By Miciah Garcia
There are local news articles, entire facebook groups + national deep features about the creepy happenings in the valley! We’ve collected the Top 5 Valley Scares that have captured the most attention, and listed them below.
But it’s up to you to vote- are these scares fiction or reality? And which of these scares are the creepiest?
Here are our Top 5 Valley Scares, and what we think we know about them..
1. Clovis Wolfe Manor
We are starting our countdown with Clovis’ Wolfe Manor. Wolfe Manor was built on Clovis Ave in 1922, and originally sold as a private property. There is a tale of its first owner, Anthony Andriotti, turning to alcohol after the house’s upkeep drove him to bankruptcy. He died at the early age of 36.
After that, the house was used as a sanitarium where physically and mentally ill patients were sent to be treated. Families would drop off loved ones suffering from schizophrenia and dementia and never return to visit. It was said to be soo overwhelmed with patients that staff had a hard time providing quality care. Single rooms were packed with up to 10 beds, and a single nurse could be assigned up to 22 patients.
As a result, many patients would die during their stay. Staff would store an overflow of dead bodies in the basement, until they could be properly disposed of. The facility finally closed it’s doors in 1992.
Years after Wolfe Manor’s doors were closed, whispers spread across the town of creepy encounters at the property- including the local police station receiving calls from a landline at that address- even though there had been no electricity at the property for years.
Dispatchers would just hear silence on the other end of the phone.
As of 1997 the house was purchased by Todd Wolfe, with intentions of creating a Halloween attraction. However, Wolfe’s staff were repeatedly harassed by reported ‘dark spirits’- and Wolfe himself even encountered a shadowy figure, changing his thoughts on ghosts.
Wolfe also discovered a mystery bunker underneath the house, when he was beginning renovations for his Halloween project. A historian shared with him rumors of Wolfe Manor being used as a brothel in secret, and they speculated about that hidden room being used for such activities. A local media outlet claims that at the very least, this room began as the original basement of the house when it belonged to Anthony Androtti.
Today, the house has been torn down, with plans of Wolfe leasing the property to a restaurant or hotel.
What do you think? Was this property really haunted? Do you have any insider info on this Valley Scare? Let us know!
2. Snake Road
Next is none other than Sanger, California’s mysterious country road. This wild and twisty path is just south of the small town, officially known as Channel Road- but due to it’s windy nature, is commonly referred to as Snake Road.
Today the road is the center of late night races amongst daring teenagers, and often a place to spot oddities, such as dead crows strapped to off road gates- but locals know better than to wander into this area at night alone.
Legend has it, one evening years ago a mother and two children were making their way down the curves of Snake Road. She took one of the curves too fast and flipped their car into the nearby Kings River. Sinking quickly, the mother was unable to get free of her seat belt and drowned at the site. Her two daughters were able to wiggle free, only to drown a mile downstream.
This disaster was not only heartbreaking- but it’s become a legend that continues to haunt the community. Locals whisper to this day about what happens when you visit Snake Road at night.
There have been reports of a woman in white, wandering down Snake Road, crying for her lost children. It is said that if anyone approaches her, she asks if they have seen her daughters.
One curious soul recounts strange encounters while visiting the road one evening. After driving up and down the area to find the woman in white, they parked on the side of the street to explore the nearby woods where the crash could’ve occurred.
They recall hearing footsteps follow them into the woods, and witnessed a strange blinding light, while their EMF reader went off simultaneously! Turning back around quickly, they made it to their car only to nearly get struck by a speeding car.
What do you think? Is Snake Road as creepy and haunted as locals say? Do you have any insider info on this Valley Scare? Let us know!
3. Evil Gnome in Porterville
Taking a turn from ghosts is our 3rd valley scare- Porterville’s evil gnome- or as some call it, a dark fairy.
Years ago a woman named Tammy moved to a Porterville farmhouse, excited for a new chapter with her family. But from the start, she had an eerie feeling about the barn located on the property. Even the farm animals seemed to avoid the barn, and eventually she began to notice some of the animals go missing.
One night, as she was returning home from grocery shopping with her grandson, she had an encounter that still haunts her to this day. As she and her grandson were exiting the vehicle, they noticed a “very evil chuckle”.
She then realized there was a creature about 2-3 feet tall, with a tall red hat, staring and laughing at her. Afraid, she dropped the groceries, picked up her grandson and ran into the house! She claims the gnome was at the heels of her feet the whole way.
Closing the door, she gathered her grandson and two daughters to share what had happened, when she noticed something moving in the window. As she approached the living room window to investigate, she saw the gnomes red hat moving back and forth.
After a while the gnome disappeared, but eventually Tammy moved out of the property and has never forgotten that night.
Years later- the gnome apparently haunted another family on that same property. A husband and wife recall being taunted by a creature that was 2-3 feet tall with a red pointy hat.
One night, they caught the creature eating fish out of their koi pond while singing. Awakened by loud noises from near the koi pond, the couple ventured to a window to witness the creature. When the husband yelled for the creature to stop eating his fish, the gnome like beast flipped him off, chickled, then disappeared.
This couple also decided to leave the property, and years later, have met up with Tammy to confirm details of both of their hauntings.
So what do you think? Evil gnome or dark fairy? Or something else entirely? Do you have any insider info on this Valley Scare? Let us know!
4. Veteran’s Theatre
Some of you may know Veteran’s Memorial for being a location where horror film ‘The Gallows’ was filmed, or from years and years of events and productions held in it’s auditorium- but rumor has it, it’s actually haunted.
The Gallows directors recall strange incidents happening all throughout their filming period.
Cast members reported hearing loud thumps and chains rattling in the rafters. Some even said that they heard voices in the auditorium, whispering their name – and others witnessed the ropes on the stage’s fly system vibrate wildly and visibly.
Cast member Reese Mishler remembers being on stage while the cameras were on, and distinctly hearing his name whispered. The directors looked around, not quite buying what they had all just heard- but when they played back the camera footage…they heard the muffled whisper saying ‘Reese’.
Most of the strange activity took place on stage, and more frequently when cast members were alone or on break.
But according to Weird Fresno- rumors date back far before this horror flick was made. There are said to be stories of it’s haunting dating back back to the 1980’s.
One former employee of Veteran’s theatre from 1988-1992 stated that during their time in the auditorium, they were unnerved by many strange experiences.
But in spite of the creepy activity- or maybe because of it- ‘The Gallows’ directors returned to Veteran’s Memorial to create a one time haunted attraction called ‘Nightmare Theatre’. The attraction celebrated ‘The Gallows’ release while embracing the spooky nature of this Fresno landmark.
So what do you think? Is Veteran’s Theatre really haunted? Was it all folklore, played up to boost ticket sales? Did you have any experiences with this Valley Scare? Let us know!
5. Fresno NightCrawler
Last and most unique to Fresno, is local craze- the Night Crawler! While the crawler is jokingly called ‘a walking pair of pants’- it’s possible that this creature is an alien- or something far more mysterious.
Before you disregard this seemingly silly creature- let’s unpack the facts.
The Night Crawler was first discovered in 2007, when a Fresnan captured video footage of this strange being. The footage shows what appears to look like a tall set of white pants, with a small head, strolling across a yard.
Perturbed by the footage, the Fresnan took the video to a local news station. Eventually the footage wound up being reviewed professionally by a Paranormal Investigator, who stated that it could be an extraterrestrial insectoid.
The founder of Weird Fresno seemed mystified as well, explaining that he had never encountered anything even remotely like it- it’s one of a kind in the world of the paranormal.
The crawler was spotted again on a security footage camera in Yosemite!
What has become a cultural phenomenon in Fresno- has left experts at a loss for answers. But it hasn’t stopped the imagination of locals from creating fan art, and proudly claiming the crawler as part of Fresno’s strange charm.
So what do you think? What is this creature? Is it even real? Or is it all a hoax? Let us know what you think!
Don’t forget to take our quiz! Let us know- which Valley Scare do you think is the scariest? The most likely to be true? And the most likely to be a myth?
Weigh in on our quiz here! And peep our social media to see all of the insider info locals are sharing on central valley’s paranormal gems.