Regional Native Americans considered this area of land as "taboo"
and "evil" and warned early Spanish settlers and missionaries of it's
malicious forces. After a Spanish missionary was found dead from self-inflicted
wounds after he attempted to cleanse(bless) the area, the area was
kept clear from early travelers for over forty years.
When the early California government acquired the land by means of
their own self-imposed Miranda Land Grant, the area was immediately
seen as a prime location for early ships, boats and barges to dock,
after sailing in-land from the San Francisco bay. Water vessels could
dock at the rivers edge and have easy access to prime agricultural
and foresting materials which could then be sent back to San Francisco.
Early on in establishing this small docking site, several settlers
had reportedly gone crazy and killed several farmers and innocent
bystanders who happened to be nearby. They then turned on each other
and were all found dead. As travelers and settlers passed through
the small area of land, reports flooded in of encountering eerie apparitions,
strange sounds and smells as well as foreboding sick feelings.
Even with the ongoing reports of terrifying phenomena, the site continued
to grow, with an increased loading and unloading of supplies. In 1853,
a mysterious gentleman known only as Mr. Rudisville, built various
storage sheds, barns, and the formal docking facilities for boats
and ferries to dock. Because of the great amount of agricultural materials,
(specifically hay and grain) being farmed in mass quantities in the
nearby flatbed fields, the area was given the nick-name of "Haystack
Landing". A short time after completing the bustling docking port,
Mr. Rudisville was mysteriously never seen again. A variety of strange
encounters continued to occur, ranging from unexplained deaths to
bizarre illnesses, to being physically accosted by evil spirits -
and continued to be reported on a regular basis for the next thirty
In the summer of 1864, the brothers Minturn, one of which was the
local representative for the Contra Costa Steam Shipping Company,
ignoring the unusual reports of strange encounters and warnings from
local old-timers, obtained a steam train to push and pull carts back
and forth from the rivers edge. On it's maiden journey to dock at
the site, a freak explosion of the train's steam engine caused it
to be almost completely destroyed, killing thirty men in the process.
For the next twenty-five years, not a month went by where some type
of tragic mishap, unexplainable death or terrifying encounter with
some type of supernatural phenomena wasn't reported. Two such events
shanties on the property which were housing farm workers and dock-loading
labor were mysteriously burned down killing everyone within them.
Witnesses said they could hear hideous laughter as the people burned
- Several children get crushed by a barge as they somehow fall between
the dock and a boat as it was in the process of docking to pick
up a load of hay. One surviving child states that he saw his friends
pushed off the waters edge by a giant shadow that disappeared into
While a small hotel and saloon was being built on the property by
some new owners, they decided to obtain an additional income by featuring
bear and bull fights being held in a small neighboring barn. On the
opening night fight, several audience members were killed and others
maimed when the bear and bull broke free of their fighting pin and
attacked the crowd. The owners try to recoup the terrible tragedy
by opening their hotel and saloon ahead of schedule, but where met
with disaster as all of it's sleeping occupants were killed in a fire
after the structure was hit by lightning. The bones of the burned
corpses were unexplainably found scattered all over the property as
if each of their bodies exploded with the lightning strike.
In 1883, the Walls family acquired a large bulk of the property and
began building a luxurious home upon it. Before any primary excavating
could be done on the property, a freak steam ferry accident took the
lives of the entire family as the boat was just about to dock at Haystack
With the installation of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Haystack Landing
port became obsolete. For the next twenty-one years, unusual accounts
of disturbing deaths and eye-witness reports of ghostly strange phenomena
are noted. Two such events include:
transients who live on the property in make-shift shanties are found
having committed mass suicide. Carved all their bodies, presumably
by themselves, were strange markings and gashes which could not
be identified of explained.
- A sheep-herder who continues to try to steer his sheep onto the
edge of the property to graze cannot seem to keep the animals to
remain on the land and they refuse to eat the grass. After fencing
them in overnight, the entire flock is found dead from unexplainable
A wealthy young mechanical engineer purchases the property at an incredible
price, ignoring the long history of unexplainable evil events. He
decides to build his dream house for him and his wife with a beautiful
view of the underlying river and valley. Carpenters spend triple the
time that it usually takes to build a house due to unusual injuries
and strange events that occur on the property. Finally the house is
finished to a point that the owner and his wife can move in, however,
before he can even spend one night in it, he is recruited to fight
in WW2. He goes to fight in WW2 and while at war, wife commits suicide
in house. Husband is one of the few of his regiment who survives the
war and comes home to discover his wife is dead. The husband is also
found dead shortly afterward, having fallen down the stairs. The property
is transferred to east coast relatives who discover that the house
itself is worthless, having been plagued by massive amounts of termites
and consider the property a complete loss. Twenty years goes by with
the property unoccupied and unmaintained.
In 1952, a Mr. Keller lays out the plans for the proposed city of
Petaluma, taking everyone's advice not to include the area of property
located anywhere near Haystack Landing. In 1958, the city charter
of Petaluma becomes official.
A wealthy landowner purchases property as a getaway from the city
for him and his wife. The owner goes through several carpenters and
renovators because they either become seriously injured or ill after
working on the property a short time or quit for unexplainable reasons.
After finally renovating the property to a point that is reasonable,
the couple decides to spend their first weekend at the house. The
couple is then found hideously murdered by being hacked up. Apparent
murderers are two young men from Santa Rosa who were reportedly high
on drugs. Weapons and physical evidence linking to suspects to the
killing was never found, but the two young men were seen in the vicinity
of a truck stop that same night.
The City of Petaluma and the Petaluma Historical Society refuse to
recognize the house and location as a prime historical site due to
it's violent and notorious past. In respect to the events that have
occurred and in order to not perpetuate the terrifying history of
the site and drive away potential tourism, they conclude not to discuss
or maintain on record the long shocking supernatural history of the
For the next thirty years, as the property goes legally unoccupied,
strange and horrific events continue to take place including:
was found dead hanging from the rafters within the dilapidated house.
The bones in his arms and legs were all found to be broken.
A caretaker who was hired by a company that acquired the property
was found dead of an apparent heart attack at the back entrance
of the house. the day before his death he had reported to police
hearing bizarre cries coming from the property.
Two years later, two more transients were found dead in the house
from apparent overdose of narcotics. Unusual sayings were carved
throughout the house stating that it was alive and evil was everywhere.
Several teenagers who found the remote location as a good place
to "make-out", encountered hideous screams and grotesque arms which
reached out of the walls of the exterior of the house to grab one
of the couples.
Local police and Sheriff's Department have had so many reports of
strange lights and noises coming from the property, that they now
consider the site a regular stopping point on their beats and park
at the site on a regular basis in hopes of catching and encountering
first-hand what is responsible for the unexplainable reports.
Over the years, psychics, spiritualists and new age followers who
have come to the site without permission to investigate, understand
or try healing it, have all fled with a nauseating sickness sensing
the overwhelming evil forces that occupy the property, calling it
a "vile vortex of dark forces".
In the fall of 1995, the property is purchased by a corporation
who make public their intent to level all existing structures on
the property, perform major excavating and land fill in order to
reconstruct other possible businesses on-site, taking advantage
of the prime property location.
In October of 1995, a professor of parapsychology from a northern
California university, brought four students and two graduate students
to investigate the long history of unusual ghostly reports of the
house before it is scheduled for demolition. The professor and five
of the six students were viciously assaulted and attacked by unknown
persons or phenomena while the sixth graduate was student was picking
up additional equipment. Even with all the various high-tech video
equipment used for their investigation, no concrete evidence was
documented which could explain who or what was behind the terrifying
events that took place all within a couple of hours. Sonoma County
Sheriff's Department brought in their Special Investigations Division
to thoroughly analyze the crime scene and the video footage but
were unable to ascertain any new information. To date, no definitive
conclusions have ever been made surrounding the events that took
place that late evening.
The corporation has since decided to stop development on the property
and is taking offers for purchase of the riverside property. The
property remains intact by the same corporation and closed to any
and all visitors or individuals.