The first week of November 2010, Tyler, Carol and I drove up to Altadena for an investigation of the old Cobb Estate, or what is locally referred to as the Haunted Forest.  It sits on 107 acres at the top of Lake Avenue in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.  Because it is part of the Angeles National Forest, the estate is open 24/7, and it hosts numerous night time visitors in the form of both hikers and local teens.

Self-portrait of the LAGP at the gates to the Cobb Estate. Those gates, by the way, were in the original Phantasm movie.

Reports of hauntings at the Cobb Estate are wide-spread yet, for the most part, non-specific in nature.  People report negative feelings, being “watched” or even touched, strange lights, laughter, screams, along with tales of Satanic rituals and KKK gatherings.  The land the estate encompasses was once a temporary home to many who prospected for gold in the hills.  Around 1916, Charles Cobb purchased the parcel and built a summer retreat.  Cobb was an active Mason, and after his death in 1939, the main house became a Masonic Home for a time, then was used as a retreat by the Sisters of St. Joseph.  In the 1950s, the Marx Brothers purchased the estate and the main house was torn down by 1960.  The site was almost sold to developers until the citizens of Altadena raised enough funds to buy it at auction and donate it to the forest service with the provision that no structures would ever be built on the land.

In the past, the LAGP has focused more on indoor locations and we were excited to hike into the woods on a chilly Southern Californian night.  Walking through the spooky main gates, we were immediately surrounded by the deep black of the forest at night.  We followed the paved road up and to the left, back towards where the main house area was thought to be.  It became apparent that we were not alone: there were some kids with a stereo and a tambourine and the sound was audible throughout the estate. A major annoyance, but something which we were going to have to put up with the entire night.

It's very dark on the roads and trails.

We reached the back of the estate where a bridle path & hiking trail continued up to a storage tank and then further into the mountains.  High up above us and to our right on the lower Sam Merrill trail, we could see the lights of hikers in the forest. This could explain the often reported lights – nothing paranormal about them. On the far curve of the paved road, we started to get random hits on the KII even though our phones were turned off and we were in an electricity-free area.  We decided to try a EVP session here despite the faint radio noise.  About 10 cold minutes into the session, we began to experience what can only be described as pebbles being thrown:

Unfortunately, we cannot be 100% certain that these pebbles were paranormal in nature due to the presence of other people in the park.  However we did not spot anyone in our immediate area upon searching with the night vision cameras.

The steps of what we believe was the main Cobb house.

We moved on to the steps of what we think were the main house area.  These had been painted with graffiti and faced a cleared area planted with palms, which that night gave us a view of the crescent moon.  Once again we settled in and started an EVP session.  After several minutes of no responses, Tyler decided to walk into what would have been the house and that’s when things began to get interesting:

We heard footsteps approaching down the road and when Carol grabbed the camera there was nothing there.  Then the footsteps were heard near the stairs moving into the area of the house.  At this area in the park we were positive that these footsteps were not caused by any human visitors.  In the middle of all this, Tyler’s flashlight died even though he had put in fresh batteries. After Tyler asked a direct question about whether they wanted us to leave and I began to walk up the steps, we got the strongest KII hits of the evening.  It was pretty amazing.

The crescent moon setting over the Cobb Estate.

To see a full video of this investigation, check out our YouTube channel.  We plan to post all our future investigations as webisodes as well as write-ups and video excerpts here on our site.


31 Responses to “Haunted Forest / Cobb Estate”

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  1. i heard a story when going up there that a child that lived there with his parents set the house on fire and killed his parents and later on the child died in the fire. I also heard there is a well in there and you can hear water flowing in and out of it and might i say the trees that surround that house are pretty spooky. may i ask if the place is really haunted or what I just wish there was more information on the history of the cobb estates I visited once with a few friends at night and i saw the steps but there was nothing but trees and brush that covered the foundation of the house. It was very eerie to see steps that lead to no where i would like to visit it during the day sometime but i was told that you could get arrested for trespassing on the property

  2. I’ve been there 3 times and everytime I stand by those stairs I always get an uneasy feeling of being watched or just not wanting to be there at all. I’m planning to go again soon and everytime I go something new happens. First time was stick breaking and people screaming when we were the only people there. Second time was sticks snapping and something following us and 3rd was a scary growl coming from the top of the stairs. This place is legitimate!

  3. I went last night with my friend and it was our first times going and we were walking and out of the corner of my eye i saw a little girl standing a few feet away from me and i turned to face her and i could see right through her and when i shined the flashlight towards her she was gone. And my friend so a man watching us between some trees and she said he looked tall and skinny and she could see through him. I am planning on going back soon because i was so fsaicnated by the whole thing. It definetly gives you that uneasy feeling once u walk through those gates. You immediatly get that feeling of being watched and you have that feeling the whole time you are there.

  4. if anyone wants to meet up with us even you LAGP guys weve been up there a couple times and have unexplained activities everytime we just got back tonight and we saw a face and a white figure moving around those bushes up those stairs we even Ouija boarded it twice and had full real sessions

  5. This whole Haunted forest thing is very fascinating i am going to visit this forest during the weekend. There have also been legends of a slaughter house located somewhere deep in the forest.

  6. I have been there and its weird. If its a forest why is there light in the houses? There shouldn’t be electricity. I have actually been there twice but didn’t get far the 2nd time because we seen some kind of white big animal. There is also a lady who lives in the forest? I seen her watering plants at like 9:30 pm.

  7. As a teen in the early 90′s I frequented what we called the “Haunted Forest”. I never really saw anything there despite hiking what seemed hours into the Angeles National Forrest. The last time I was there, my now wife and I, were separated from our group. We decided to wait for them back at our car and thus hiked back down to the gate. As we were about to get back on to Lake Ave., two huge rots (dogs) appeared. They seemed to form out of a light mist that was hanging over the area. I pulled out my knife (I was stupid and always carried one for ‘protection’) and hope to get the best of them. After a stare down they turned and walked away into the forrest. We walked back to the car and there was no sign of them. I’m not sure if this is a supernatural event but it sure seemed like it…I have not been back since.

  8. We are going soon and just wanted to ask how long is the walk from lake rd. to the Cobb estate gates?

  9. The gates are right at the corner of Lake & Loma Alta. Not far at all. Watching the parking restrictions so you don’t get ticketed or towed!

  10. i just have a question . . i’m 14 and know nothing of ghost hunting but the fact you can really crap your pants. . . ohm . . when you were in the house of the Cobb estate why not agrevate whatever spirits were there? or make them mad? i mean i have a guess out of your videos and conversation when you made sure that all of you didn’t piss of the spirits that you did it out of respect and caution but which one did you really need to focus on? i hope that makes sense . . i just want to undestand why it would be bad if you made the spirits realy, really mad for being in there house when the didn’t want you to.

  11. I grew up on Alpine Villa Dr. in the 1950″s, the street just below the drive up to the Cobb estate. We used to go up there and walk through the mansion, after the nuns left. It was gorgeous in it’s day. There was a huge marble fireplace in the main living room and a wonderful curved and carved oak staircase to the second level. There were orchards and beehives and lovely gardens. It was sad that it had to be torn down, but the house had been extensively vandalized as evidenced by the remaining stairs.
    There were avocado trees as well as apples, pears, etc. We would check them out and pick some when they were ripe. Tree ripened avocados are heavenly. I read that someone wanted to put up iron gates.
    It’s been 35-40 years since I was last there, but when I was young there were beautiful iron gates at the entrance, next to which was a stone bench.
    I don’t know why the Marx family let it go to ruin.

  12. I’ve been to this place a few times and it always freaked me out…One night, maybe 7 or 8 years ago, I drove up there with my two daughters and their friend..jus to park outside the gate and look…the girls got out and were looking in the gate, sitting around while I stayed in the car. Before we left, I took a few pictures with my motorola razor phone, of course those phones have no flashes but I took them anyways. I took pics of the huge gate and it was closed. My girls were off to the side sitting still…why I decided to take pictures I don’t know but I took maybe 3…we drove home and before I got out of the car I looked thru those pics, ALL of them DARK, except one, one had a light spot on the bottom, a faint light circle…I enlarged it and it was a fucking face!!!!!! a face of a girl smiling, I sat there and I showed my oldest who was maybe 12 at the time. You have to believe me when I say, I did not take a picture of my girls, I only took pics of the front gate. I sent that picture to my email and when I did, there were 3 figures in that picture! There was a young girl looking at me as if I was taking a picture of her and telling her to smile! She looked like maybe 16 and in the center was another girl with long dark hair, looking downward and the third, I don’t remember. I emailed it to my mom to save because it was weird, I mean, again, I took a pic of the gate and I got a pic with people. We printed it and showed people but a lot of times people who don’t believe, don’t care or aren’t interested. We tried saving that picture/email, but over the years lost it, and forgot passwords to old emails. The next time I went there, I stayed in the car with my mom while my dad and brothers went in with other people…They didn’t experience anything but I sure as hell did with taking those pics…It’s something I will never forget! i took a simple picture of the gate and got young girls in the picture. I wish I still had that picture.

  13. I frequented alot. Theres an uneasy feeling. I have heard way back of the fire. I remember the last time I was there the KKK was having a ceremony. Ran oug of there never to return.

  14. I was there recently for the first time at night with 2 friends. You get an uneesy feeling right as you walk into the gate. My friend’s camera flash stopped working (never happened to him before) taking a pic of the steps. The flash magically began working again when we got back into the car. You really feel uneasy and feel like someone is watching you where the steps are. As we were walking back, about two minutes walking distance from the gate, we started to hear a growling noise come from the side gate to our left. It lasted until right before we got to the gate. Though it easily could’ve been an animal, it was really creepy.

  15. For those of you who say it feels like “something is watching you”, someone probably is. There’s evidence that someone currently resides in the area. Best to leave them alone…

  16. Tomorrow I’m going for my first time I’m just wondering how often are the gates open dont want to go just to find the gates closed its a trip I been wanting to do and finally found the time to go dose anyone know the best time to go . I’ve read comments and they all sound interesting

  17. I went up there a few good good times with my baby’s dad and our squad, still went when I was 2 mths pregnant and I did come out of there with scratches. Amazingly I did feel intimidated and followed throughout all the visits I made. Hopefully I’ll have the chance to go there again. But it is very enchanted!

  18. Does anyone tknow what specific trail to take to get the stairs?!? Please and thanks

  19. Yeah, the lights aren’t lanterns. They vary from glowing red or blue orbs to what looks like something glowing flying up out of the ground at a very high speed. As to rituals… Duh, it’s a forest with lots of features. My personal favorite place is down the trail to the right of the drinking fountain under the oak. The waterfall. Currently, as of yesterday, dry. However, there is still water flowing out of the mountain from the boxy thingy just downstream and it tastes delicious. If you plan on spending the night, i do suggest making the journey down there with ample light. The trail is deteriorating and there is a 100′ sheer drop in places. Another thing i saw, in a very specific spot was what appeared to be a group of people standing in a circle helping to dig a hole. This didn’t look like people, but rather a memory of people.

  20. Oh, and check out the burned down restaurant 5 miles up the trail. Creepy as hell at night.

  21. Went last night and I felt somoene touch me by the stairs. It felt like I was being followed all night. MR.COBB WAS there.have to go back soon

  22. I use to go every weekend with my friends around 2000-2001. We had a routine, a couple of bottles of hard liquor, a few flashlights, strapped SOG fixed blade to my thigh , CD player with mixes of siouxsie, Lycia, sisters of mercy, kmfdm and a bunch of tacos from Jack in the box. I would purposely run off alone to try and engage with the supernatural but it never happened. I would call them out but all I would hear was wind blowing through the trees. One night so many young people were there making noise the cops came inside with off road vehicles and every body jumped into bushes trying hide. They had spot lights pointed and some dummies couldn’t help but giggle and got caught and plucked out. It was crazy, I was hiding in a Bush with people I didn’t know. Another night my friend took a photo of some stranger in a group and he didn’t like that at all so he tried picking fight with my group and took his shirt off and had a custom double handgun holster on with what looked like 2-9mms. We ran into the woods and jumped into some crazy pit I had bugs crawling on me but didn’t make a sound because he was we could see him looking for us. We were hiding for a few hours . That was the last time I went.

  23. I used to up in high school. U feel ur being watched. Rumor is there was a fire which multiple people died. U also see a women and children. No longer go cause last time we went we pratically walked kkk was having a ceremony

  24. At the cobb estate above altadena today, the mountains in clouds, i saw a man standing strangely and in one spot for the time it took us to circle the old foundations and walk down the long drive. As we approached the gate, in came two women, heading up a path in his direction. I worried how they would encounter him, but when i turned back to look for him in the spot he had been for a quarter hour or so, it was empty. It struck me strange until later i read the place is called the haunted forest, and so when i asked my ghost-seeing friend bruce if he’s ever seen one there, he said he was just going to ask me about my feelings toward the place, and if i shared his wariness. But i was really only asking because of what i had just read. Until i learned later in the telling that ben had no recollection of this man in the park at all, outside a vague recollection of something out of the corner of his eye. This is not possible, as the man was wearing a bright orange jacket and stood in one spot not really hidden by the bushes he was lurking next to, and, more disturbingly, staring at us whenever i looked at him. I didn’t think it necessary to point him out to ben, but i did kind of wonder why he didn’t comment on the man. May his spirit find rest.

  25. heard of numerous rituals being held there not just KKK gatherings but also people going there to do witchcraft. A friend of mine went at night and he tells me that he felt followed all the way home. I am going tomorrow.

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