June 11, 2021

Turnbull Canyon

Turnbull Canyon

Many people have never heard of Turnbull Canyon and those that have, usually have an interesting story or two. It's an place steeped in mystery, ghost stories and even Native American curses.

Turnbull Canyon is a 4-mile loop trail in the Puente Hills Preserve near Whittier, California.

Several Tongva Indians were allegedly executed at Turnbull Canyon in the Puente Hills during the early Spanish Colonial Period for rebelling against the Spanish and the Franciscan Friars at nearby Mission San Gabriel. Because of this horrid history Turnbul Canyon was given the nickname 'Hotuuknga' or 'the place of death or darkness. 

In the 1890s, oil prospecting and drilling began to expand into Turnbull Canyon, and a rudimentary dirt road was built through the canyon. Two large cougars chased two oilmen in their wagon out of the canyon in November 1900 as their horses panicked.

Turnbull Canyon has since spawned a peculiar assortment of stories and urban tales, including horrific murders.

Hikers indicate that they frequently feel watched as they approach Turnbull Canyon's water tower. It is said that every Indian who was killed in this location remains there waiting for the sun to set.

During the Great Depression, many Americans were faced with starvation and disease. In the midst of all this the residents of Puente Hills started to hear stories of new visitors to the canyon.

A young child, around 12 years old, was strapped to a cross in the center of the crowd. The robed beings danced around and around, chanting in a language he didn't understand. After a while, the chanting became more intense. The cross was then inverted, and the cultists began to beat on the boy till he was bloody. He was thrown into the back of a wagon and never seen again.

The man went to town to recount his story, but no one believed him until later, when the area was hit by a wave of kidnappings and disappearances.

In the 1930s, an insane asylum was built in the canyon. This was a place of torture for the patients. The asylum would be operational for less and 10 years and would eventually burn down. 

Over the years, visitors would come to the canyon and feel and evil or sad presence. The ghosts and negative psychic energy have given this place a feeling of unease. Many say it is haunted, others say it is cursed. The tormented souls that have perished, continue to plague Turnbull Canyon. For those interested, I'm sure the hotel rates are reasonable.