Weird California
Weird California
Weird California - By Joe Parzanese

Dark Watchers

Avila Beach, California 93424

Monterey, California

From about Avila Beach, through San Luis Obispo, and all the way up to Monterey, runs the Santa Lucia Mountains. Lurking within these mountains are the strange and mystifying Dark Watchers. The Dark Watchers, as they have come to be known, are apparently giant human like phantoms that are only seen at twilight, standing silhouetted against the night sky along the ridges and peaks of the mountain range. When spotted, the beings are usually seen staring off into the open air of the mountains seemingly at nothing in particular before vanishing into thin air occasionally right before the spectators eyes.

Who or what the Watchers are, no one knows. Where they came from or why they are there, again lost in speculation. And what they are looking for or watching is beyond anyone's current comprehension.

The Chumash Indians first spoke of them in legends and their cave painters drew them in their colorful wall drawings. Later legendary author John Steinbeck described them in his short story, "Flight":

1970's Stamp of Robinson Jeffers
1970's Stamp of Robinson Jeffers

Also in 1937, the poet Robinson Jeffers mentioned them in his poem "Such Counsels You Gave to Me" as "forms that look human . . but certainly are not human". If Jeffers or Steinbeck ever actually saw one of the Watchers is unknown, but the local legend has been around since long before they wrote about it.

In the mid sixties, a Monterery Peninsula local who was the past principal of a local high school saw them while hiking in the mountains. He had enough time to study the dark figure, to see its clothing and notice how the figure was strangely studying the mountains. When the principal called out to his fellow hikers, the figure disappeared.

Other, more recent sightings have included a dark hat and cape in the description of the mountain residing phantoms.

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Last Edited: 2007-05-08