Uncovering the California Room – Spooky Finds

The California Room is a Special Collection archive located on the 5th floor of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. It is the repository for various books, maps, scrapbooks, periodicals, and other materials related to California history.

Below are highlights of some spooky-themed finds you can locate in the room which are focused around local urban legends and true crime.


True Crime

Zodiac unmasked: the identity of America's most elusive serial killer revealed by Robert GraysmithThe McGlincy killings in Campbell, California : an 1896 unsolved mystery by Tobin GilmanMurder and mayhem in the Napa Valley by Todd L. ShulmanCalifornia's Lamson Murder Mystery, cover

The Winchester Mystery House

Captive of the labyrinth : Sarah L. Winchester heiress to the rifle fortune by Mary Jo IgnoffoThe Inscrutable Mrs. Winchester and her mysterious mansion by Lisa L. Selby

Urban Legends

Haunts of San Jose, California by David LeeHaunted northern California : ghosts and strange phenomena of the Golden State by Charles A. Stansfield, JrCreepy California, book cover


Season of the witch : enchantment, terror, and deliverance in the city of love by David Talbot

Beyond Books

Online Archives

The Goblin Spider rendered into english by Lafcadio Hearn (1902)An original copy of a spooky Japanese folktale The Goblin Spider about a shape shifting creature that lives in a haunted temple. Beautifully illustrated and printed on creped paper.

Part of the SJPL California Room's Historic Book Collection.

San José Mercury Clipping Files

The San José Mercury Clipping File Index is a subject/topic list of thousands of article clippings from the San José Mercury News, spanning 1920 - 1979.

  • Urban Legend: Hick's Road Albinos
  • GHOSTS see also PHANTOMS

More to Discover in the California Room Index

written by Marisol Roman