Northern California November 12, 2016
6 Bizarre Urban Legends In Northern California That Might Actually Be True
Call them what you will. Urban legends, tale tales, myths, ghost stories. Northern California is rich with stories. Here are just a few of them that have been passed down through the years. They might be true, they might be false, but they are always entertaining.
The Legend of Bigfoot store is just one of many spots in Northern California that celebrate this local legend. Is Bigfoot real or a myth? Most people believe this supposedly gentle giant is just a story, but some accounts can be surprisingly convincing.
2. California has more earthquakes than anywhere else in the U.S.
This is an urban legend that you'd think would be true at one time but has since been debunked. Alaska actually topped out as the state with the most earthquakes until Oklahoma saw a rise in recent years. California has had the most damaging earthquakes, however, like the 2014 Napa earthquake pictured here.
3. Yreka got its name from a "bakery" sign spelled backwards.
Allegedly this rumor was started by Mark Twain in his comical autobiography. Locals, however, will tell you that little city got its name from a Native American world meaning "north mountain" or "white mountain," a reference to nearby Mt. Shasta.
4. Tahoe Tessie
The Loch Ness monster is known around the world as "Nessie." Here in Northern California, she's known as "Tessie" and she lives deep below the surface in Lake Tahoe. Reportably between 10 and 80 feet long, Tessie is a mysterious as well as shy creature that dwells in the depths.
5. The image on the California State Flag should have been a pear, not a bear.
The tale tale goes like this. When they needed a flag, the founders of the California Republic wanted a pear as the central image. Through an error in penmanship, the creator of the flag put a bear on it instead of a fruit. This story loses a lot of its credibility in the context of the Bear Flag revolt, which took place in 1846.
6. The Legend of Zorro
Many modern action enthusiasts love the the tale of Zorro, the Robin Hood-esque hero who defended
Latino workers during the gold rush. Author Johnston McCulley first penned the story about Don Diego de la Vega, better know as the bandit Zorro, in 1919.
It is said that the inspiration for Zorro came from real life bandito, Joaquin Murrieta Carrillo (1829-1853). He was an outlaw of Mexican Heritage during the Gold Rush and spent much of his time stealing. Don't be so quick to judge him, though. Apparently white settlers murdered his family and stole his successful gold claim.
What are your favorite urban legends and tale tales about places or people here in Northern California? There are so many to chose from, be sure to share with us!