The year was 1972. My high school friends Eugene Pointer, Willie Reid, John Hester and I, headed down to the Point Sur Lighthouse in Big Sur. My high school friends and I, at the time lived in San Bruno. For kicks, we would sometimes hitchhike up and down Highway #1. We would hang out at Devil’s Slide on Highway #1. If Eugene was driving, he would always stop by Free Beach and San Gregorio Beach to check out the women on the beach. If I was hitchhiking on Highway #1 by myself, I would stop over at Sanchez Adobe Ranch to see my then girlfriend at the time, named Rachel Nunez. Rachel’s father would have me cleaning out the horse’s stalls, before I could ride one of the horses with Rachel.
Areas along Highway #1 are very haunted, especially around Devil’s Slide. Many cars have went over the sheer cliffs of Devil’s Slide. Eugene claims that on one night, he actually saw a car go over Devil’s Slide. Eugene parked his bright orange Volkswagon along the embankment and looked over the cliff. Eugene did not see a crashed car. The first thought in Eugene’s mind is that he saw a ghostly car go over the cliff. That is the only explanation that Eugene could think of. Along Devil’s Slide there also have been suicidal jumpers.
Here is an example of a man and woman that lost their lives at Devil’s Slide. according to a local news site: “A man whose van swerved off Devil’s Slide yesterday was ejected safely onto the rocky cliff but apparently plunged to his death after vowing to rescue his wife from the sea below. Drivers along Highway 1 told authorities they saw the southbound Ford Aerostar veer over a dirt berm and tumble off the roadside at about 3 p.m. The man was ejected from the van about halfway down the rocky, 400-foot cliff above the sea. Another driver pulled over and tried to help the man, but he refused assistance, tussling with his would-be-rescuer, authorities said. “The victim stated ‘No, I have to go save my wife,’ ” said San Mateo County Sheriff’s Sergeant John Quinlan. “The way the witness told it to us is he actually walked over the cliff. It’s quite tragic.”
In 1967, a San Francisco woman throws her 9- and 10-year-old children over the cliff at Devils Slide, then plunges after them to her death. There have been many, many deaths at Devil’s Slide and the name Devil’s Slide is appropriate for this dangerous piece of the highway. I remember driving along Devil’s Slide on a foggy day. I drove 5 miles an hour and prayed and kept praying, until I was out of the fog and away from Devil’s Slide. I white knuckled the drive and was sweating profusely. Present Day: Devil’s Slide is NOW Devil’s Slide Trail, a 1.3-mile pedestrian and bike path.
Down the road from Devil’s Slide is Big Sur. Big Sur has a picturesque lighthouse that has been illuminating the waters off the coast of Big Sur since 1889. Legend has it that the original keeper makes his ghostly appearance seen at the lighthouse and he still wears his original uniform. Mike Bishop of Monterey says that on a foggy day at this lighthouse, he went back into time and heard people screaming. He looked towards the rocky edge and saw a boat with people in it and they appeared to be bleeding. Mike yelled at them and said: “Hold on, I will get help!” When Mike finished his sentence, the boat and the people vanished. Mike to this day feels he had a glimpse of the past and witnessed a tragedy that happened many, many years ago.
Nestled on the rocky coastline between Carmel and Big Sur, the Point Sur lighthouse sits perched on a volcanic rock, dutifully warning nearby ships that the Pacific’s treacherous coast approaches. Despite its powerful beam, the Point Sur lighthouse has witnessed its share of shipwrecks. The spirits of those who perished in the many wrecks are said to haunt the lighthouse and its surrounding buildings. A tall man in dark blue, 19th-century garb has often been seen lingering around the historic tower. The lighthouse is now part of Point Sur State Historic Park and is open for guided tours.
My experience at the lighthouse is that I was outside of the lighthouse and felt a tapping on my shoulder. I believe a ghost was trying to get my undivided attention. I believe that Devil’s Slide and Point Sur Lighthouse has plenty of residual energy that plays back scenes from various tragedies. These tragedies live on through negative energy that is impacted into the atmosphere. There may be some intelligent haunting at these two locations, like the ghost that tapped me on my shoulder, but I believe that there is plenty of residual haunting due to the many tragic events that happened at these two areas along the California coastline.