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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

The writings of Don Juan Ortega on the Rancho Ortega Blog are the personal views of the author. This blog is not authored by nor does it have any affiliation whatsoever with any other person, place or entity using the name "Rancho Ortega" (or any similar name).

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Top Ten Most Haunted Locations in Orange County

Two years ago, we counted down our nominees for the top ten most haunted locations in Orange County. It was by far our most popular article — especially the article about #2: Black Star Canyon. Not long thereafter, one of those ghost hunter reality shows did an episode on the ghosts of the Mission San [...]

Top 10 Haunted Spots in Orange County

In celebration of Halloween, here are the links to last year’s “Top Ten Haunted Spots in Orange County”:

10. Katie Wheeler Library and the “Lady in Blue.”

9. John Wayne and the Wild Goose Yacht

8. Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm

7. Fox Theater

6. El Adobe de Capistrano Restaurant

5. Yorba Cemetery and the [...]

RSM’s Singing Pumpkin House is Back!

Featured on Good Morning America and other national media, the Singing Pumpkin house of Rancho Santa Margarita is back this year! They have a Facebook page, and all the information is on the flyer below.

The address is 8 Talega in RSM. You can find a map on our article from last year.

Here’s [...]

Visit Haunted Trails in Laguna Niguel This Weekend

Can’t wait until Halloween to scare that special someone in your life? Take them this weekend to Haunted Trails, the 13th annual haunted walk put on by the City of Laguna Niguel’s Parks and Recreation Department. Small groups will be led through mazes, tents and a graveyard where they will be scared by spooky versions [...]

Halls of Horror: Another Ladera Ranch Haunted House

We previously told you about the great Ladera Ranch haunted house at 6 Shepherd Court here. Can’t get enough scares? Here’s another local haunted house for you to try: Halls of Horror is back in 2013 at 17 Plum in Ladera Ranch. The dates are different than the Shepherd’s Court house, so you have a [...]

Historical Society Presents the Ghosts and Legends of San Juan Capistrano

If you are looking for a fun and educational Halloween-themed activity the weekend before Halloween, make your reservations to participate in one of San Juan Capistrano Historical Society’s “Ghosts and Legends” tours. Make your reservations soon because spots go quickly for this popular event.


Visit the Shepherd’s Court Halloween Haunt in Covenant Hills

It’s October and the Shepherd is back! Cue the scary music. Are you ready for the annual Shepherd’s Court Halloween Haunt? This is an amazing, fully theatrical haunted house event hosted by the Blasdel and George families of Ladera Ranch, all in support of a worthy cause. Guests say that it’s “better than Knott’s Scary [...]

Why the Sudden Interest in the Ghosts of Black Star Canyon?

Last Halloween we did a fun little series on the top 10 most haunted spots in Orange County. It has been one of our more popular items, and even today — nearly a year later — those articles are always among the day’s most highly trafficked. Of the ten, our article about Black Star Canyon [...]

Rancho Ortega Blog Attracts the Attention of Ghost Hunters

Last year for Halloween, we counted down the ten most haunted spots in Orange County. It was and has been one of our most popular series of articles. Last week, our post about Black Star Canyon (the second most haunted spot in Orange County, according to us!) was reprinted by a Facebook site called “Haunted [...]

Ghost Mission on the SyFy Channel Re-Airs Tonight

Did you miss the episode of Ghost Hunters featuring Mission San Juan Capistrano? If so, “Ghost Mission” will be re-aired tonight on the SyFy Channel.