I love Stockton. I was born here and spent a good chunk of my childhood there until moving to the sleepy town of Atwater. If you're looking for a pre-pandemic vacation or are thinking of moving, many places in Stockton are not only wonderful to call home but visit. And though a relatively quiet and pleasant town for a good-sized population (781,462 currently), Stockton is not exempt from ghost stories, however.
Stockton was once home to the Yokut tribe before become a booming Gold Rush settlement
The history of Stockton is an interesting one, and it's also relevant to our spooky story. Like many locations around California, before the Gold Rush, Stockton was home to Native Americans living in California's Central Valley. The Yatchiccumne, Northern Valley Yokuts people, were found in Stockton when the European settlers arrived.
Pasasimas, a Yokuts village, was once where Edison and Harrison streets are in downtown Stockton. The Yokuts suffered greatly at the hands of the Europeans. The settlers forced the natives into missions to convert them to Christianity and exposed them to illness. Despite the slaughter and suffering, many Native Americans still live in the valley.
On January 24, 1848, the arrival of the Gold Rush turned Stockton from a small town into a booming settlement and supplier of mining equipment to those traveling to the Sierra foothills. A German immigrant named Captain Charles M. Weber was the one to put Stockton on the map. Initially, Charles came to Stockton like everyone else who wanted to strike it rich, but by 1848 he learned the money was not hunting for gold but supplying those on the hunt with tools instead. In 1849 Captain Weber established Stockton after buying more than 49,000 acres using a Spanish land grant.
Weber Point in Stockton is where the good captain built the first home in the San Joaquin Valley. Stockton went through a few names before settling on its current one, such as Tuleburg and Mudville. Eventually, Captain Weber named the town after Commodore Robert F. Stockton, and it was the first establishment in California to have an English name. Stockton became an official city on July 23, 1850.
Today, Stockton is now a major shipping point for many agricultural and synthetic products throughout Northern California. Due to the rich soil and climate, Stockton is also one of the state's greatest dairy and farming areas.
If you're planning to visit, there are several activities for all kinds of folk--from singles to families. When I was a child, I enjoyed the Children's Museum of Stockton and Pixie Woods. But Stockton offers more than fresh fruit and a fun time with the kids.
With 150 years of history under your belt, there are bound to be a few ghosts, too. Though not every haunted place in California is a home or building. Some are mere backwoods streets you wouldn't expect to be some of the most nefarious locations in the state, like East Eight Mile Road.
Three ghosts are said to haunt E. Eight Mile Road
E. Eight Mile Road is a simple road near the I-5 in Stockton near Lodi. Or at least it seems simple—those who know E. Eight Mile Road, understand it is a very haunted and cursed place. Though the presence of anything supernatural has never been officially confirmed, thousands of ghost stories and sightings have come from the road.
Over the years, the road and the three alleged ghosts haunting it have drawn many paranormal fans and professionals.
The first ghost is known only as the Woman in White. Truck drivers and those working the night shift have claimed to spot her walking in the middle of the road. She might seem like an innocent lost woman, but don't be fooled. If you pass her ghost and then look at her through your rearview mirrors, you'll crash. Paranormal psychics who've come to East 8 Mile Road claim the spirit uses telekinesis.
The next ghost is the Acheri Native American girl, who passed in an accident near the road. Locals report hearing her screams in the night. She does not come around as often as the other spirits. There is one last ghost of a Native American girl, and though sad and her story is unknown, she's said to be harmless.
These stories are fueled by actual tragedies on the road, including a recent fatal crash in 2020. So, while Stockton is a recommended vacation spot if you're looking for a fun time out with the family, stay away from East Eight Mile Road.
There are plenty of detours that aren't potentially haunted.
Would you drive down East Eight Mile Road? Do you have any stories about your experiences?