called Ship Wreck.

{In case you were wondering, father eventually appeared, and off we went home.}

Galster Park
West Covina, CA [Website]

Legend: The long-standing legend states, in a very Freddy Krueger-like manner, that this location derived its nefarious reputation when children began going missing due to some maniac abducting and killing them in the early 19th century. Since then many alleged apparitions have been reported mainly dealing with ghostly children manifesting {one with burn scars}, disembodied cries or sounds of laughter, and a shadowy form said to be that of the perpetrator himself, long since deceased, appearing at different points along the trails of Galster Park.

I have hiked through its trails of easy terrain on a couple of occasions, and found it to actually be rather pleasant for constitutionals, especially around sunset, when the least amount of any other potential hikers would be present, probably due to the legend, and some rather unpleasant confrontations others have reported with 'gang' types in the past, which I have not had a problem with. As a matter of fact, the type tend to avoid Me.

Since this investigation, the park has undergone some renovations and is subject to a recreation center on the property. Now there is an 'official' paved trail recommended for sightseers and amateur hikers, although independent hikers can still make their own way thereabouts.

Zelda's Pit {A.K.A. Zelda's Tunnel}
Covina, CA

Zelda's PitLegend: In the 1920's, a young girl named Zelda was abducted by cultists, taken deep into the tunnels and sacrificed. Now, if anyone dares venture too deep therein, they never emerge again, as they are supposedly sacrificed by Zelda. Thus, the alleged victim has become the victimizer. Otherwise, those who manage to emerge at the other side are said to go insane. Phantom bells and whispers have also been reported.

Located in delightfully overgrown {ergo, 'spooky'} Wingate Park, "Zelda's Pit" is an entryway to a series of subterranian drainage tunnels nearby some train tracks, which may explain the bells. Locating it is moderately difficult, but can be spotted by some vandalism arraying the circumference of the opening, continuing inside. Along with the legend, it was also known in certain circles to be a place where adolescents went to carouse. Besides the typical graffiti eyesores, there are also a couple of crudely-drawn attempts at pentagrams and inverse crosses deeper therein, as well as evidence of lower subhuman life-forms who have ventured therein. Perhaps now a stoner and devil-worshiper-type hangout.

Since this investigation, sections of Wingate Park were 'renovated' and is now known as Kahler Russell Park. In the late 90's, it was closed-down by the city for subsequent development.

Spadra Cemetery

{A.K.A., "Old Settler’s Cemetery", Pomona, CA}

Located near train tracks and a freeway, and set about 200 feet from the road, relatively hidden from view, that the casual passer-by would miss this intriguing location, is Spadra Cemetery, an odd little bone yard dating back to the 1800’s, complete with a rust-worn decrepit sign. Having an abandoned look to it, a couple of tombstones are actually toppled over.

Myself and a couple of acquaintances had entered this rather intimate cemetery one crisp autumn evening for a perusal into this legendary graveyard. As tends to be the case, an eerie silence graces this memorial park, spanning only about a couple of blocks in diameter, yet when one enters, one receives the impression of a vast, desolate, and windswept environment, reminiscent of an Old Western horror movie.

There is a pleasant grove of willow trees shielding the place from freeway view and semi-circling from within. It is from here that the supposed sounds of phantom footsteps and crashings have emminated This over-looming spot may also very well be a salacious spot for carnal indulgence as well.

I have long-since heard of various haunted activity occurring here, from the shadow of a man believed to be that of ’James Fryer’ seen sometimes disappearing into his tombstone, and if visitors become unruly, a sensation of being stabbed, pushed, or strangled is claimed to have been felt by those who misbehave.

A mysterious hot wind manifests, followed by sensations of tugging at clothing and the laughter of ghostly children "Bertie & Ernest", to being tripped. Objects dematerialize from one location, only to reappear in another one nearby which had not yet been visited, as if leading the observer to take a tour. Humorously, I have heard of someone leaving their beverage on a tombstone, only to have it reappear on another plot at the other end of the property.

The Blake Family graves yield a nurturing maternal woman protectively embracing young women who near there, accompanied by the scent of floral perfume.

The cemetery has since sadly been closed for renovation due to vandalism, and is cared for the Pomona Renovation Society, to be re-opened when proper measures have been attended to. The nearby Blake Mansion has recently been opened for tours, which had for a long time been considered haunted as well {with a splendid view of Spadra Cemetery}, and now provides the interested with the veritable {educational} ghosts of history.

Poem: The Haunted Forest by Draconis Blackthorne The Haunted / Enchanted Forest

Based on an actual location in the haunted Pasadena / Altadena hills just beyond "suicide bridge" {see below} on the premesis of 'Cobb Estate'. A unlikely nook reveals the ruins of a black iron gate, seemingly out of place, set in a crumbling wall which leads into the shadowy wilderness beyond. An abandoned asylum {which can be located by following unused rusted train tracks}, and a mansion {said to have been owned by The Marx Brothers} reside therein.

As to be expected of wilderness environments, rumors and urban mythology have developed, granting it a nefarious reputation including ghosts, orbs, being touched by invisible hands, some have claimed to have been tripped, the feeling of being watched and pursued, and the sounds of screaming children have been allegedly heard. The occasional howls of local coyotes also adds to its mysterious allure.

Of the times I have visited, I found quite a pleasant spot underneath a huge and gnarled tree which has grown over some broken cement structure, nearby an erect stone edifice resembling a monolith. From that vantage point, one may overlook the city lights in the distance. It has also been known to be a spot of salacious entertainment.

Suicide Bridge

Colorado Street "Suicide Bridge": Aesthetically beautiful "old world" architecture, ornamented stone railings, columns and archways, complete with lamp posts emitting eerie sepia lighting.

Route 666 Since December 13th, 1913 c.e., this bridge located as part of 'Route "666"', has been the sight of over 100 documented suicides. It is claimed that on certain nights, one can sometimes perceive a ghostly couple in the midst of a deadly argument. Other accounts relate that they are dancing together, with a small child holding a stuffed toy nearby. Another tale tells of a ghosty lady walking over the edge of the bridge, and yet another story relates a phantom vehicle plunging over the side.

Oakdale Cemetery
Glendora, CA

Upon entering this beautiful cemetery, besides the decibel level of the blare decreasing, one notes the marked change in temperature from the outside world of the living - it is at least 10 degrees cooler therein - a remarkable effect I have noticed with all the cemeteries I have visited, in fact. The realm of the dead does provide for a stark contrast to that experienced on a normal level amongst the herd, as infrequent being amongst them is, that is. With very few exceptions, forget the pre-made "recreation parks" made for the herd to graze & recline - cemeteries offer a kind of peace to the living uncompared to those. It can be an ideal place to study, meditate, compose, draw, paint, or even picnic, as a matter of fact. It definitely does provide for a comparison between one's incarnation & those excarnate below. Plus, those 'living' that are present are donned in black.

Swans placidly swim gracefully on a black pond round a stone fountain at the edge of the place, providing quite a welcoming environment for peace & quiet. I was accompanied by a former girlfriend on this overcast afternoon, & we began to peruse the grounds, reading some of the inscriptions on the stones, noticing some pentagrams & compasses, which we realized were Masonic graves, as represented in the 'eastern star', lest some become confused & misleadingly think these are 'satanic' graves.

One of the humorous & ironic stones was one chiseled into the shape of a cross, with the word "Crook" at its base, not to mention another which read "Graves". Besides this, we took our seat underneath a weeping willow & unfolded our rations for the afternoon. Now, before anyone believes this is somehow 'disrespectful', I think that this is actually a nice change from the constant morbidness expressed day in & day out occurring here, which is understandable, but I think the residents may have appreciated a little 'life' for a change.

As My companion & I began to converse, we began noticing movement out of the corners of our eyes, particularly someone in a red sweater darting in & out from between trees & gravestones. It appeared to be a young fellow, perhaps in his teens, with short blonde hair, although he did not come near, we began receiving subtle impressions. This was not an actual flesh & blood person, mind you, as I did look about & noticed there was no one around at the time. As it happened, we were seated a few feet from a couple of graves with pictures on them of two individuals who had died in the 70's. We agreed that they were, of all things, KISS fans, & that they had perished in a van on a night back from a concert. From there on, we began receiving these impressions, & she was practically "conversing" with 'them', asking this & that, but what was even more incredible, was that we both eventually noticed IMPRESSIONS on the grass where someone might be seated, then the smell of cigarette smoke began to permeate the atmosphere.

Later on, we decided to have more of a look around, & passed by the infant section with its many small graves, & began to hear silent whimpering sounds thereabouts.

Since then, I have returned two more times to enjoy the environment & the interesting phenomenon occurring there, which is not isolated to this cemetery, but seems to be a general constant at many if not all others.

The Hollywood Roosavelt Hotel: A Ghostly Adventure

The Haunted Roosavelt HotelI spent two nights at The Hollywood Roosavelt Hotel in Year XXXI A.S. with two lovely ladies - a brunette and a redhead. I arrived there at about 8pm, was delightfully greeted by the two, who had requested My company - the event was the redhead's birthday. I perused the main floor a bit, observing the walls with its many photographs of bygone days, primarily of the Noir Era. After about an hour of perusing, we headed up to our room, where we sat & talked about several things, & waited for midnight to come along so we could begin our ghost-sighting adventure. I had heard that this hotel was haunted by the specter of Marilyn Monroe - that her ghost appears in a mirror on the first floor. I located the mirror, stood before it, waited for a few moments, & detected what resembled a veil floating above My head, & even a faint outline of what appeared to be a human form. Satisfied with this, we walked over to the back area where the pool & outdoor lounge area is. Immediately, even though it was about 1am, I received the distinct impression of being out in daylight, at about high noon, with the murmurings of people lounged about the premesis, women clad in those classic swimsuits, & the men in theirs. We walked around there for a time, as I relayed My perceptions to My two companions. We wandered over to the garden area, where an ornate white fountain stands, where someone had placed a couple of roses.

Next, we went up to the 11th floor, where it is rumored that one can faintly detect a trumpet playing from one of the rooms, where a big-band musician would practice. No luck on that one, but we did take a gander at the marvelous scenery from a balcony, overlooking Hollywood Blvd.

On the 7th floor, it is rumored that one can hear the recitations of an actor memorizing his lines, as he paced back & forth through the hallways. To this, I must say, I did hear something with an excitable disposition - this was at about 2:30 am. Yet it was not originating from any particular direction, but seemed to encompass the entire walkway of the floor. We did remark that there were a couple of "cold spots" thereabouts as well - as a matter of fact, there are many places throughout the hotel which contain these. Places where no draft should be. At about 3:00 am, we decided to retire back to our room, where we rounded out this ghostly activity with an indulgent partaking of the flesh.

A Touch of The Devil...

One day an acquaintance brought forth their baby into The Noctuary for whatever reason, when the infant began as if following 'something' in the atmosphere, back and forth, laughing and giggling all the while. Upon some concentration, I perceived what appeared to be a translucent elongated streak-like form slightly silhouetted in orange-yellow light trailing through the air, which I realized were the veritable 'Hellementals' projected impressions, becoming animated at the presence of one so innocent, and it was pleasing.

Children are born with The Devil's touch, and in their innocence, are open to experience, to develop knowledge. Most therefrom grow unto ignorance of what has been forgotten.

Obviously, the others present were a bit taken aback by the reaction, curious and fascinated, but it was not all too surprising after all, considering the little ones notice such environmental subtleties {before fading}, which Magicians retain by normal practice.

Judas Ghost!

While we're on the subject, the question has arisen as to whether or not I have actually ever "seen" a 'ghost'. Besides that periphally spotted at Oakdale Cemetery, the Answer is a subjective "yes". This is what happened - about a month or two after the destruction of a particularly obnoxious organism, while enjoying the night at Satan's Hollow, I perceived what I thought looked like this individual manifesting in mist, in a whitened countenance, slowly uplifting his arms, while attired in what appeared to be the costume the "Judas" character wore in the film "Jesus Christ Superstar", which then dissipated into the night. This was particularly amusing considering the nature of his offense, and he certainly got what he deserved. Before any question arises about his "spiritual" inclinations, he considered himself to be a so-called "Palero"; that is to say, a practitioner of Palo Mayombe, and Santeria. So take that how you will. To Me, this "apparition" was a reminder and further confirmation of the diabolic justice applied.

Strange Sightings...

Every time one travels along the expanse of mountainous regions between Los Diablos and Sin City, the environment assumes a surreal Dali-like quality to it, very pleasingly enigmatic to the eyes, now and then one notices what appears to actually be certain faux hills, in which one can almost perceive openings in the sides of these, emanating lights from within, perhaps supported by grand metal skeletal structures, for experimental aircraft to make their rounds.

Upon the last excursion to The Mad Greek, traveling upon Zzyzx Road {perhaps where all those "lost items" end up}, and upon inspecting a photograph taken of the road to accentuate the eeriness of the exhilerating nocturnal experience [see right; top/middle center], it has been since noticed what appears to be a triangular light arrangement in the air - three perfectly positioned lights as if festooned upon a stealth craft - this marks the third time I have personally spotted this type of craft: the first in the wee hours at a former residence, the second while on a hike, and now this incident while on a drive.

Upon traveling deep into this area, where the public road near Area 51 is identical for miles and miles {which also contain thin pathways to various unseen locations besides}, where such terrain may lend to the impression of 'lost time'; while heading back, an interesting enigma was spotted - what appeared to be a giant humanoid form reaching forth towards the automobile, emerging from some underground opening which retracted its stretch upon being spotted, which lends to the speculation that not only are some of the surrounding hillsides possibly manufactured, but portions of the land as well, concealing hidden panels to expansive installations beneath the seemingly innocuous landscape, where all manner of experiments may be taking place, including genetic ones. Could this giant form have been the result of creating the perfect soldier? A cyborg? Alien hybrid?

It should be understood that 'environmental laws' are suspended for this restricted area, and for good reason, which would be the only way to progress technology, where it may be responsibly contained and evolved. I for one fully support the efforts of these governmental tests which are appropriately covert to remain ahead lest enemies become privy, and to avoid hysteria, through the use of misdirection.

I have not revealed all with these observations... madness is sanity... back into the night we go!

Diabolical Environmental Reverberations...

6. 8/23/XLIV: It began while enjoying a glass of Stella Artois. But what would appear in the swirl of the philtre, but no less than what appeared to be a Baphomet in the dissipating foam... horns, ears, even eyes. So we thought that was interesting, if not somewhat amusing, and completed our indulgence.

6. 8/24/XLIV: The next night, while traveling forth into the evening for some choice provisions, stopping to fuel The Dracmobile, when the glowing digital numerals upon the pump displayed a '666' upon conclusion. Every time this happens, I Am compelled to remark, to quote Gomez Addams, "...I think 'someone down there' likes us!" And the look on the teller's face is always priceless.

It is amusing to ponder what stuporstitious herdlings would do and think upon pulling up to the pump with the dreaded number of the beast glowing thereon - would they proceed to another station? Or just see it as a mere coincidence? I Am reminded of some of those prankster shows in which actors have fun at the shuffling zombies' expense. In any case, another magic-filled night is in store! Hail The Beast! Again, a rather amusing occurrence, though not uncommon in our experience. ∞

6. 8/25/XLIV: Then the very next night while returning to Blackthorne Manor after running some errands, what should we see, but a most intriguingly beautiful cloud formation upon the dusking horizon - a cumulus apparition of what appeared to be no less than a gigantic Satan looming over the mountaintops spanning miles, while directly in the center, one could perceive horns, eyes, and a nose upon a dark-gray head, peering down with cloak spread forth.*

Is there a 'meaning' to this?

Well, such circumstances occur from time to time which if anything, inspires philosophical contemplation of The Source, The Dark Force in Nature, and one's state of being {the Black Flame within}, either while out and about, or within The Lair; but what makes these events particularly remarkable is the consecutive rate of occurrence. Thus far, three nights in a row, and personally, I will take that as a positive affirmation of reflective resonance upon the environment. A 'Macrocosmic' reverberation from within.

In a Jungian sense, the conscious mind perceives what the subconscious mind is prone to express in symbolic form. Thus, when both are exercised & conjoined, a most stimulating atmosphere is appreciated!

* As a side note, just earlier that afternoon, the unexpected acquisition of Stella Artois glasses which now accompany the Fete Diaboli.

The Legend of Haunted Turnbull Canyon
Hacienda Heights / Whittier, CA

Enter At Your Own Risk!Another local spot which has developed a haunted reputation. Ironically, the very 'entrance' to the area there resides Blackthorne Productions' primary post office!

Upon some research on the subject, I found the following well-written essay on a message board of all places. I feel it deserves a more stable spot, and will be preserved here.


Whittier founder William Workman commits suicide, due to political skull-duggery.

ghosts {Indians, children}

Area founded by Spaniards on the bloodshed of local indians. Abandoned orphanage 'shacks' where children were allegedly abused and killed; rumors of a cult sacrificing them on a rock on panoramic '360' hill.

"satanic cults"*

Alleged sporadic spotting of dark robed figures with torches, and shadowy forms appearing around the area; abandoned homes used for rituals, and devil-worship-type vandalism.

Strange Creatures

Claim: Seen crossing the twisting roads, sometimes resembling large heavily-furred rodents or cats.

There are bobcats in the area as well as bears.

Insane Asylum / Mental Hospital

The abandoned structure there stands. Edifice destroyed by a fire, allegedly patrolled by an early 19th century police car.

The Dead Pools / Blood Pools

Across the way from The Asylum, are these empty pools where bodies and animal carcasses have been found. Belonging to houses which have been burned down. Sometimes frequented by skateboarders, until finally covered over.

The Nightstalker House

Claim: The porch light never extinguishes, quiet screams can be heard, behind black iron gate. Research yielded the following comment:

"...according to myth, his house, although abandoned, is still standing, even though many say it was torn down. It resides in Hacienda Heights. According to stories I've heard, if you slowly pass by it at night, you can hear screams, but you must be very quiet! Also, although the house is abandoned, and has been abandoned for years, the porch light never turns off. I've been to his house which is locked up by a huge black rod iron gate. The house resides on a twisty and curvy VERY DARK road close to Turnbull Canyon."

* Old Graveyard

Claim: Traveling a certain distance will reveal an old graveyard stemming back from pioneer days.

Actually, if one hikes deeply enough, one will eventually arrive at the outskirts of Rose Hills Memorial Park, near Rio Hondo College, where the oldest parts of the cemetery are located, containing magnificent obelisks, ornate headstones, and beautifully-gothic crypts, unlike modern variations, which are sadly just plain markers and plaques.


Personal experience of the omnipresent 'black sound' more felt that heard on a hike. Eminating overhead, eventually surrounding the area. Black pyramid variation, probably secret governmental project sometimes seen in isolated locations. A variation in stealth technology.

The Hanging Tree

A body is said to be seen from time to time hanging from a tree while driving along the road.

Gravity Hill

There are a couple of variations on this story. One version relates that some children died on this spot due to a train collision into their school bus. So now whenever someone parks too near the train tracks, the vehicle is 'pushed' out of harm's way. Another version states a couple of girls perished after a night of intoxication. Supposedly, small hand prints can be detected on the rear bumper. Some have sprinkled talcum powder thereon to reveal the prints clearer.

This anomale also takes place at other parts of the road, wherein if one leaves their vehicle in neutral, it will slowly creep uphill. Some conjecture it is an optical illusion on the landscape.


As to the eerie sensation, there definitely is 'something' to it - a certain Dark Force energy which is invigorating, and the stimulating mysteries which surround this locale adds to its intriguing nature. Despite the legendry, some of which actually adds to the experience, a slow drive along its darkened snake-like roads provides for quite an empowering contemplation.

* see The Satanic Panic Archive. Note: Satanism does not condone illegal activity, and discourages criminal behavior. Responsibility to the responsible.

Black Earth II

The Legend of Haunted Devil's Canyon

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