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Santa Barbara Mission –


Haunted Place - Santa Barbara Mission


2201 Laguna Street
Santa Barbara, California 93105
Web Link
* (805) 682-4713


The Santa Barbara Mission was the tenth of the California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. It was established on the Feast of St. Barbara, December 4, 1786.

Padre Junipero Serra, who had founded the first nine Missions, had died 2 years earlier. It was Padre Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, his successor, who raised the cross and made the first converts.

The original buildings were unpretentious and made of adobe. Over time three adobe churches were constructed on the grounds, each larger than the one before until the fourth and present church was built in 1820. The third was destroyed by earthquake in 1812. The fountain in front was built in 1808.

The earthquake of June 29, 1925 damaged the Mission church and friary considerably. The earthquake occurred during a chapel service. People rushed out of the chapel while the beams in the front of the church fell. Fortunately no one was hurt. Restoration work was completed in 1927 and the towers reinforced in 1953.

Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, the land from Malibu to San Luis Obispo was inhabited by the Chumash Indians. They were hunters and gatherers oriented to the sea. They built plank boats (tomols) which were capable of traveling to the Channel Islands. Chumash villages were autonomous, headed by a hereditary leader. Houses were semi-oval huts built of tule. Basketry was a major art form as were stone bowls and tools. Houses were dome shaped with tules covering a willow frame.

Ghosts have been seen walking around the old graveyard connected to this mission.

Over 5,000 pioneers and Indians are buried here.