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    "Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Black Diamond Mines

Black Diamond started as a coal mining town in the 1800s. Now, it is considered a ghost town inhabited by two spirits sharing the same nickname, Mary and Sarah.

There's conflicting stories about Mary though I believe the second one. The first states she was hired by a family to be their nanny, but she didn't disclose to her employers that she practice witchcraft. When they found out, they immediately fired her. The next day she was found dead in the mines. How she died is still unknown.

The other has her not only a nanny but one that looked after all the children in the town of Nortonville. Then, all the children died suddenly of mysterious illnesses. The town quickly accused her of witchcraft and was hanged.

Many witnesses over the years have reported seeing a floating bright white apparition near the entrance of the mines. It is believed that she protects children from the dangers inside it. The reports on physical features differ but the similarities have always been that she is either dazzling or bright white. This is how she got the name "White Witch".

Another "White Witch" is said to occupy the Rose Hill Cemetery located on top of a small hill just west of the main entrance to the Black Diamond Park preserve. Sarah Norton, a midwife who died tragically when the carriage she was riding in turned over and crushed her while on her way to deliver a baby, is said to haunt this location. She wasn't know to be a spiritual person and even rejected ceremony.

Her children tried to obey her wishes for no funeral but the towns people decided otherwise. Since she was greatly admired, the entire town of Somersville tried twice to give her a public funeral, but failed when unnaturally fierce storms struck. A third attempt was made, and on this day another fierce storm hit town, but the determined townsfolk decided this time to suffer through the storm and hold the ceremony as planned. And so it was that Sarah Norton was publicly laid to rest within the gates of Rose Hill Cemetery - against her wishes.

Since that day, have reported seeing a white apparition floating between the headstones scattered throughout the cemetery. Sarah Norton hopelessly wanders the cemetery looking for a way to leave. Thus, she shares the nickname "White Witch" with Mary.

The Contra Costa Historical Society does have on record an obituary for one Sarah Norton. The date of death is listed as October 11, 1879 with no cause of death provided.


Sources: East Bay Paranormal and Real Haunted.com

17 comments:

Mari said...

I once decided to go on a lil' ghost hunting trip to the Mines @ Black Diamond!! My roomates and I arrived @ 11pm we parked in the neighborhood outside the park and hiked the entire drive way up to the park and than all the way up to the cemetery so by the time we arrived it was 1am!! we also took a look at the mines and the old town of nortonville! Yes it was pretty freaky but its sad to inform we failed to see any such white figures we were a group of 5!! and we hiked back to our car with great dissappointment!

Anonymous said...

i just was up there recently 10-5-2010 with my family we were hiking down from the cemetary and all of a sudden me and my family were overcome by a strong overpowering sweet smell.it came and went two times and no one was around but us . i dont know what to make of it but it was out of the ordinary for us.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in concord and went to Clayton Valley High School and we use to party up in the Norton Ville caves closest to the cemetery was a cave called the entrance to hell were we would all party spent nights in that cave. HAD seen Sarah the white which numerous times up on the hill in cemetery. The sightings of her were between the times of 1:00 am thru 4:00 am. And only one time we had seen Mary. Year of 1975-1980 , really miss those day's . Not to much longer 3 young boys were found dead in one of the caves caused by natural gases leaking through the cracks of cave. After that the caves were blown up with dynamite and were no longer to be seen.

Anonymous said...

We used to go up there once a month for a couple years to drink and have fun back in the late 90's. We all saw a white figure hovering within 20 ft of us one night and a screeching noise was coming from the figure as well...the 4 of us ran back to our car...which was about a mile away and never returned. I'm still freaked out about it.

Anonymous said...

I have a picture .... I want to post it but im afraid of copyright

Unknown said...

We used to visit both Nortonville and Somersville cemeteries when I was young with my parents. This would have been in about the mid 50's. Before the cemeteries were vandalized and the tombstones disappeared. It was an interesting place to visit and take a leisurely stroll. I remember Sarah Norton's grave and headstone.

Anonymous said...

Post that pic!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi there live in the black diamond area, and my great grandfather helped found the mines; however I just wanted to say that you article is most impressive and that I have scene the white witch, she was a bright white light that imerged from behined one of the tombstones it began to float down the road twoards The site of what was nortonville

Anonymous said...

Pleeeease post! Or send to my email! Lol local res here. I live this stuff!

Anonymous said...

My daughter have been to the graveyard many times one time I was next to Sarah's grave and demanded her to give me a sign that she's a ghost or not at the exact time my daughter got a piercing headache and after we got hone I noticed some sort of bites all over my legs thinkin it was a bad idea to call her out she definitely is for real!!

Anonymous said...

Ok im going to be completely honest. Im from newyork, the Bronx. last night I was awake in a my room and a white figure glowing lady was over me on my bed. she came close and whispered to me "im sarah from soda bay" .. I had no idea what this meant. all of a sudden my bed starts to tremble. as i started to yell for my brother, she started to float towards my window where i saw a brown horse head looking in. i couldn't go back to sleep and became even more scared when i googles sarah soda bay and horse and found out the story about her. but i live in ny and she haunts California.. im at work now and cant this off my mind. someone please tell me im not going crazy.. i was always a believer in ghost but this is too much to be a coincidence.. and no i was not dreaming. im very much aware of when im dreaming and i was just laying in my bed flipping through my phone.. i felt her hair touch my shoulder as she came close and whispered who she was but i was too afraid to look at her face .. please any information as to why she would be in Newyork, maybe she had family?? any help please

Anonymous said...

I was in the USMC stationd in Concord ca back in 1973-74 .. I visited that cave and partied many times there .. Heard about the hauntings , never saw a thing :-( ..

Anonymous said...

where the TU's @

Alex said...

I WROTE BUSH DID 9/11 ON SARAH'S GRAVE!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The story I heard as a kid was: The father was the Sheriff and his daughter's boyfriend tried to rob the bank but the Sheriff's daughter jump in front of her boyfriend and he accidentally killed his daughter. The mother, his wife never forgave him and hated men for ever after. She haunt's the grave yard and attacks males. I went as a teenager with my boyfriend and other friends. I didn't go into the graveyard. I watched from the gate as the boys went in through a hole in the fence. A white form chased them screaming back to the fence but the hole was gone. I saw the whole thing.They had to scramble over the fence. It was for real scary. The strangest thing was all the picture's taken facing the grave yard didn't turn out but all the pictures on the same roll of film facing away from the grave yard did turn out.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Concord during the 80's, went to Clayton Valley High. Heard stories about the White Witch. Went to the cemetery and found Sarah Norton's grave. Never saw her ghost as it was day time. I did find it interesting that her grave stone had a huge crack right down the middle.

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