San Juan Capistrano

“Ghost Walk” a Reminder of San Juan’s Colorful History

By Kim Lefner

If you haven’t yet been on the Halloween “Ghost Walk” on Los Rios Street, I recommend it. It’s an entertaining reminder of the rich history that surrounds us here in San Juan Capistrano.

The Ghost Walk, sponsored by the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society, has evolved since my family and I did it ten years ago. While the ghost stories are essentially the same, they are told in more compelling detail and offer historical background about the characters and the time period.

No fancy special effects or high-tech wizardry, just good old-fashioned story-telling, with the “ghosts” sharing their stories in period costumes. The walk started out with the ghost of “La Llorona” wandering up the street, calling out for her children. The jilted bride who drowned her children in Trabuco Creek when she learned that her fiancee had married another woman was still dressed in her tattered, graying wedding gown as she told her sad story by candlelight.
Sitting in front of the Rios adobe was Joaquin Murrietta, the unfortunate soul whose head ended up in a jar along with the hand of his equally unfortunate friend, “three-fingered Jack”. The ghostly “Lady in White” danced under the ancient pepper tree next to the Rios adobe, while a little further down the street the “Faceless Monk” shared ghostly tales from the Mission. There were others too, but I won’t spoil it for you; you’ll have to go next year.

Whether or not you believe in such things as ghosts, this is a fun family evening that will surely get you in the Halloween “spirit”. Contact the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society for information.

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