Carmen Sánchez and Manuel Ávalos have been close good friends ever because they 1st satisfied at John Muir Center University in San Jose.
They had typically talked over, typically in a joking way, undertaking a podcast with each other. Then the pandemic hit, and they bought additional critical about the endeavor — in component due to the fact it gave them a way to stay in contact with each and every other.
“We preferred to dangle out a lot more in the course of COVID and figured that some sort of on the internet exercise with each other would be a very good idea,” Ávalos suggests.
The final result was “San Hauntse: Mysteries of San José,” a podcast exploring the haunted places and spooky tales in the location.
“We’ve both equally generally been into spooky issues in standard and imagined this would be a enjoyable way to master a lot more about our hometown’s history,” Ávalos states.
We not too long ago spoke with the two San Jose natives about the podcast, which can be read on Spotify, Apple and other platforms, including https://sanhauntse.wordpress.com/.
Q: What is it about mysterious, haunted subject matter matter that attracts you?
Ávalos: For me, it is mainly the simple fact that these topics have not been scientifically spelled out. This leaves a large amount of home for the imagination, and I consider there’s one thing exciting about the unexplained. I also think that the legends and oral heritage of a community say a lot about the persons, so it supplies some perception into nearby culture.
Sánchez: I was normally sparked by curiosity. Rising up, I was really fascinated in legitimate criminal offense, but my parents wouldn’t want me to do investigation on this kind of a morbid matter. Their opposition was type of a catalyst for me to go on on the lookout into accurate crime, hauntings and shows/videos based mostly on the matter.
Q: Does San Jose have enough haunted sites and storylines to fill a podcast? Or do you need to include matters from exterior the metropolis as very well?
Ávalos: We managed to make a full year’s well worth of weekly information, so — sure! Granted, many of our episodes enterprise out into other cities in the bigger San Jose location, but we under no circumstances go even further than about a 1 to 1½ hour travel.
Q: Give me a few examples of the topics you’ve coated in the podcast.
Ávalos: We mostly cover ghost stories but we’ve dabbled in a number of other subject areas this kind of as aliens, sea monsters, Bigfoot and vampires. There are definitely some recurring themes, this sort of as ghostly cars, star-crossed lovers conference an premature demise and, offered the historic context several of these legends are rooted in, a good deal of prejudice. Our working joke is that the scariest aspect of the podcast is truly the total of sexism and racism we come upon when looking into San Jose’s record.
Sánchez: We have protected numerous of the major San Jose haunts, these as Hellyer Home, Winchester Secret Property, Hicks Road, San Felipe Street, Marsh Road and Dottie’s Pond.
Q: Why do you believe this sort of materials holds these kinds of an attraction for individuals?
Sánchez: It’s the intrigue, the mystery, the dark, taboo topic subject that make people want to sit about the campfire or lean a little bit nearer at the meal desk.
Q: What has been the response from podcast listeners?
Ávalos: We have been joyful with people’s beneficial reactions to the podcast but our original intention was just to hold out virtually through the pandemic and get spooked. Of program, people’s positivity fuels us, and we’re just delighted to compile as a lot spooky facts about our hometown as doable.
Sánchez: The the vast majority has been positive and supportive. I appreciated the most, when a listener tagged us in a publish the place they went with their son to take a look at the Winchester Secret Property, simply because they listened to it on the pod. Extremely heartwarming due to the fact I bear in mind likely with my spouse and children and pals at some position.
Q: How substantially investigate do you have to put into the podcast?
Ávalos: We devote many several hours each week studying the subject areas and getting ready the episodes. Even while it is a podcast for pleasurable, I do like to acquire an tutorial technique to our exploration, so we usually try out to cite our sources or at minimum trace our methods, so that we always know exactly where our info will come from — which is primarily significant in subjects these as these, where by there is so a great deal conflicting or dubious information floating close to.
Q: Has anything you have talked over/featured on the podcast really creeped you out or afraid you?
Ávalos: The concept of a ton of these tales scare me — just one in individual is the Skyline-to-the-Sea climbing path in Los Gatos, which is said to be haunted by the misplaced souls of little ones. We usually cast fair question on the legends we go over and commonly like to retain the podcast impartial to regardless of whether or not particular legends are correct, but some of them just genuinely don’t have the evidence to support them, and we make absolutely sure to position that out. What’s extra terrifying to me is observing how some of these legends exemplify the skill of misinformation to distribute and persist more than time.
Sánchez: The dark, sexist, racist San Jose heritage that a good vast majority of the populace does not know about. I come to feel like growing up, individuals ought to study about the spot they’ve lived in for a vast majority of their lives. We ought to not only spotlight the constructive, but the detrimental as well.
Below are 5 of Carmen Sanchez and Manuel Avalos’ five most loved haunted web-sites in in the San Jose area.
Hicks Road: Urban legend has it that people today touring the highway have witnessed or been attacked by customers of a cannibalistic cult, ghosts, witches and maybe even aliens.
San Felipe Road: Men and women assert to have noticed bizarre creatures and expert other spooky stuff if they generate it at night time. In addition, a supposedly haunted 19th-century schoolhouse lies together the road.
St. James Park: The park was the web-site of an notorious 1933 incident in which two guys accused of murdering youthful Brooke Hart were being lynched prior to they could stand demo.
Dottie’s Pond: This smaller pond in Santa Teresa County Park has mysterious origins in Ohlone folklore and is explained to be haunted by the ghost of a younger woman with telekinetic powers who was drowned by a demonic entity there.
Agnews Developmental Middle: The website of a former healthcare facility for psychiatric sufferers and the developmentally disabled is mentioned to be haunted by ghosts of some of the 100-in addition persons killed there during the 1906 earthquake.