Flashlight Tour of Pioneer Memorial Cemetery - Atlas Obscura

Sylmar, California

Flashlight Tour of Pioneer Memorial Cemetery

Join us as we take a nighttime stroll around the mysterious and macabre Pioneer Memorial Cemetery.

Join Curbed and KCET’s Hadley Meares as we explore the second oldest cemetery in San Fernando Valley by flashlight.

Active between 1874 and 1939, the history of Pioneer Memorial Cemetery has more plot twists than a movie by M. Night Shyamalan. During this adventure, we'll recount some of the mysteries – and some of the discoveries – as we stroll the grounds of this heavily vandalized, historic graveyard. There will be tales of all night ghost investigations, missing gravestones that made their way back, and pets chucked over the fence in a case of mistaken graveyard identity. Included will be findings of a ground-penetrating radar survey to find lost graves, updates on research about the cemetery’s resident citizens, and stories about the San Fernando Valley Historical Society’s ongoing preservation and restoration efforts to save the 140-year-old cemetery from further decline. Our tour guide on this nighttime adventure will be the extremely knowledgeable Jacky Walker of the San Fernando Valley Historical Society

For more information, read Hadley's article: What Lies Beneath: The Many Mysteries of Pioneer Cemetery

Notes for this adventure:

Please bring your own flashlight.

Pioneer Memorial Cemetery is located in the semi-equestrian community of Sylmar, approximately 40 miles from Downtown LA.

Unlike active and manicured cemeteries, Pioneer is in a natural “prairie” state so the grounds are dry and dusty, depending on the weather.

Please wear proper walking shoes and remember that it will be dark for most of the tour (there are red ants on the premises, so sandals are not advisable).

Street parking is available, but limited and in a residential area. Please be respectful of the neighbors, and carpool if possible.

There is a porta-potty onsite, but otherwise there are no facilities.

Advance ticket sales only. All sales are final.