57. Mission La Purisima Concepcion, California

Mission La Purisima in California’s Santa Barbara County is one of the few remaining structures that attest to the Spanish colonization of California. While it is no surprise that these places are said to be haunted, the ghost stories about the Mission, both in what they include and what they surprisingly exclude, tell us quite a bit about how modern Californians think about their state’s past.

This episode was written by Matthew Armstrong with music by Matthew Armstrong and production assistance from Kaylia Metcalfe.

A transcript of this episode can be found HERE.

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Legends of America

Mysterious Universe

Occult World

Online Archive of California

Richard Senate at Ghostvillage.com

Seeks Ghosts


Travel Channel

Weird California

Wikipedia entry on “End of the Trail” sculpture

Allen, Rebecca. 1998. Native Americans at Mission Santa Cruz 1791-1834: Interpreting the Archaeological Record (Perspectives in California Archaeology). Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, University of California, Los Angeles. 

Armstrong, Matthew. 2006. Prehistoric Exchange in the Santa Ynez Valley: Archaeology and Ethnohistory. Masters thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Cook, Sherburne F. 1976. The Conflict Between The Californai Indian and White Civilization. Reprints of papers published in Ibero-Americana between 1940 and 1943. University of California Press, Los Angeles, CA.

Coombs, Gary and Fred Plog. 1977. The Conversion of the Chumash Indians: an Ecological Interpretation. Human Ecology 5(4): 309-321. 

Erlandson, Jon and Kevin Bartoy. Cabrillo, the Chumash, and Old World Diseases. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 17(2): 153-173.

Farnsworth, Paul. 1989. Economics of Acculturation in the Spanish Missions of Alta California. Research in Economic Anthropology 11: 217-249. 

Gamble, Lynn. 2008. The Chumash World at European Contact. University of California PRess. Los Angeles, CA. 

Glassow, Michael A. 1996. Purisimeño Chumash Prehistory. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Fort Worth, TX. 

Grant, Campbell. 1978. Chumash: Introduction, in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8: California (Robert F. Heizer, Editor). Pages 505-508. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Greenwood, Roberta. 1978. Obispeño and Purisimeño Chumash, in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8: California (Robert F. Heizer, Editor). Pages 520-524. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Horne, Stephen P. 1981. The Inland Chumash: Ethnography, Ethnohistory, and Archaeology. PhD Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Jackson, Robert H. 1987. Patterns of Demographic Change in the Missions of Central Ala California.  Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 9(2): 251-272. 

Jackson, Robert H. 1990. The Population of the Santa Barbara Channel Missions (Alta California) 1813-1832.  Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 12(2): 268-274.

Jervis, Laurie. 2012. Ghost Story: Spooky stories haunt La Purisima Mission. Lompoc Record, February 5, 2012. Found online 3/15/23 at https://lompocrecord.com/news/local/spooky-stories-haunt-la-purisima-mission/article_7c10ba06-4fbc-11e1-b3df-0019bb2963f4.html

Jervis, Laurie. 2012. Mission ghosts: Thin veil between spiritual, physical world. The Santa Maria Times, February 5, 2012. Found online 3/15/23 at https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/mission-ghosts-thin-veil-between-spiritual-physical-world/article_6ed506c4-4fc3-11e1-bfd9-0019bb2963f4.html

Johnson, John R. 1988. Chumash Social Organization: An Ethnographic Perspective. PhD Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Johnson, John R. 2000. Social Responses to Climate Change Among the Chumash Indians of South-Central California. In The Way the Wind Blows: Climate History and Human Actions. Columbia University PRess, New York, NY. . 

Kennett, Douglas J. and James P. Kennett. 2004. Comparative and Cooperative Responses to Climatic Instability in Coastal Southern California. In Prehistoric California: Archaeology and the Myth of Paradise. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.

King, Chester. 1976. Chumash Inter-Village Economic Exchange. In Native Californians: A Theoretical Retrospective. Ballena Press, Menlo Park, CA. 

King, Linda Barbey. 1982. Medea Creek Cemetery: Late Inland Chumash Patterns of Social Organization, Exchange, and Warfare. PhD Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles. 

Lambert, Patricia. 1994. War and Peace in the Western Front: A Study of Violent Conflict and its Correlates in Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Societies of Coastal Southern California. PhD Dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Larson, Daniel O., John R. Johnson, and John C. Michaelson. 1995. Missionization Among the Coastal Chumash of Central California: A Study in Risk Minimization Strategies. American Anthropologist 96: 263-399. 

Lloyd, Nancy. 1955. The Chumash: A Study of the Assimilation of  California Indian Tribe. MA Thesis, University of Arizona. 

Lompoc Valley Historical Society. 1979. Lompoc Legacy, a Quarterly of the Lompoc Valley Historical Society, No. 23. Lompoc, CA. Found online 4/12/23 at https://lompochistory.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/legacy-23.pdf

McReynolds, John. 2007. La Purisima Mission: Renaissance ranger retires. Lompoc Record, October 30, 2007. Found online 3/15/23 at https://lompocrecord.com/news/local/la-purisima-mission-renaissance-ranger-retires/article_805c6cc0-ddaf-59c7-8358-767ab90833c6.html

Pettazzoni, R. 1946. The Pagan Origins of the Three-Headed Representation of the Christian Trinity. Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes Vol. 9, pp. 135-151

Preston, William. 2004. Serpent in Eden: Dispersal of Foreign Diseases into Pre-Mission California. In Prehistoric California: Archaeology and the Myth of Paradise. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT.  

Sandos, James A. 1985. LEVANTAMIENTO!: The 1824 Chumash Uprising Reconsidered. Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 67 (2), pp. 109-133

Schuyler, Robert L. 1978. Indian-Euro-American Interaction: Archaeological Evidence from Non-Indian Sites, in Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8: California (Robert F. Heizer, Editor). Pages 69-79. Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Senate, Richard L. 1986. Ghosts of the Haunted Coast. Pathfinder Publishing, Channel Islands, CA. 

Walker, Phillip L. 1989. Cranial Injuries as Evidence of Violence in Prehistoric Southern California. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 80: 313-323. 

Walker, Phillip L. and John R. Johnson. 1994. The Decline of the Chumash Indian Population. In In the Wake of Contact: Biological Responses to Conquest. Wiley-Liss, Inc. New York, NY. 

If you have a story about a ghost, some bit of folklore, or anyting else you want to share, please contact me.

Published by kayliametcalfe

Queer,loudmouth,skeptical-agnostic-pagan,book addict,coffee lover,wine drinker, SAHM,writer,editor,producer,podcaster. -She/her

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