White Lady of Santa Cruz
Ocean Street Extension and Graham Hill Road,
Alternately Ocean Street Extension and Quail Crossing,
Santa Cruz, California
A very popular legend in Santa Cruz is that of the White Lady. The White Lady of Santa Cruz appears as a white figure in a bloody white gown. When encountered she is often mumbling about killing those she meets. She mostly haunts the cement slabs of her former home, but has been seen up and down Ocean Street Extension from Quail Crossing down to and even inside the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery. It is said that she still floats along the road, from the cemetery up to the Masonic Club looking for revenge.
Originally located on Quail Crossing, her former house was completely torn down in 2000 or 2001, but before that it was a popular party and make out spot for local high school teenagers. The house was only four graffitied walls before it was torn down, having lost its roof in a fire in 1970. Supposedly the cement slab of the house still resides on the hill where the house once stood.
The high school kids back in the day were said to have hung white dresses in the trees which may have helped contribute to all the white lady sightings.
The main legend, however, goes back to the 1870s, and tells of a woman from Massachusetts who was a mail order bride. She came out to Santa Cruz for an old German drunkard, and soon after they were married. He was a terrible husband, often forcing her to wear her white wedding dress. He would get himself drunk and then while she was wearing the dress, beat her. Eventually she decided to leave him, but sadly he found out before she could maker her escape. He beat her to death, decapitated her, and then set the house on fire with her body inside. Another story has a slightly different ending with him drugging her, and then leaving her in the house while he set it on fire.
Of course the house or some house was there until around 2000, so either it was rebuilt after his fire, or the fire didn't burn it to the ground. As mentioned above, another fire was reported in 1970, which left the cottage roofless, with only the four walls remaining.
And since then, she has roamed her property and the neighborhood around it. She's even suppose to be a violent spirit, with a report that she threw an ax at one kid's head one night. Besides encountering the threatening spirit, people have also heard moaning on the property, as well as heard footsteps walking through the gravel on the property.
She has been seen from the Masonic Club down to and perhaps even inside the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery.
Speaking of the cemetery, it is rumored to be extremely haunted. Visitors at night have seen dark figures roaming the grounds, heard voices, and seen faces appear in both the dark and on the headstones. If that wasn't enough, just getting into the cemetery at night can be difficult, as their is a malicious spirit that assaults cars as they approach. If you pull a car into the cemetery's driveway with the car lights on, a large white, and very violent spirit will materialize before you, scratching your car and attempting to open your car doors as it tries to chase intruders away. Some descriptions report that it wears overalls and carries a shovel, which has led to speculation that perhaps it's a former cemetery caretaker.
Anyway, be careful, if you visit the cemetery at night. For in addition to dark figures and a ghost that attacks your car, you might just run into the wandering White Lady of Santa Cruz. Don't let her throw an ax at your head!
Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery also has the gravestone and body of William Waddell, but not his arm!
- Ghost Hunter's Guide to Monterey and California's Central Coast (2010) by Dwyer, Jeff, p: 89 - 90
- Supernatural Santa Cruz - Second Edition (2013) by Graves, Aubrey, p: 216 - 225
Last Edited: 2014-09-19