Big Sur Ghost Myth

Ghost Story: 

In Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park lies the cabin of John Pfeiffer, the founder of the State Park. He lived in a cabin with his family nearly 200 years ago, and it still stands, rickety and weathered, in the forest along the Big Sur River. It is said that his ghost still lives in the cabin and haunts the campers who set foot on the cabin at night, so the campers must stay away from the area and cannot hike up to the cabin if they want to avoid being haunted.


The informant grew up hearing this ghost story told whenever she would camp in Big Sur over the summer. The story would be told by family, friends, and soon all of the parents of the children that she camped with. It became a tradition to tell this ghost story around the campfire at night, and then hike to the house to scare the children.


This ghost story is a prime example of society’s fascination with the paranormal. If this ghost story was actually true, wouldn’t the campers want to stay away from the cabin to avoid being haunted? Instead, many people seem to chase ghosts, and often try to perform the act that these ghost stories specifically warn them not to. This shows that people are more interested in the thrill of ghost stories and the paranormal than they are actually afraid of ghosts. This could also be because ghost stories do not have a very high truth value; most people who “believe” in ghosts might not actually anticipate seeing one. Rather, it is more the concept of the paranormal that they want to believe than their actual expectation of being haunted by a ghost.