Char Man is a ghost or phantom that haunts Creek Road bridge in Ojai, CA.
Appearance: A man horrible burnt and disfigured from fire and with skin and flesh dangling from his body. Char Man is said to reek of burning flesh.
Lore: There are many stories about how Char Man came to be. All of the stories generally involve a man who is severely burnt beyond recognition and who subsequently flees into the forest, becoming "Char Man". In one tale in the book, Weird Hauntings by Joanne Austin and Ryan Doan, there is a piece written by Greg Bishop. Bishop tales the tale of Char Man being a motorcyclist who was walking back with a can of gasoline after running empty. The man accidentally spilled some of the gasoline on himself while smoking and went up in flames. Other popular stories involve an insane man, a firefighter who died on the job, a man in a car crash who then burns, or a man who was burnt and lost his family in a house fire. Despite the origin of Char Man, the legend concerning the ritual seems to be the same. To invoke Char Man one drives to the old Creek Road bridge, exits the vehicle, and then screams "Help me, help me!" Char Man is then believed to race out of the woods in an attempt to catch and kill the people who dare mock his pain and suffering.
Defense Against Char Man: Stay away from Creek Road bridge. Do not perform the ritual. You may be able to smell Char Man before you see him. If you smell burnt flesh then immediately flee the area.
Char Man Explained?: Local police believe the legend of Char Man may have sprung from a local man in the 1960s who was deformed from skin cancer. The man would only emerge from his home at night to walk his dog.
The "Char-Man": A Local Legend of the Ojai Valley
Weird Hauntings: True Tales Of Ghostly Place compiled by Joanne Austin