Watch out for flying heads at Bear Gulch.
Over the years I had read numerous stories of the old days in Rancho Cucamonga. different stories, haunting's, strange noises and ghostly sightings, many I believed and many I didn't. some of stories were simply urban legends. Other's; friends of mine had heard and passed on to me. And one or two I witnessed myself.
Here then are some of the stories, some true, some false, plus haunting's, and urban legends all surrounding the red hill area..
Red hill has always had a haunted reputation, extending back all the way to the Rains house murders in the 1850's. After the Rains Murders's which remain unsolved to this day, reports of a lone horseman seen riding down the side of Red Hill closet to modern day Foothill. Some people say that there is all of a sudden a great silence then BANG!! BANG!!! Gun shots ring out, and man is heard to fall to the ground groaning and calling out for his wife. She was always thought to implicated in some way in his death especially when another close friend or lover of hers was shot dead in almost the same manner a few years later. Her daughter (One of 15 kids some say) married a future Governor of California.
It will be interesting to see if any one who uses the new bike and walk way in the same area will be visited upon by ghostly incantations.
In the early 1960's a group of guys I knew from Jr high were killed at red hill, when they tried to make the extreme left turn under the Pacific Electric bridge where modern day Baker meets Foothill with signals and a much different alignment of the street. Those boys deaths contributed to the still ongoing changes being made today.
Anyway, where the Mobile home park is today, stood a tall forest of Oakes and Eucalyptus trees. As these guys came under the bridge doing an estimated 90 mph, they did make the turn and crashed into the trees. The local sheriffs and CHP, and fire all rushed to the scene but they were all dead. In fact two of the boys heads were missing. Officers spread out into the trees and gully along the road looking for the body parts.
They never found the heads until about two weeks later a young mother had stopped under the trees to eat lunch. The trees were moving with the Santa Ana's winds. As she sat eating her lunch and taking a drink, she heard a thump on the roof. She got out to investigate and to her horror, there sitting on her roof not more than 6 inches from the sandwich she had been munching on was one of the missing heads from the accident.
She retained her senses long enough to flag down traffic, and someone ran back up to the Bear Gulch Inn and called the cops (No cell phones back then) As A chp officer gingerly put the head in a bag, she then proceeded to pass out. Can you blame her. This part of Red Hill history is true, no urban legend this bizarre incident.
One very dark night I and some friends were driving east of Foothill when as we approached the Bridge at bear gulch. All of a sudden my girl friend sitting next to me screamed out that there was a man on the bridge ready to jump off. I screeched to a halt and we all hopped out of the car to see what was going on.
We didn't see anything at first until one of my friends found a dummy stuffed with old cloths laying behind the car. I grabbed the dummy so no one else could stick it back up on the bridge and cause an accident.
Later on that night we headed back west on foothill and once again we saw what we thought was dummy again hanging from the bridge by a rope. Suddenly, just as we passed under it it dropped to the back of the car with different sort of thud. A body thud.
At this time though most of us carried CB radios so I got on the CHP channel and told the dispatcher what had happened and we would wait here for an Officer to respond.
When he arrived he gingerly approached the bag on the road and seeing blood on the bag told us to back up. I asked him as he opened the bag if I was trouble and he looked at me and said no, I don't think so, not for this anyway. It seems I had hit a big bag of beef and pork bones, the type you would see from the trimmings in a meat market.
That's what I had hit a 40 pound bag of bones and blood. The CHP said were all lucky, If it had come through the windshield some one could have been killed. To this day, when ever I pass under foothill late at night, I always find myself looking up to see if any thing is getting ready to drop or hanging. Once was enough even though it was 40 years ago.
Gary Hall, the ghostpainter