Camarillo State Mental Hospital - CSU Channel Islands

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Camarillo State Mental Hospital was built in 1936 and housed thousands of patients. Rumor has it that shock treatment and other inhumane practices were used here. As the years passed, compassion and scientific advences made treatments more humane. The hospital was in operaion until 1997. The building is said to be haunted. Witnesses here describe all manner of eerie stories, and weird occurrences dealing with apparitions, moving objects, voices, headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue. Filmmakers who have used the site for sets have noticed cold spots, missing objects, windows slamming and strange knocking. Now the building is used by the California State University-Channel Islands, and students say it is still haunted.

Two more interesting points to note: Jazz musician Charlie Parker stayed here for seven months in 1947 after suffering a nervous breakdown, then wrote his hit “Relaxing at Camarillo.” And the hospital is rumored to be the Eagles’ inspiration for classic rock’s “Hotel California.”

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Geographic Information

Address:
Los Angeles Dr
Camarillo CA 93012
United States

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GPS:
34.162553965459544, -119.04371094702583
County:
Ventura County, California
Nearest Towns:
Camarillo, CA (3.7 mi.)
Casa Conejo, CA (5.9 mi.)
Oxnard, CA (8.0 mi.)
El Rio, CA (8.5 mi.)
Port Hueneme, CA (8.7 mi.)
Channel Islands Beach, CA (10.3 mi.)
Saticoy, CA (10.3 mi.)
Oxnard Shores, CA (11.5 mi.)
Thousand Oaks, CA (11.8 mi.)
Moorpark, CA (12.6 mi.)

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Comments (14)

  1. I delivered there in the late 90s-early 2000. I spoke to many people. Some who were there when it was a hospital, others who were there to set up the University. All shared stories of hauntings. The newer people who were setting up the bookstore had many stories and some would not stay after dark…or go to the 2nd floor….

  2. the university is hunted I been there used to be a bus driver going to the university taking student to school every day was a new experience bell tower in the lady restroom door shaking during the day on the big water tower would see people holding on the edge of the water tank during the day the now new library on the back still half of the building still the morgue resident, students, workers would see during the night ladies with white robe floating me entering the university on potrero road facing a building would see a lady in a white robe long black hair standing on a window looking outside that will be every night even the deem of the university told me that was 4 Indian chief came to the university to clean of the spirit but the chief told her is been 70 years many spirit been there was no way to clean the school her office every day she would get scare

  3. I lived in Oxnard in the mid 90’s. My GF at the time was a Licensed Psychiatric Technician at Camarillo State Hospital. Besides the stories she would tell me about that place, in 1995-98 I had my own experiences with the spirits there. Most of the time I would be waiting in the parking lot for her to get off work and I would hear noises behind me, like chains on the ground, but I would be standing alone in a parking lot. Sometimes I would hear screams and the wind would blow hard for a second or two and then it would get really cold, even in the summer. But the most shocking of all happened only 2 or 3 times… it was always at night and I would feel something watching me in the parking lot, and when I looked up to a 2nd floor window, I would see a dark long haired figure looking at me with piercing eyes (sometimes black, sometimes dark yellow). The figure had a white-ish glow below the head. I believe it when they say that Hotel California was based on this place and I cannot believe they put a college here. Too many tortured spirits there.

  4. I’ve lived here for two years and nothing has ever happened. I have searched and been in as many abandoned buildings as I can, nothing has ever happened. I’ve been places alone, and with small groups of people. I’ve never felt, seen, or heard anything. My mind is open, I really just don’t think this place is haunted.

  5. When I was a student there between 2006-2008, I never saw anything but there was a very eerie feeling inside one of the women’s restrooms in the bell tower, bottom floor. I stayed away from it after feeling creeped out once.

  6. I was an ESRM student there in 2009-13. I had after hours access to an applied science lab in Malibu Hall that I would sometimes stay there through the night doing work that I had procrastinated on. There is only one entrance to the lab which requires a code and you also need a code to get into the entry way hall. So one night at around 2-3am, I heard something out in the entry way. I assumed it was a janitor or something but I went out to basically let him know i was there. I opened the door and there was a lady there looking around so I asked if I could help her. She kinda glanced up and looked passed me and said “I’m looking for my daughter, I’ve been looking for her for a long time.” There is a 24 hour cop patrol who likes to park outside the hall (probably because I was there late a lot), and I went to look if he was there but when I turned around I couldn’t find her anywhere. There are no emergency exits that she could’ve slipped out of and I checked the bathroom which was empty. So I packed my shit up and and ran to my car. As I was driving away I swear I saw the lady looking out one of the windows. But all those rooms have sensor lights. That could have been delusional because I was freaked the hell out. I didn’t do anymore overnights like that alone after that, and the whole hall had a creepy vibe after that night. I’ve seen multiple unexplainable things from working late into the night, but I will just give you that one. I always claimed atheism and didn’t believe in any of that stuff, but I’ve seen way too many things now to deny them all.

  7. As a student and self-proclaimed urban adventurer, I’ve snuck into the unrenovated sections of CI with nothing more than a face mask (because of age, asbestos fibers flutter up from everything that is touched) and a flashlight. I’ve never been savvey in the world of paranormal experiances or spirits. When I say I’m an urban adventurer I mean I like to go to historical places that are off limits because they have historical value to me. But this place, I simply felt like someone was watching me as I strolled through the abandoned halls. Surprisingly most of the doors and gates to the unrenovated sections are left unlocked, so if skeptical I recommend a day of exploring. I walked in near twilight, and as the sun dissapeared I felt panic fill me and I literally left the old building running. I repeat, this feeling is only in the old sections. The class rooms and university buildings do not have this atmosphere. Have fun exploring!

  8. I am the contractor that remodeled 8 “treatment rooms” into what is now part of the bookstore at CSUCI. I don’t believe I have worked in a stranger place in my 30 plus years in construction. While there is speculation about spirits above the floor, I can assure you working underground alone will convince even the most brain dead that life continues beyond the death of the body. I would suggest to anyone looking for “proof”, spend some time after dark, alone, outside near the east end of the bookstore. Henry

  9. As a CSUCI alumni I spent a great deal of time at this university at all hours of the day and night. Before I was accepted to CI I was somewhat aware of the history there but not all of the information that I got was reliable. Since being a student there I was always nervous to take night classes as the place after hours gave my the creeps. I never experienced anything abnormal but you can without a doubt feel the tension in the walls of the older buildings. I had an old professor who shared his experience with electrical problems he had been experiencing in his class at the same time every day, and after he had electrical support come out and try to help him with his issue he still had no idea why the lights would flicker at the same time every day.

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Disclaimer: The stories posted here are user-submitted and are, in the nature of "ghost stories," largely unverifiable. HauntedPlaces.org makes no claims that any of the statements posted here are factually accurate. The vast majority of information provided on this web site is anecdotal, and as such, should be viewed in the same light as local folklore and urban legends.