Kym and Kris take the podcast to new heights when they hang out in Big Bear, CA, for the weekend in search of epic history (some tragic) and haunted happenings.
We started off visiting the small and poignant Big Bear Cemetery. The cemetery opened in the late 1980s and unfortunately has had some financial difficulties over the years. It is under new management and by all accounts, seems to be the only cemetery in Big Bear.
We spent quite a bit of time walking through and viewing some of the lovingly decorated gravesites.
Throughout the cemetery were homages and tributes to the heart and soul of loved ones who have passed on, including some who must have had quite a sense of humor in life.
Afterwards, we went into Big Bear Village and visited the Knickerbocker Mansion (or, at least, the chained fence surrounding it). Couldn’t discover if the mansion is haunted, but it is a lovely compound and apparently has the oldest still-standing vertical-log cabin in the area (if not the state, or the country…or perhaps…even…THE WORLD!!) It’s currently closed but we couldn’t figure out if it’s because of renovations or for sale. There was no sale sign, but there was a box full of flyers espousing the virtues of the property.
We then visited the Captains Anchorage restaurant (once the Sportsmans Tavern, owned by actor Andy Devine) just up the street. We were too early to go inside, so had to be content with just walking around the building while the kitchen crew eyed us through the window. Not creepy at all. Something weird happened to Kym’s camera phone as she tried to take a photo of one of the upstairs windows. Now. There is a story about a man named George who was found dead in his office on the second floor, whether by murder or by suicide no one really knows. But his ghost is said to haunt the restaurant. So. Ghost? iPhone glitch? Hmmm…..we may never know. There was nothing untoward in the photo, but we are planning to go back and next time…go inside! So bring it on George!
Our Tour Guide to Macabre Big Bear (Kym’s mom) pointed out a home in her neighborhood and a couple businesses in the village with tragic histories, and at one point we did stop near the condo where Christopher Dorner holed up during a manhunt that ended in a fatal shootout with police. During his vengeful spree, he ruthlessly murdered Monica Quan, Keith Lawrence, Officer Michael Crain and Officer Jeremiah MacKay, and caused injury to many others before dying in a fire in a cabin off Highway 38. It’s a tragic addition to the otherwise rich and beautiful history of Big Bear.
To lighten the mood, we end up by touching on the relationship Big Bear has with Hollywood. This has nothing to do with Halloween, or hauntings, or spookiness. Nope. This is alllll about the “make us feel better please” after spending a day talking about death.
In the early 1900s, the mountains, valleys and lake were discovered to be as much a goldmine for filmmaking as the actual gold mining industry had been in building up the town in the 1800s. Aside from a laundry list of classic westerns made in the early first half of the 20th century, scenes in notable movies including “Gone With The Wind,” “Paint Your Wagon,” “Kissin’ Cousins,” “Old Yeller,” and “Davy Crockett” and television shows including “Lassie” and “The FBI” were filmed in the area.
And just because they were so danged cute, here’s some parting shots of just some of the critters who kept us company during the recording.
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Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox” by Espresso Music through premiumbeats.com
Location photo by Kimberly Sickel, @riverdeer at 500px