Black Star Canyon – Silverado, California - Atlas Obscura

Black Star Canyon

The site of murders and Satanic cult gatherings. 


Black Star Canyon is a remote canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains in Orange County, California, that is popular with hikers and mountain bikers.

The canyon is an important archaeological site and supposedly a hot bed of paranormal activity. The Gabrielino - also called the Tongva - Native American tribe would migrate to the canyon during the summer to escape the heat and gather acorns. The tribe was involved in several conflicts with Spanish conquistadors and Mexican settlers throughout the 1800s, which resulted in the death of many Native Americans. The brutal slaughter of these people has given rise to a number of ghost tales, the oldest of which is the story of “La Llorona” - a woman who murdered her own children and then committed suicide. It is also said that the spirits of Spanish conquistadors have been seen in the canyon.

In the 1980s, the canyon was used as a meeting place for a Satanic cult. Hikers often mistook the cult to be the Ku Klux Klan, since many bonfires were seen in the canyon during the cult’s gatherings.

The canyon is prone to long silences and then sudden gusts of wind due to its geography, a characteristic which has loaned itself to the canyon’s eerie reputation.

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