Haunted Mission - Investigating Mission Santa Clara


After reading Richard Senate's book, "Ghost Stalkers of Haunted California", I realized that I had another haunted site close by. I could not pass up the opportunity to visit the mission. I have lived in Santa Clara virtually all my life and although I was aware of the mission and where it was located, have never really had reason to visit it.

Mission Santa Clara has long had a colorful history dating back from the Indians to Father Serra. Briefly, on January 6, 1777 Fray de la Pena set up a cross on the banks of the Guadalupe River. This was to be the original site of the church. The first mass of this church was said on that date. The church remained there until January of 1779. The church had been constructed poorly and was wiped out by flooding of the Guadalupe River. On November 19, 1781, in an elaborate ritual, Father Serra blessed and laid a cornerstone for the third Mission Church. Inside a cavity built into the cornerstone were placed a crucifix, religious images, and Spanish coins to signify the Church treasury. In May of 1784 the church was completed. Although it had further complications due to an earthquake in 1818 and other normal problems during its construction, it was finally completed on May 13, 1928. From that point on it was used as a church and a school named Santa Clara University.

The cornerstone originally blessed by Father Serra was accidentally found by a workman digging for a gas main along Franklin Street in 1911. The cornerstone and its contents are on display in the Mission Room of the University’s de Saisset Museum.

Below are pictures of the altar that were taken on my visit. You will notice the beautifully quiet and serene atmosphere in the mission. Visitors can meditate on their thoughts while in the mission. Others come to pray while others come to admire the craftsmanship and works of art in the mission.


You will notice the orbs visible above the left sconce on the left wall. I took into consideration that these might be light reflections, however, they do not show up on the other sconce. I also do not feel that these are dust as they seem to be too high to be dust. The one on the left is a bit larger than the one on the right.

The orb in this picture is located just to the right of midline and just under the arch. It is a beautifully white orb. Just outside the windows on the right wall is the cemetary where the old Franciscan Friars are buried.

The orb in this picture is a bit difficult to see but if you follow the main aisle/right side of chairs upwards you can see the orb just to the right of midline. It seems to be following me on the way out as I took this last picture.

My Thanks to Mr. Richard Senate for publishing such a wonderful book regarding hauntings in California. The book is easy to read and filled with much more information than I had expected. It made it very easy to pick more places in California that I would like to investigate.

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