A couple of years ago on one of those shows like Sightings or
Encounters they did a piece on Pacheco Pass, which is located on
California Hwy 152 between Los Banos and Hollister (in the "Diablo
Range"). Pacheco Pass is said to haunted (or cursed) and this stretch
of road is reported to have the most fatal accidents in the state. In
the piece, they interviewed people who claimed to have seen ghosts
while driving through the pass; one person who drove through the pass
at night claimed that some sort of demon appeared in the back seat of
his car. The hauntings (or curse) supposedly began when a native
American tribe was driven out of the area by Spanish colonists back in
the 18th century.
Anyway, I figured this was just story-telling, but a couple of months
ago I was in the area so I thought I'd drive through Pacheco Pass just
to see if anything would happen. I drove west on Rt. 152 from Los
Banos around the San Luis Reservoir on a sunny afternoon. The
landscape is rolling hills covered with grass and chapperal - few
trees. The road (a 4-lane highway) follows a winding route up the side
of a narrow valley (on the left side) passing many gulleys on the
right side. The drive was uneventful passing the reservoir and I had
dismissed the possibility of seeing any ghosts when an odd thing
happened - just as I rounded a bend entering a large gulley a very odd
feeling came over me - it's hard to describe - it felt like fear - a
tightening in the stomach and stiffness - but there was nothing to be
afraid of. The feeling became stronger as I passed the center of the
gulley and then diminished as I rounded the next bend. I noticed the
same sensation a few more times - though not as strong - passing
smaller gulleys near the mountain top. I didn't notice any odd
sensations descending the pass on the west side or during the rest of
I'm inclined to think that the high accident rate in Pacheco Pass is
probably just due the fact that it's a steep, winding road with heavy
traffic - but there does seem to be something strange about this
place. Has anyone else driven through Pacheco Pass? Notice anything
The other night I was working with my back to the door, making salads.
The only other person working, was in the milk cooler...restocking the
dairy cases. For no reason, I stopped what I was doing, and turned
around. I saw a shadow or what appeared to be a heavily set male, in a
trench coat, with glasses...slide past the windows, over the wall, and to
the front door. Then it retreated in the opposite direction. I just
stood there for a minute trying to understand what I had seen, and why I
was feeling so scared. I ran around the store quickly to see if anyone
had gotten in with out my knowledge....there was no one, so I ran
outside...no one. I finally ran back to the cooler and told my co-worker
what I had seen. He agreed it was bizarre, and told me to stay near the
phone in case anything happed. The rest of the night was uneventful.
But everytime someone walked by the windows, I would look over....it was
NEVER just a shadow....I could always see the person in detail!
My co-worker told our manager, who had worked at the original Gariety's.
She wasn't surprised, and told him that there was a kid who worked there
before either me or my co-worker who had seen the same exact image, and
that she felt it was old man Gariety. He would never have been happy
with the place.
So in the many years this store has been around only me and one other
have seen him. Or only one other and I have spoken about it.
So, I've seen my first ghost.
It was scary, and unexpected, but nothing that will scar me for life...or
even a day. Which is a good thing :)
I grew up in California. So did my Mom. And she would rather drive hundreds of miles out of her
way than go through the Pacheco Pass. She says it is too dangerous. She has also said that no
matter what time of day or night she has been through, there is always somebody walking on the
road or creating a hazard in some way. (Not too likely!) Last time she went that way she had a
bizzare experience. It was 3am and she was feeling tired. She said to herself "I need some Spike
Jones to keep me going." She switched on her radio and guess what started to play. The next song
was the song she had chosen my name from (she was on her way to see me at the time). That freaked
her out. She turned off the radio and didn't yawn once the rest of the journey. AND she never
drove that way again! I promised her I would never drive through the pass and I have kept that
promise. So no first hand experience, sorry.
ez04...@dale.ucdavis.edu (Stacey Flowerdew) scribbled: