As anyone who has seen me speak live knows, I love using my day job as an excuse to explore haunted sites in new locations. I filled in as assistant directer for a couple episodes of an early web series called “Awkward Embraces” (which had the tagline, “Nerdy girls need love too.” Fun show, ahead of its time and whoa, how was that back in 2011 – 12 years ago already)? Any time a job took me into a new town, like this, I would look up haunted locations in the area. In this era, the resource was TheShadowLands.net. That site was full of unfiltered reports…a good place to see everything and then try to filter through to find the diamonds in the rough. The site may have re-surfaced, but no update since 2020, so who knows.
Doing a location scout for “Awkward Embraces” brought me to West Hills, CA, which is about 40 minutes/25 miles north/inland from Santa Monica, near Calabasas. In searching for haunted locations, the name Shadow Ranch Park popped up right away, along with a seemingly random suburban block of Capistrano Avenue. I had a more full article written up on the topic years ago that I will need to relocate and publish. Visiting Shadow Ranch Park, I did something I’ve never done before…. a livestream! Cutting edge for back in the day. Here is that video:
Shadow Ranch Park is a 13-acre public park that contains a house that dates back to around 1870. Famously, Florence Ryerson, co-writer of the film adaptation for The Wizard of Oz lived here while working on what would become arguably, the most famous and beloved film ever made.
That alone is more than enough to make this location exciting, however, apparently apparitions have been seen within the house. I haven’t even looked back at the video above for ages until just recently when someone contacted me requesting info on this site. It’s at that point that I noticed several people have shared their own experiences about haunting here over the year on that YouTube video. Below, I will include their comments with a new call for you to drop a line if you’ve ever experienced anything here. Also, totally your option, please do share whether or not you’d be willing to share your story on camera. Thanks for reading!
Testimonials (some testimonials edited for clarity)
- Sophia W – posted in 2014
Growing up during the early ’90s I witnessed a boy walking around the building and would disappear. Before understanding these types of things (ghosts, supernatural, etc.) I came to find years later that a child had died there. I literally had chills everywhere. I witnessed the ghost firsthand plus I always had strange feelings I’ve NEVER felt anywhere else when I would roller skate around the building during sundown. The restrooms especially… I was never a believer til I realized what I saw later. I’d literally play at that park day in day out from 94-99. I just don’t understand why we get to see these ghosts as children and not to easily today. The boy was seen on the second story at a time when the windows were boarded up. We would also hear the sound of a small child running around, but there was nothing visual to accompany that.
- John O’D. – posted in 2014
I grew up in a house on Capistrano ave. It was haunted, i saw shadow people, tv antennas moving. A lot of strange things.I would really like to see someone investigate my old house. Shadow Ranch does have a haunted kind of vibe to it, been there many times. Shadow Ranch was the Albert Workman Ranch along with the surrounding 13,000 acres up until about 1930’s. It was sub divided into house lots with the 13 remaining acres as the park.
- Terry hollands – Posted in 2017
From 1967 to 1970 we used to hang out the park all the time. We never thought the park was haunted, but we thought there was magic in the air.
- Miriam P – Posted in 2012
My husband and another friend spent a night in that house back in the 70’s. It’s definitely haunted. Lots of unexplainable stuff happened.
- Carole M – Posted in 2017
(EDITOR’S NOTE: There were many other posts about hauntings on Capistrano Ave that I’m not including here. However, I am including this one as the time period of the visions may tie in with the same era from when the house was built. Also, this area is about 1.5 miles from Shadow Ranch Park.)
I lived at 7711 Capistrano Ave. (Shoup & Saticoy) from 2002-2014. I have seen, up & down the Street, spirits dressed in a particular time period… Guys with the “Handle Bar” Mustaches, and wide-striped clothing. I wasn’t the only one who has witnessed this. All the people (spirits) were lined up only on my side of the street, and all were busy doing some kind of chore, like sweeping, carpentry, etc. A couple of times one of the Spirits stopped what is was they were doing, then turned their heads to glance at us for a few seconds, then would go back to work. I felt as though that “area” was perhaps some sort of Way-Station.
- “SOLIDUS” – posted in 2013
You can see an old man looking out the window on top.
- Dan – posted in 2017
OMG – I always played here and thought it was haunted