It was around 2006 a friend of mine named Ken visiting from Florida, he too very interested in the Manson Family history and wanted me to show him some of the sites of the famous 1969 case that are located here in Los Angeles. Spahn Ranch the home of the Manson Family is always tops on visitors list of going to, so I took him there so he could get the feel of where there they lived in the Santa Susana Pass. While we were at Spahn ranch Ken and Myself experienced one of the legends of Santa Susana Pass first hand.
I had shown him all around the cave area and the spot Manson Played his music, while also visiting one or two of Manson famous "in Case" Places Manson had there. I would tell Ken of the stories of when I first came to the ranch and would see sacrifices of dead burnt animals that lie on altars, while showing him the spots where strange things had happened. I gave him the ten dollar tour we seen it all and had a very good time on the hike. I was telling him of the other spots the Family would visit and how we needed to drive to them, one being the spot of the Fountain of the World among stops at the V.W. dune buggy graveyard and Shorty's spot that would all be on the way, but we must drive to them all.
The car we took over there was parked beside the Church on Iverson Road, as always parked over to the right side of the street at the curb. We made it to the car and got in, I started the car and drove up to the beginning of the driveway for the entrance of the church to turn around and head back down Iverson to Santa Susana Pass Road. This area where we parked is right across the street from Spahn Ranch, the lower ranch part of the ranch where the Manson Family lived. It was before we could turn around headed back towards Santa Susana Pass road, which only takes a few seconds to turn around, there was already an older style white pickup truck sitting at the side of the intersection facing towards Simi Valley on Santa Susana Pass road. I was driving and pulled up to the Intersection, waiting to let the truck go ahead, not being able to see his face , he refused to move and just sat there. I sat a few seconds behind him before going around him headed up Santa Susana Pass road.
Talking to Ken and telling him of how George Spahn owned several hundred acres here back in 1969, and we would be stopping at the upper part of the ranch next. I at that point noticed in my rear view mirror the guy in the Pick up truck was right on my ass, almost like he was following us. I told Ken we was being followed, he then aware of the situation and seeming to be concerned a slight bit, was making this more legitimate to me, we were being followed.
The upper part of the ranch is less than a mile and we would soon make it there and pull over to the side to take a look at it. I pulled into a cutout in the road and not but 50 yards up the pass the truck pulled over. This point Ken and myself were a bit concerned and slightly frightened, we sat in the car and didn't get out at the Upper part of the ranch and just drove on. It wasn't but a second and the truck was back on our tail. Now we knew this guy was following us, I at the same time was telling Ken of the fanatically church people who seem to hate me there, and the slight mention of the Legend of the "Watcher".
The story has been told by several people and most see the "Watcher" at night, one of many reported sightings went like this. One dark and chilly night while I was driving through the thin wisps of fog along the Santa Susana Pass and hoping to catch a glimpse of the headless ghost, a pair of bright headlights from a black 60s model sedan suddenly glared in my rearview mirror. It startled me a bit, as I had not seen or passed another car for many miles. The vehicle tailgated me for quite some time, making me rather nervous. But as soon as I drove past the site where Spahn’s Movie Ranch used to be, the “phantom car” seemed to mysteriously vanish into thin air.
Now as we passed the V.W. grave yard , this guy was on our ass and was now beginning to make my blood pump, when all of the sudden at the turn headed up box canyon to the Fountain of the World, he was gone. Disappeared into what seemed to be thin air in the middle of the day. It was a very exhilarating experience to say the least, and it made our tour that day very exciting, I now had the experience myself of being followed by the legend of the "Watcher" along Santa Susana Pass road. Just like the old stories said it disappeared after we drove away from Spahn ,gone into thin air, it was there, then gone. I was glad I had my friend in the car as a witness to this event, both of us now know the legend has a bit of truth to it and Santa Susana Pass has it's Ghosts.
Santa Susana Pass Road is located in Chatsworth, California. The road winds through the hills connecting Chatsworth
to the east side of Simi Valley. This road was once a stagecoach trail back in the 19th century. It is also home to Spahn’s Movie Ranch which is a deserted former studio ranch that is famous for being the Manson family hideout in the 1960s. The Ranch was destroyed by fire in 1970, with at least one murder occurring there. A ranch hand by the name of Donald Shea was stabbed to death there after trying to evict the Manson's from the property. His body was buried on the property along the railroad tracks in an unmarked grave. The area has a strange feel to it, especially during the dark of night. Some people have reported seeing the figure of a headless man standing on the rocks above the road. There has also been reports of a phantom car that follows people driving and then vanishes.
(Source: Belanger, Jeff. Encyclopedia of Haunted Places. 2005.)
Other documented sightings along the Santa Susana Pass road include, the site of the Pisgah Grande, this the site of a Pentecostal Christian commune from 1914- 1921. The faithful would hold 24 hour prayer vigils in a brick tower overlooking the community. This are is now said to be haunted by a floating, square shaped white light, which moves slowly though the trees and deserted buildings. Some suggest its the spirit of Dr. Finis Yoakum, the founder of the commune.
In January 1984, two men crashed their all-terrain vehicle after seeing what they claim was a 8 foot tall, hairy creature standing in the middle Santa Susana Pass road. One month later, three hunters came across a similar beast near their campsite in the Santa Susana Mountains.
(Source: Hauck, Dennis William. 1994. Haunted Places the national directory.)
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