Scott and I decided to start the new year off right and pick a new creepy spot to visit for the start of 2016!
We often get asked about Manson family locations, and though we do touch on the subject of the murders, and are somewhat well versed, it is not a piece of history we focus on much.
That being said, when we were talking about the first place to go for the new year, both Scott’s and my first thought was to head up to the remains of Spahn Ranch and hike out to the famous “Manson Family Cave.”
The ranch has been around since 1862 when J.R. Williams received 160 acres after the Homestead Act was passed by the US Government. The land itself is part of the Santa Susana Pass, the main transport road between LA and Santa Barbra during the mission days. The land was used in early silent films and even owned by William S Hart for a time, before finally ending up in the hands of George Spahn.
By the time the Manson Family arrived in 1968, the ranch was only being used occasionally for TV shows and locals for renting horses to ride around the property for an afternoon. I won’t write much about Manson’s time on the ranch, which is often shrouded in contradictory urban legends. Plenty of other people have done so before me, and in a much better way than I could. You can read LA Curbed’s Post on the ranch HERE
The property burned down in 1970, so there wasn’t much for Scott and I to explore while we were there. We hope to find a map containing the old building locations so we can explore with a bit more direction on our next visit. If you have such a map, please share!
Actually, to call this excursion a hike is more than a little exaggeration. It’s really not a hike at all! After reading a few blogs and our with our previous experiences hiking to other creepy spots, we expected a lot worse. We were warned about Poison Ivy and Rattle Snakes, and though we didn’t see any, I’m sure it is still a danger!
The path is narrow, but fairly direct, it’s also littered with morbid little reminders of where we were. (To the left is an example: a displayed modern picture of Manson; green little skeletons dot the area)
We found the cave quickly and took our obligatory selfie (up at the top). We were surprised to see that there were quite a few other people there. We talked a bit and then went back to poking around the property.
People often report paranormal goings on at Spahn Ranch, which seem to be mostly residual in nature. Scott and I did not do an investigation on the property on this visit, so we don’t have anything to add on to the subject.
We didn’t spend much longer at Spahn Ranch, before heading back to our car, but we took pictures of a few items. There are plenty of pieces of building material, plates, car parts and more that require more examination to properly attach to dates. That said, we felt satisfied with our first adventure of the year!