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The haunted history of the California missions




Though Mission San Juan Capistrano is popularly known for the annual return of swallows, the birds have made their nests elsewhere in recent years. But a bird expert is trying to 'seduce' the birds to return.
Though Mission San Juan Capistrano is popularly known for the annual return of swallows, the birds have made their nests elsewhere in recent years. But a bird expert is trying to 'seduce' the birds to return.
Michael Juliano/KPCC

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There are more than 20 Spanish missions scattered throughout California, some dating back as far as 1769.

With almost 250 years of history, some of it tragic and gruesome, it's not a surprise that ghostly tales surround the aging structures.

Now, Take Two reserves judgment on whether we should believe in these stories, but what better time to explore them, than on Halloween?

A Martinez was joined earlier by historian and self-proclaimed ghost hunter, Richard Senate. Senate spoke about the violent history of the missions, some of the most spine-tingling stories and sightings, and his own personal experience with ghosts.

Click the blue audio player above to hear the full interview.