Monday, June 29, 2009

The Ghost of the Central Park Canal, Bakersfield, California

If you go to the canal in Bakersfield's Central Park at dawn, you are likely to run into something that perhaps you'd prefer not to see. A ghostly woman, wearing a white robe-like garment, has been reported to haunt this area, and might be seen by early risers. Some reports say that she weeps as she wanders the canal's banks, while others don't report any sounds at all.

Local legend holds that this ghost is the spirit of a murdered woman whose remains were found under the floor of an old foundry when work was performed there (other versions of the story claim that her remains were found on the other side of the park). Who she was, why she was murdered, or even when she was murdered have never been determined.

Nonetheless, her ghost wanders the canal.

Commentary: This appears to be another urban legend/legend tripping case. We have the location where the ghost can be seen, a time to go and see her, a description of the ghost that is vague enough to allow the imagination to run wild, and an origin story of the ghost that nicely avoids particulars.

One particularly interesting point is that at least one group of people have argued that this is a variation on the La Llarona story. There are certainly similarities - a mysterious woman who is seen close to water, sometimes heard weeping. However, there are also differences, this woman was supposedly a murder victim, and not a mother who had killed her children or allowed them to be killed. Also, some of the traits that she shares with many stories of La Llarona - the wandering, weeping, and the robe-like clothing - are also shared with many other legends of ghosts.

Is there a link between La Llarona and Bakersfield's ghost? Perhaps. But the interesting question to me is, if there is a connection, is the Bakersfield ghost a variation on the La Llarona story, or did elements of the La Llarona story get added to an existing story in Bakersfield?

Sources: Internet, Internet, Internet


  1. I live in bks and I had never Hurd this story before

  2. I live in Bakersfield and I'm interested in finding out more about any hauntings here. if you have any type of helpful information please email me at

  3. If you live in Bakersfield, then you are in a better position to find out about it than I am. But, should you come across any good stories, please send them on to me so that they can be posted here for everyone to share.