An Oasis of Fear: A Slightly Spooky History of Palm Springs

With the onset of Halloween, one can find something bloodcurdling just about anywhere. Still, some places in the world need more convincing than others when it comes to perpetuating any sort of haunted history. When inclined, the average person probably views Palm Springs, California, as an oasis for the wealthy and privileged and with it’s vivacious and lush landscape, who could blame them? Since the early 1900s, the rich and famous have made the virtual paradise their stomping ground. But, if anyone takes a closer look at Palm Spring’s history, they’ll indeed get more than enough of a taste of the strange and macabre.

Palm SpringsThe first known inhabitants of the area were an indigenous Indian tribe known as the Agua Caliente. Existing in the area peacefully for over 3,000 years, there’s a legend regarding a certain shaman whose name was Tahquitz. Originally believed to be benevolent in nature, the shaman’s character would shift to become a mischievous miscreant. As a result of his prankish and hurtful misdeeds, the shaman found himself banished from the tribe. Reeling from a sense of betrayal, Tahquitz cursed not only the Agua Caliente, but also the whole of the land they inhabited. Eventually, the tribe would slay the shaman and burn his remains, leading to a nearby canyon being named in his honor. Nevertheless, one feasible question remains; whatever became of the curse of the shaman, and it still relevant today?

Abundant water

Tahquitz Canyon

Fast forward a few hundred years and the area had new residents, namely white settlers coming in from the East. Looking for an area with clean, dry air, many of the first settlers had family members who suffered from tuberculosis. Once word got out as to how idyllic the landscape was, it wasn’t long before the area turned into the pragmatic utopia it is so recognized as today. As the popularity of Palm Springs grew, it became an almost exclusive residence for the higher echelon of society. As with all higher ups, the need for secrecy was an absolute must. There are several rumors abounding in regards to Occult activity. In the area and judging by numerical codes all over the city, ranging from numbers steeped in numerology such as 111 or 777, one had to wonder about the meaning behind their placements.

Read more: Conspiracy of Secrecy in Palm Springs


As far as a modern statistic of Palm Springs that should generally raise a few eyebrows. Over the past 120 years, a total of 141 corpses have defied identification in Riverside County alone. 55 of those bodies are cold cases.

The lady in red, credit Coachella valley weekly

The lady in red (credit Coachella valley weekly)

One of the most notorious homicides in Palm Springs revolves around the triple slaying of Ed and Sophia Friendly plus their cook, Frances Williams, on October 12, 1978. All three were shot point blank by an unknown intruder.  While there were two main suspects in the case, until this day no one has been brought to justice.indian canyons

There’s also a plethora of sites claiming to be haunted there as well. The Korakia Pensione is supposedly haunted by the wife of a former owner, while a shadowy apparition appears at the La Quinta Resort and Club.palm springs

In conclusion, I feel that if enough sordid events takes place anywhere, it can leave an almost supernatural stain on the aforementioned scope of a surface. And while an area can give the impression of beatitude and gratification, if one simply digs beneath the barriers of the superficial, surely there are skeletons to every closet. Perhaps if one is inclined to visit Palm Springs anytime soon, the motive to see the dreadful and disturbing will outweigh the others.

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