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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

PG&E camp built on supposed native grounds said to be haunted

Balch Camp below with the Kings River in the background.
Photo courtesy of

Some time ago I had received an e-mail from a Pacific Gas & Electric worker asking if I had heard of one of the company's power stations being haunted. The station in question is located at Balch Camp, which is in the Sierra Nevadas near where the North Fork of the Kings River and Dinky Creek meet.

From what I was told the site is situated on an old Native American burial ground and scattered throughout the area are drawings on rocks left by the area's original inhabitants

The main area that appears to have the most paranormal activity seems to be where the guest quarters are located. Workers claimed to have heard footsteps outside their quarters late at night and some would even see the door to their room swinging open and closed before being slammed shut by some invisible force.

The strangest incident seemed to have occurred at Guest House #3, which is located further away from the other guest houses. One night a contractor was getting ready for bed when he heard footsteps outside his room. Whoever it was walked up the front porch and stopped in front of his door and proceeded to knock. Thinking it was a co-worker who needed something, he opened the door to find that no one was there.

So one has to ask, what is the validity to this story? Is the camp built on ancient native burial grounds? Perhaps, but one could say that whole area belonged to the Natives at one time so it's feasible that there are burial grounds in the area. And the Paiute tribe did live in the area and were known for their rock drawings, so this is a possibility. But why does every story seem to start with "Well the location is said to be on native burial grounds" as if that itself means it is true.

Perhaps it was a former worker(s) that for whatever reason didn't move on and haunt the location. Perhaps someone died here and doesn't know they are dead or doesn't want to move on. Maybe they were happy here and continue to stay even after death. It's hard to say without investigating the area further. And with it being PG&E property I highly doubt (that and when I called about it they redirected my phone call so many times it wasn't funny) they would allow it. What I do know for certain is that according to several witness claims, something invisible walks these grounds late at night and for what reason may never be known.


Anthroslug said...

There are many, many problems with the "this haunted place was built on an Indian Burial ground"(tm) theme. There's the fact that it is built largely on racist notions of "magical" and curse-dealing Native Americans, and the fact that more often than not there is no archaeological site present, much less one that contains burials.

The work camp is, as you note, in an archaeological site (it has all of the rock art), but it sounds as if the people making these claims are looking for the easy, and stereotypical, answer.

I have written about the "built on an Indian burial ground" claim before, and if you are interested, here's the URL:

Anonymous said...

Pine flat at night time has some strange things going on.But i will say this but cant say the locations .I have a Native californian indian buddy Wobonuch and we hunt deer around pine flat as well as wild hogs .This guy can track animals, read signs and show me were native americans camped at and he could always find those black obsidian arrow heads in minutes, he knows every inch of that area . But he showed me during our hunts caves and old mines that are around the area and not many people know about them because to get to them is a hike and most of everything is covered in manzanita brush over the last 100 years which is almost impossible to get through without getting cut up I have seen a cave that had cave drawings(the cave drawing had tall people with an orb around their head,drawings of what seemed to be animals and strange circles and dots with wavy looking lines ,mostly in black and red ) thin like, and also had on them and you can see were many years ago a fire was lit inside .This cave had a small opening to bearly crawl through but once your in it is the size of a small house .Their are old bones in their and they are not human .Some of the bones were from a bear but the drawings were fantastic .No foot prints but animals and so sign anybody has been in their in many years .Further up the mountain their are more drawings on some rock out croppings and on the other side of the lake their are those concave holes in rocks , used for grinding acorns and makeing medicine he said .My buddy and me did a huint some years back and we were so far back that i was lost but he wasn't.Thier was this noise that sounded like a hawk cry .We were following this small game trail on the side of a rolling hill and it was getting late, no way we would make it back to the truck , we were that far maybe 8 to 10 miles in the middle of no were . So as it got darker he said he said lets stay here .I had a small pack on and he had this shoulder sling storage bag . Were kicking back drinking some water , resting .All of a sudden he stood up and looked around ,I said whats going on ? He didnt pay much attention to me, so i continued to drink water . He is looking around and looking up about 100 feet up this hill.I look and see nothing . He still is standing for a few minutes and then i feel the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up and i feel a sence of fear like .I stand up and look around and he said you finally felt didn't you ? I looked at him and said yes .I had my rifle in my hand but this was a differant kind of fear feeling , like death . This went on for about 10 minutes and he finally said lets go down further, something isin't right here . As we are walking down the game trail he tells me this is something spiritual and not from an animal and he starts talking in his native language and he is saying something, it sounds like a mixture of spanish and chinease but i don't ask him about it .Anyways about a 2 miles down we make our small camp and i ask him what he thinks that was about . He said he has felt that same feeling their over the years in that particular spot and he thinks its related to to someone dieing around their or this was spot someone committed suicide at was murdered many years ago due to a dispute with a shaman .All i know is i didn't get much sleep that night .not because of what happened but because of that 6 foot rattlesnake that came by the area late that night . By the way, just want to say their is a lot of bear up their .I know people never see them around pine flat lake, but 8 to 10 miles back they are their . Oh and by the way their is an area that looks like the hill is made totally from a volcanic like rock , you can literally carve out a piece of it and turn it into a bowl . He showed me this and said this is what they did many years ago before plastic plates came along ,lol .

Roy said...

I lived at Balch Camp for over 20 years. There are indeed anomalous things happening there from unexplained aerial phenomena to strange noises at the guest houses, some of which I've experienced.

dr0d said...

Over the summer my dad and I were on the way to black rock when he saw a guy walking on the side of the road. He saw him just before we went over the bridge. When he looked in the review mirror he was gone. My dad is a bit of a hard ass and doesn't believe in things like ghosts, which makes me wonder what he saw. Has anyone else notice a 'guy' walking around Balch? If so can you describe him?

Master Blaster said...

I too stayed a night at the kings river above pine flat in the camp ground above the bridge. There were noises outside our tent that night that left us terrified and running for the valley. There is a mysterious foundation at this camp site I was wondering if anyone new anything about and if it has anything to do with the footsteps and voices we heard.

Michael said...

Can you describe the foundation you saw? I don't know Pine Flat that well but definitely want to check it out.

Judy said...

I grew up in balch camp and know it very well. My mother cleaned all those guest houses for crews etc that would come up via a bus load from fresno. Also about the man that disappeared....hummmm for years there was a male "hermit" that lived on mountain side by himself with a dog. He always shed away from people! At times, believe it or not, this man would howl just like coyote! We often would box up canned goods and take it up on road and leave it for him!

Anonymous said...

I work at Balch Camp now, it's definitely a creepy place!

Unknown said...

Quote: I too stayed a night at the kings river above pine flat in the camp ground above the bridge. There were noises outside our tent that night that left us terrified and running for the valley. There is a mysterious foundation at this camp site I was wondering if anyone new anything about and if it has anything to do with the footsteps and voices we heard.

I have done target shooting at that old foundation. I believe it is an old lodge
going back more than a 100 years. I have always had the feeling it was haunted, but
not enough to stay away from it. Quite frankly, I wouldn't be worried about its
ghosts, but rather bears and cougars--especially at night when they are active. But
hey, that's what a 12 gauge is for.

Honest abe said...

Lots of folklore and misconception.This man was no idiot. A small russian community of a mala&€£ heritage made its way to the outskirts of rinky dinky Chaftear Ca. No further information will be in focus without substantial leads to a ghost town.Unless thats how he deserves to remember his beta This man operates like a moral compass of sound Finding him self beside himself
Trailing behind his own lingering ghost. He was determining his own will to become how he became.Not only did he muster the souls of his own eagles.They guided him. I knew him on a secondary level thru close observations. So close yet so far.The compassion. Bravery.bleeding beta to an american dream. Burning Sweat.Broken cigarettes. prescriptions in a motel but wants to stay lean. Ditched his camp. Saw him again 10 times annually. Loyal where the lights are always on. Hes fidgety but moving like water pressure kinked.

Unknown said...

been camping right past the ideal bridge where the road ends on Trimmer for about 15 years every summer about 3/4 times a year I've never heard anything or seen anything strange but if I do I will be back

Unknown said...

been camping near balch for about 15 years 3/4 times a year and never seen or heard anything sometimes I am alone as well but if I do ill report back for sure

Anonymous said...

That is my daddy checking on his camp

John C. said...

The campground on the NF Kings River near Balch Camp has a fairly
new obama regime era "vault" toilet that I used one bright day while I
was out shooting. No one was around either on my side, the North side,
of the river nor on the south side of the river. While inside the
fancy concrete outhouse I distinctly heard the repeated banging of sheet metal.
But the only sheet metal was that of the vault toilet. I ran outside
and looked around the small building, at my Jeep, and all around the
campground area. I couldn't see anything. It spooked me just a little and
I soon left. This is the same area I anonymously reported early as the
"haunted lodge foundations (old concrete) that are just a hundred yards
or so east of the vault toilet. This area is known as "Rogers Crossing" on
E Trimmer Springs road. That part of the road is an all dirt road. I believe
this is the same area reported earlier by someone else, besides myself, that
mentioned the "mysterious foundations". You cannot see the foundations on
the Google Maps satellite picture because they are completely under old, large
oaks just to the east of the vault toilet. I believe this is the area the
earlier person reported strange sounds that sent them fleeing.

Anonymous said...

On the road
E Kings Canyon Rd and S Reed ave
There was a mysterious lady. ,young female dark black hear, with a long white shirt. we came up to the stop light , be in mind their were 4 people in the car . This lady(in white)
came up out of no where. she started walking the side of the road next to the car. she had very pale white skin and the most terrifying part was she had no arm and we were confused. we all starred back as we left , she then dissapeard.
Does anyone have info here on sightings ?or possibly history of what had happenes ?

Anonymous said...

I lived and worked there and I can verify the above is true. When one stands by dinky creek they can hear whispers in the water and laying in bed at night I would hear drumming. Ive also heard strange and out of place sounds when alone way down inside Haas powerhouse. Maybe its just the sounds of water and perhaps old timbers responding to temperature changes but perhaps there is somthing less tangible at play