Oct 30, 2012 12:00 PM CDT
There are plenty of haunted houses, churches and cemeteries all over the country that boast annual sightings of ghouls, ghosts and all manner of other things that go bump in the night, but what about skate spots? Does America have spooky spots? Haunted handrails? Ghoulish pools? Turns out America has its fair share of demonic spots and CCS is here to break down the shocking stories behind them. Shred if you dare.
Editors Note: Some of these spots truly are haunted and some, well, maybe not so much. Can you guess which ones are legit and which ones are phony baloney?
Alcatraz-San Francisco, California - There are few spots more obviously haunted than the dreaded prison island of Alcatraz. Closed since 1963, the island hosted some of the country’s most feared and dangerous convicts. Many went insane, killed themselves and others within the prison’s fortified concrete walls. A brave few attempted escape taking their chances in the icy, shark-infested waters of San Francisco Bay. Most never made it out alive—adding to this prison’s haunted factor. As far as we know, the first (and only?) brave soul to step to The Rock was none other than Mark Gonzales in this famous photo shot for Thrasher Magazine by legendary photography, Bryce Kanights.
El Toro - Orange County, California - Located just off the bustling 5 freeway in Orange County, California, El Toro is one handrail whose name and reputation for claiming body parts precedes it. Over the years, this 20 stair behemoth has broken the bones, smashed the teeth and cracked the skulls of a great many warriors brave enough to step to its jaws. But has anyone actually died there? Rumor has it that one unlucky soul ventured to El Toro early one morning to handle some unfinished business. He took the leap, paid the piper and never recovered. School janitors now report unexplainable grinding sounds on the handrail at night as if someone is skating it, but nobody is ever there. Spooky.....
Boyle Heights Skatepark - Los Angeles, California - Anyone who’s ever skated this relatively new Dyrdek skate plaza opened on in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles will have surely noticed the undeniably eerie looking abandoned hospital directly across the street. Documented by the Travel Channel in its ghost adventures show, this spooky building is about as creepy as it gets. With long dark halls, rooms full of old and decayed medical equipment and plenty of heavy steel doors, this spot might just be the scariest on our list. We know a few fearless skaters who’ve snuck in for peek, but enter at your own risk cause there’s plenty of paranormal activity inside. Photo By: Neil Kremer from his photo article HERE.
Woodward East - Woodward, Pennsylvania - For most, Woodward Skate Camp in rural Pennsylvania is a fun and exciting summer getaway. But as many long stay campers and counselors that attend will tell you, Woodward East has an out of the world secret that’s scared the pads off several campers over the years. Many have reported seeing a strange green orb floating just above the treeline of the surrounding mountains just after sunset. Witnesses report this unexplainable green orb as floating and then suddenly shooting across the mountain range at unexplainably high speeds. So far there's been no reports of alien abductions, but it sounds like Woodward definitely has a UFO situation on its hands.
Fort Miley - San Francisco, California - Many skaters visiting San Francisco flock to Fort Miley for its epic natural banks and classic photo opportunities against the backdrop of the surrouding forrest. But tourists and locals beware, Fort Miley has a history dating back to the late 1800s where it was used as a coastal outpost for soldiers during the first and second World Wars. Some of those soldiers are still there today according to some who report chilling tales of an undeniable ghostly presence at around sunset. When the fog rolls in you should make yourself scarce or else someone or some thing might just do it for you.
Mt Baldy - San Bernardino, California - With sessions dating back to the 1970s the hallowed fullpipe of Mount Baldy claims some of the most historic of skate photos of some of the most iconic skaters of all time. But as any visitor there will tell you, Baldy isn’t the easiest place to get into and it’s high walls are certainly not for the faint of heart. To access the depths of Baldy skaters need to hop a gap and drop down inside the steep walls of the pipe during the dry months of summer. Legend has it that in 1983 a lone skater dropped into the Baldy hole, knocked himself unconscious during a solo session and was swept away by a spring time flash flood never to be seen again. Some report ghastly howls echoing through the pipes in the evenings. If you session there, be sure to get out before nightfall.
City Hall - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Anyone who knows anything about the early days of East Coast skateboarding will recall the epic sessions at Philly’s famed City Hall just across from the famed LOVE Park. Ranking as the most haunted city in America, Philly has its fair share of forefatherly ghosts who are particularly fond of lurking around the city’s historic buildings and monuments. There are plenty of reports of unexplainable activity and ghostly encounters around these monuments including City Hall. Made famous in the early days by guys like Ricky Oyola, Matt Reason and Sergei Trudnowski, City Hall ranks high on the spooky list, but you’re far more likely have an encounter with security before encountering any ghosts at this spine chilling spot.
Hawthorne Skatepark - Los Angeles, California - Located in the heart of South Central Los Angeles, Hawthorne Skatepark is the home turf of CCS Pro Theotis Beasly and a great place to shred for local skaters, but it’s also a haven and hangout for local gangbangers who aren’t always the friendliest of characters. One morning a group of local shredders hit the park for an am session and discovered a body at the bottom of one of the bowl corners who was apparently the victim of an attempted skater jacking gone wrong. Thus far there’s been no reports of hauntings, but that doesn’t mean that a gangbaning ghost won’t one day return looking to claim his set and handle some unfinished business with the local skaters.
Gonzales “Gonzos” Pool - Los Angeles, California - In the mid 1970s Jose Gonzales was a well-loved hollywood actor who hosted many a wild party at his Westside flat with an epic kidney in the back. During the Dogtown Days, Ray Flores and the boys barged his pool for a session. Instead of kicking them out, Jose was stoked and invited them back as entertainment for his guests who marveled at their deep end skateboard trickery as they sipped drinks and mingled poolside. Jose has since passed away and his house was left vacant for many years hosting a ton of skaters who came to shred its historic and pioneering walls. Sadly the historic Gonzales pool was filled in this year, but rumor has it that the benevolent ghost of Mr. Gonzales was still around in the final days. Fear not brave shredder, the kind and humorous nature of "Mr. G" carried over beyond the grave and if you happen to see him he’s probably just there to tip a ghostly cocktail to your skateboard moves. RIP Gonzales Pool. RIP Jose Gonzales. PHOTO: Via Blue Tile Obsession
Asbury Park Pool - Asbury Park, New Jersey - Located in the historic and notoriously haunted neighborhood of Asbury Park New Jersey, the historic Asbury pool is a staple for local shredders. But as all the locals know, Asbury Park is full of fiendish reports particularly along the boardwalk where everything from ghostly apparitions and strange glowing orbs to unexplainable calliope music heard playing have been seen and heard during the night. It seems as if Asbury Park’s history and reputation as a seaside site for mayhem and rabble rousing continues with some of its early patrons beyond the grave. Shredding here if you dare, but keep your eyes open for ghouls and spooks as they’re most certainly all around. Photo: Charles Samuals via The House Of Steam (Andy Kessler, Bill Rogers, Tony Alva, Bud Baum, Tom Martyn, Bryan Lathrop)