NOTE: This post is written as a short follow up to our recent article Black Star Canyon- Urban Legend
Normally I don’t write about Urban Legends or paranormal activity, I’d rather write about awesome waterfalls and rainbows like HERE
Or about trail running and racing like HERE
But for our Halloween special, my older brother John wrote about the Urban Legends surrounding Orange County’s Black Star Canyon.
It’s been generating a lot of attention and people have been asking us to elaborate about the “shadows” that were seen running across the trail and my encounter on a different occasion in a different location.
Shadow Figure – First Encounter
I was 13 or 14 years old when my older brother John and his friends took me to Black Star Canyon for night hiking and ghost hunting.
As mentioned in the previous article, there was a post at the dark trailhead for Silverado Canyon that looked like a kid in a hoodie. Per tradition, they brought me to this post which in the combination of darkness, moonlight, and the fact that I didn’t yet know I needed prescription glasses, did in fact look like a pale ghost-kid standing guard to the entrance of this mysterious place I had grown up hearing stories about.
I was told to go kick the kid. Heck no, these guys are crazy. I may be dumb enough to come out into woods I had believed were haunted, but I was just short of stupid enough to go around kicking ghost kids.
John’s friend, Raul, teased me for cowardice and walked up to the apparition and gave it a kick. As a metallic sound rang out, my eyes adjusted and I realized that it was just an optical illusion.
Not one for subtlety, he kept kicking the post, and as he did, we saw three or four shadowy figures run from the tree line, across the trail, and into another tree line behind him. There was something about the way that they moved; you didn’t really get the vibe that they were human.
We quickly called him to come back to the group.
We stood around for a bit in the parking lot discussing what we had seen when we started to hear loud commotions in different locations just outside of view. At the time, it sounded like entire trees were falling. John and I were back in the car and buckled up before the sound even stopped while his friends stood around wondering what it was. Either way, it seemed pretty clear that this was our way of not being welcomed.
Did it follow me home??
Back then, our neighborhood was the kind where all the kids hung around each other all afternoon and night. Shortly after our Black Star Canyon trip, all the kids in my neighborhood were across the street from my house celebrating a quinceanera (Mexican sweet 15) . The majority of us kids were in my neighbor Peter’s garage that night. There was one kid, who none of us really knew, outside smoking marijuana.
He came into the garage, and said, “Justin, your dad’s outside looking for you.”
This immediately was a red flag. We all knew without a doubt that my father wasn’t in town.
Peter, a football player, weightlifter, sometimes bully and sometimes guardian, immediately stood up to come with me to investigate the situation. The rest of the neighborhood kids followed us out onto the front driveway.
Across the street, standing at the corner of my house, stood a tall, muscular looking, shadow figure. It wasn’t a 2D shadow along the fence, it was 3D. It looked CGI. I’ve always described it as the way the Mummy looked in Part One, just sorta fake but 3D.
As all the neighborhood kids stood staring at the 3D shadow, it began walking down the street along my wooden fence. To clarify: In front of the fence as a figure, not on the fence as a shadow. As it walked, pieces of it began disappearing until it completely faded through.
We kept asking the stoner kid, why he had said it was my dad and why he thought he was looking for me. He kept saying something stupid like, “I don’t know man, I’m really high. I just figure because it was in front of your house.” I’m still annoyed by him.
Peter later told me, that he had seen the shadow figure appear once again, standing still under a street light around 3am. He said he ran towards it to see what it was but that it had disappeared before he reached it. I don’t think Peter was BS’ing, if he had seen it, he was the kind of guy who really thought he could have fought it.
The Last Time I Went Chasing Ghosts
In the years leading up to my 21st birthday, my friends and I would get into long conversations and debates about philosophy, science, and politics. One day, the subject of ghosts came up and off we went to the hills on a quest for science.
The streets were much more lit on the way there and it certainly wasn’t as spooky. The night hike itself was anticlimactic on the Santiago Canyon side. On the Black Star Canyon side, we heard strange noises coming from different directions. (A friend from Texas told me there’s a small animal that digs burrows in which it yells into to confuse predators, this is probably what we heard)
At one point, our friend E.P., who was already a Combat Veteran, asked, “wait, so are we trying to get scared? Like, we want to find something right, and be chased out by it, right?”
Once the question was said aloud, it’s like an era changed. There was no good answer. There are other things I chase now.
Why I Won’t go Night Hiking There
I’ve been back in those hills many times since then during the day. It’s a beautiful place. Silverado Canyon is especially beautiful immediately after it rains. Although it may be hard to find parking, the area is especially green and there are rivers that only flow after rain.
Although I don’t find Black Star Canyon to be an interesting hike, I’ve mountain biked it all the way to the Doppler at the top of skyline drive in Corona.
1st, urban legends aside, it’s not the most interesting trail to night hike.
2nd, I grew up hearing stories about this place that I’d rather not find out are true.
3rd, I don’t want to add my name to the list of people who go out there and cause trouble.
4th, Finally: I don’t want to run into the type of people that go up there and cause trouble. The rape that was mentioned in the other article, one of the gangsters went to the same school as I did. He seemed like a good kid; turns out he’s not. It’s just a bit too real for me.
Whether I believe the legend is true or not, I can’t say. What I do believe is that energy is contagious. I want to spend my time focusing on attracting positive energy; not necessarily trying to attract what may be at Black Star Canyon.
I don’t need to be followed home.
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