Jun 2, 2018

A Paranormal Tour of San Jose

San Jose is 55 miles south of San Francisco, about 1 1/2 hours by BART, or an hour if you rent a car. 

In the high-tech Silicon Valley: its top employers are Adobe, Apple, and Intel.  Yet, with all the STEM math, science, and techno going on, it is a paranormal hot spot.  There are ghosts wandering the corridors of nearly every school, cryptid monsters lurking behind dumpsters, weird cults chanting in the park, and half a dozen haunted highways.  Perfect for a paranormal day trip from Gay Heaven.

9:00 am: Winchester Mystery House, 525 S. Winchester Blvd.

Sarah Winchester, who was earning the modern equivalent of $25,000 per day from her Winchester gun company, began work on her house in 1884.  Construction continued without stopping until her death in 1922.  She kept making changes, often stopping workers in the midst of one project to start on another.  There are rooms within rooms, staircases that lead nowhere, doors too small for a human to get through.

Contrary to popular belief, Sarah wasn't responding to instructions from the ghosts of people killed by her rifles.  In those days people weren't particularly sensitive to gun violence, so the ghosts would not have held her responsible, nor would she have felt guilty about it.  She was just an extremely wealthy woman with a lot of architectural ideas and no master plan.  The result is a fascinating, beautiful house, with a few stray ghosts wandering around.

10:30 am. Santana Row, just across the street, is a pedestrian mall with some interesting shops and restaurants.  I like brunch at the Village California Bistro.  "Santana" is actually derived from "Santa Ana," and means "holy," but it sounds uncomfortably close to "Satanic," so it always gives me a shiver of wrongdoing.

12:00 pm  The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, 1660 Park Avenue

The Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis is a secret society devoted to the preservation of esoteric knowledge, some of which dates back to the mystery cults of ancient Egypt.  But they have an impressive collection of real Egyptian antiquities in their museum.

Be sure to walk in the Rosicrucian Park afterwards.

2:00 pm: Del Mar High School, 1224 Del Mar Avenue.  The fieldhouse is haunted by a boy who was murdered by his best friend in 1942.  He can be seen running up and down the bleachers, and every night at 3:15 am, he lets out a blood-curdling scream.

Stories like this always make me wonder if there is a gay angle: maybe the boy told his friend that he had a crush on him, and the friend responded with murderous "gay panic."

Generations of Del Mar students have taken the dare to go to the fieldhouse at 3:00 am, only to be pranked by a confederate dressed in white, running up and down the bleachers and screaming.

While you're at Del Mar, you might as well look at some swimmers or wrestlers.

4:30 pm.  Hicks Road. About 7 miles south of Del Mar High, Hicks Road winds around a reservoir and some hilly woods, with some dirt roads leading who knows where.   According to the urban legend, cars driving through at night are chased by "blood albinos," pale people with blood-red eyes who scream at you.  Some parapsychologists think that they're creatures from another dimension, screaming at you from a space-time portal.  Or maybe they're demons. 

Or just local residents resentful of outsiders.

If he looked like this, I might let him catch me.

5:30 Mac's Club, 39 Post Street, in the heart of San Jose's gay neighborhood. Late at night you can hear someone sobbing in one of the stalls in the bathroom, but when you investigate, there's no one there. 

7:00 pm.  Time to get back to San Francisco, unless the person sobbing in the stall has invited you home.


  1. You have to wonder why no one thinks Henry Ford was haunted by ghosts because a statistics background will give you the unique power to burn all political agendas to ash.

    The Rosicrucian story is interesting because right now I'm reading a Brian Lumley novel set in ancient Egypt. Or Khem, as the characters call it. No gay angle, other than that no heterosexual reading it will want to be with the opposite sex again.

    I assume stories about teens killing a friend have a gay angle, too. Not sure if kids in the 40s generally knew what gay was (not to say there we're no boys having sex, just that they might not see it as deviant; the academics were generally the homophobic ones in the 40s, and even preachers spent more time talking about the evils of drinking, dancing, sex meaning heterosexual sex, integration, and foreign extremists, such as communists, fascists, and Nazis), but suddenly being the object of desire is different than desiring.

    Fun fact: Albinos mostly have blue eyes. Blue is the way light scatters: Lower frequencies show in a pink diamond, but higher frequencies show in an iris. Go figure. So, possibly something demonic or eldritch?

    Possibly another tragic romance.

    1. I like the gay albino demon angle. Sounds like there's a story in there.


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