Is this bizarre Orange County hiking trail the original La Llorona hunting ground? A paranormal investigation LA TACO (video)
THELocated just minutes east of Orange near the unincorporated town of Silverado, the eponymous 6.7-mile Black Star Canyon Trail offers a breathtaking daytime adventure through the Santa Ana Mountains. Orange County passing lush greenery, spectacular open spaces, waterfalls and Native American ruins. Unless you’re an outdoor enthusiast, none of these things matter.
Black Star Canyon primarily exists as the scariest place in Orange County when the sun goes down for the rest of us. The name itself has the power to cajole slight chills, and not just because it sounds like a fitting title for a doom metal album. Its series of eerie ghost stories, nighttime rumors, and old-fashioned folklore give it a powerful and eerie myth, whether you believe it or not.
Residents of Southern California who know the spooky side of Black Star Canyon are probably experiencing its biggest hits: ritual devil worship, KKK gatherings, shotgun-wielding locals with Wild West-sounding nicknames like “Black Star Bill.” Â», Vengeful spirits of murdered Native Americans.
However, the canyon’s most intriguing story may come from one of its deepest album tracks: La Llorona, the infamous Weeping Woman so deeply rooted in Latin American folklore, would roam the Black Star Canyon, sadly seeking the adjacent Black Star Creek in vain for the children she allegedly drowned.
Orange County as the origin story of La Llorona
At first, the tragic story of La Llorona may seem like a new addition to Black Star Canyon’s gallery of ghosts and ghouls, introduced by the growing multigenerational influx of Latinos into Orange County communities like Santa Ana and Anaheim. Yet, while not as high profile as some of the canyon’s other pieces of folklore, it is considered by some to be the canyon’s oldest ghost story. This may seem odd given the contemporary history of Orange County after WWII, which screams the suburb of white bread. This makes a lot more sense when you consider the region’s early days before California.
The first non-native settlers in present-day Orange County were Spanish explorers. They first set foot there in July 1769 and began to colonize soon after. These early settlers probably brought with them stories from La Llorona from Baja, California. This would correspond to the theorized pre-Hispanic chronology of his legend.
The land became part of the new Spanish province of Alta California in 1804; six years later, the Spanish government granted a land grant to Jose Antonio Yorba, a corporal who helped Father Junipero Serra found the San Juan Capistrano mission in 1776. It was the first of many land grants made to the Yorba family from Spain and after independence. Mexico. The acreage they owned stretched from Huntington Beach to Corona in Riverside County. One of those grants, Rancho Lomas de Santiago, included Black Star Canyon.
While there is no way to know for sure, it is no exaggeration to imagine the folk tale of La Llorona affixed to Black Star Canyon during the Yorba Family Earth Empire, would it be. than to pass on its troubled heritage to future generations. After all, the Canyon’s Black Star Creek has given it the body of water it needs to exist properly; imagination and storytelling would have done the rest. If the legend was also applied to other parts adjacent to the water of the land of the Yorbas, it did not stick. It makes perfect sense if it does – it’s hard to be scared of the Newport Back Bay.
The so-called Black Star Canyon events in La Llorona remain true to tradition. She appears in a white dress. The sounds she makes are loud, painful sobs. While she might be the subject of guesswork, the idea of ââpotentially meeting her on a moonlit walk – or a different specter that appears or sounds the same – is enough to fill the bones of nervous excitement.
Her story also brings out an important part of Black Star Canyon’s myriad of spooky stories. Whether real or not, they provide thought-provoking connections to Orange County’s past in ways that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Arguably, rumors of Canyon KKK assemblies continue to exist due to OC’s sordid past association with the group. Likewise, the notion of devil worshipers congregating in the canyon resembles remnants of satanic panic in the ’80s, inadvertently indicating Orange County’s status as a launching pad for mega- evangelical churches. These Native American ghost stories? Their roots can be traced back to a massacre of an Indian tribe in 1831 which people say occurred despite the complete lack of documented evidence surrounding its supposed appearance. All accounts of the incident stem from a winter confession by its leader, William Wolfskill, some 70 years after the fact. This makes the story shaky at best, but even though it’s been fabricated it still has some semblance of historical merit – Wolfskill created the Valencia Orange.
In La Llorona’s case, its haunting Black Star Canyon forces us to push back against OC’s suburban image and reflect on its Spanish colonial roots. It might not be as much fun as scaring yourself off with a mysterious, wandering sound echoing through the canyon, but it’s definitely something that matters.
Check out our own LA TACO paranormal investigation into the alleged history of Black Star Canyon with La Llorona. This video was produced by Victor Huesca, the paranormal investigator from East LA., and was a collaboration with his DIY ghost hunting show on Youtube, Barrier beyond. Make sure you subscribe to both Barrier Beyond and THE TACO Youtube counts for more street journalism videos. To learn more about Victor Huesca, read our profile on him published last year.