Contemporary Legend – Claremont, CA

The Thompson Creek Trail Ghost Story

There is a trail, up in the Claremont Mountains, called The Thompson Creek Trail.  A group of high school kids went up to the trail one night about ten to fifteen years ago (this is supposedly a true story).  They went up the trail to see if anything fun was going on in the mountains and to chill.  While walking, they walked over a bridge to other side of creek and found an old foundation of a house, often described as “ruins.”  One of them stepped inside of the foundation and jumped back out.  The kid was really freaked out and said he heard screaming when he stepped within the foundation; another kid tested this and claimed the same.   Suddenly, a silvery ghost-like figure of a woman appeared and told them to leave and that they did not want to know about the things that had happened there.  One of the kids asked what had happened and why they wouldn’t want to know.  She proceeded to explain that her husband used to beat her in the house and one day he went crazy and locked their infant child in the house and set the house on fire. The child died that night and the screaming they heard inside the foundations was the screaming of the child.  Another one of the kids asked a question and the silvery ghost woman screamed a blood-curling scream.  All of the kids scattered and ran away scared.  Today, people go up the Thompson Creek Trail at night for the thrills, and according to hikers the foundation actually exists.  Sometimes people claim to see random piles of sticks and shabbily built alters, or even sacrificed animals by the foundations.

People tell the story in groups on occasions such as Halloween.  Hope heard it from her science teacher on Halloween when she was 15.  The room was dark with only Bunsen burners lighting the room, a suitable environment for ghost story telling.  The story was just for fun to scare everyone because Halloween is a time of year when everyone is trying to scare each other.

I think it’s interesting that this ghost story is about an actual place.  I think that the story was probably originally formulated to explain the unknown—why are there ruins of a house in the middle of a mountain and what happened to make them ruins.  People often devise stories to explain the unexplainable.  The story also shows the curiosity of humanity as the kids imply further and further to the ghost woman, and people go up to see the ruins for thrills.  Mysterious things fascinate humanity, and humans often think that if they can physically see something then they will be able to explain it, hence why people go visit the ruins—to prove to themselves first of all, that the ruins are there, and second of all, that there is or isn’t a ghost that haunts them.