Scary sights: CPP’s most haunted spots

By Athena Flores and Kristine Pascual, Oct. 10, 2023

With a campus as old and as rich in history as Cal Poly Pomona, students are bound to hear a scary story or two throughout their time here. 

Whether it is a hotel haunted by the university’s late owner or an abandoned mental institution with a dark past, these spooky places are the perfect campus explorations for the upcoming Halloween season.

Building 98 basement 

Building 98, which was once neighbors with the CLA building, is home to classrooms and laboratories, but a lesser-known floor offers an eerie exploration. The first-floor button leads to a dimly lit hallway in the basement. The dingy concrete floors, worn ceilings and fluorescent flickering lights look like a scene straight out of a horror movie. 

Although there is not much to see other than a small packing warehouse with long corridors, confusing turns and excessive doors, it is easy to get lost in this terrifying maze and is especially terrifying alone. 

The deeply unsettling halls of the basement in Building 98 | Kristine Pascual

Abandoned dorms

The Palomitas Residence was once was a dormitory building but now stands desolate, boarded up by wood panels and covered in spiderwebs. Although students cannot enter these dorms, a look through the dirty and broken windows reveals a decaying scene of abandoned mini fridges, open cabinets and other belongings left behind to rot. 

Some lights are still on inside the building, and some students residing in the neighboring dorm Montecito Residence Hall, like Caroline Macias, claim to have seen people in the windows at night. 

“I was walking back to my dorm room from one of my night classes, and I swear I saw a shadow staring out the window,” Macias said. “I had immediate chills. I know there are some staff that enter the building sometimes, but I don’t know, this just felt weird.”

Abandoned fridge left in the Palomitas Residence  | Kristine Pascual

Eerie hidden hike

It’s a CPP custom to hike to the CPP letters at least once. The hike is straightforward, scenic and ends with a breathtaking view of campus. However, a small detour will lead you to a hidden and creepy path right by Building 1. The hike begins at Lot J but continues east until a dirt path appears to lead to nowhere.  

On this path visitors are immersed into a forest-like environment surrounded by large trees, some of which are chained together to prevent trespassers. Student alums on the CPP subreddit often claim one of the larger trees still holds remnants of a treehouse built in the 1970s.  

Another path near this trail leads hikers straight to Forest Lawn, CPP’s neighboring cemetery. 

A hidden pathway behind Building 1 | Athena Flores

Lanterman State Hospital

Across the street from campus and next to Spadra Cemetery is the Lanterman Developmental Center which was once a mental institution. When it is not used as a filming location for shows like “Euphoria,” according to rumors, the area is supposedly filled with spirits that roam through the halls. Lanterman originally opened its doors in 1927 and was home to nearly 2,000 individuals deemed unstable or unfit for society. At nearly 300-acres, Lanterman shut down in 2015 and since then has been abandoned. 

According to CPP’s website under a section titled “The Future of Lanterman,” soon after institution shut down, the school planned to destroy the building and use the site as an area to “live, learn, work and play.” There have been no further updates since 2021.

According to a previous story by The Poly Post, many people questioned the treatment and practices at Lanterman, accusing the doctors at the facility of being abusive toward patients who were considered as inmates. Today, students report hearing of visitors and trespassers sense spirits as well as feeling them near, supposedly the ghosts of patients who once called Lanterman home.

Abandoned bathroom found in Lanterman | Kristine Pascual

Kellogg West Conference Center and Hotel / Kellogg Mansion

On the top of the hill overlooking W.K. Kellogg’s ranch estate lies the Kellogg West Hotel. The hotel was built on land donated by Kellogg himself.

Hospitality student David Earl-Itoga works overnight shifts at the Kellogg West Hotel lobby.  

“During my night shift I heard strange voices,” Earl-Itoga said. “It’s very creepy. There’s this picture of Mr. Kellogg riding a horse hanging in the hotel lobby, and it’s so creepy. There’s definitely bad energy about it.”

He has even had close calls with Kellogg’s home. According to Earl-Itoga, facility members often pray before entering Kellogg’s home, assuring his spirit their purpose is to clean his home, not disturb it.

“I was standing in Mr. Kellogg’s bedroom, and there’s a picture up on the wall of his wife,” Earl-Itoga said. “I was moving all the furniture around when the floors started creaking. I was alone. They say that if you’re up there by yourself, he talks to you, and you can hear him walking.”

Kellogg Mansion | Kristine Pascual

Feature Images courtesy of Athena Flores and Kristine Pascual 

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