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Scary Legends of California: Alcatraz

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Probably one of the more famous haunted places in all of California is Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. The island has served as a military fortification, military prison, and as a federal prison. The place has been associated with suffering and death for a long time, and that association has left an imprint on the minds of those who visit the island.

Long before the island was built upon, Native Americans feared the island. They believed that evil spirits resided there, and that the island itself held a portal to another realm. The local tribes would send people there as punishment for breaking tribal laws.

Around 1850, Alcatraz Island was acquired by the US government, and turned into a military fort. Soon enough, starting in the 1860s, the fort slowly became more of a military prison. It housed hundreds of inmates from both the Civil War, and the Mexican-American War. Construction on the concrete cellblock, which is the main feature on the island, started in 1909 and was completed 3 years later. In 1934, Alcatraz became a federal prison. It remained in operation for 29 years. The island is now a Nation Historic Landmark, and is quite the tourist destination.

Park rangers who live on the island have heard and seen things that cannot be explained. One of the worst places is the main cell block, and the dungeon beneath it. They say the air within this building is often cold, and filled with the wails and screams of those who suffered on the island. Stories abound of ghosts of dead inmates walking the halls, or standing within their cells, still imprisoned to this day.

Worst of all, are the stories of a creature known only as The Thing. It is a dark, ghostly figure with glowing red eyes. The apparition haunts the cells of Alcatraz, and is rumored to have killed some of the inmates. One particular story tells of an inmate who was placed into solitary and began screaming that a creature with glowing red eyes was in his cell and attacking him. The man screamed late into the night, until the screaming eventually stopped. The next morning, the guards found him dead in his cell with hand prints around his throat. He had been strangled.


Many visitors to Alcatraz say that they have heard and seen the ghosts roaming the grounds of the island. Even those who do not believe in ghosts, have had their minds changed after a visit to the island that these restless spirits call home.


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The Brief History of Halloween

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October is here, and that means fun and frights for many people across California, and the country in general. Just about everyone celebrates Halloween in some shape or form, but not everyone knows how the holiday got its start.

It is believed that the holiday started out as the Celtic festival of Samhain, (pronounced sow-in). Samhain was an end of the year celebration for Celts over 2,000 years ago. For them, the New Year started at the end of summer and after the harvest of their crops. This was a time to celebrate what they had accomplished for the year, and to remember all of those who came before.

The cold, dark winter months were often associated with the ideals of death. The Celts believed that on the night of the New Year, which for them was October 31st, the spirit world was at its closest to the living world. For them, this was the perfect opportunity pay their respects to their ancestors, and even possibly gain insight into their futures.

The people would celebrate by creating large bonfires, and burning offerings for the spirits of the deceased and their deities. These offering would typically by some of their harvest, or even animals. The people would also dress in costumes, typically those resembling animals. At the end of the celebration, the people would use these sacred bonfires to light the fires in their hearths to help protect them through the coming winter.

Over the next few centuries, the celebration was adopted and molded to fit other holidays. This was first done by the Romans, who used the celebration to remember their own dead, and to honor one of their own gods. The celebration was later adopted by the Western church to remember and honor martyrs and saints of the church. This made it a part of All Saints Day, which was celebrated on November 1st. All Saints Day was also referred to as All-hallows, and the day before it as All-hallows Eve. This eventually lead to the 31st of October being called Halloween

The Holiday eventually made it to America, where it was used by communities to celebrate the year’s harvest, share the stories of deceased relatives. Soon, the practice of telling these stories turned into telling ghost stories. The sharp increase of Irish immigrants seeking refuge from Ireland’s potato famine in 1846 helped spread the practice of Halloween across the country. It also helped reintroduce the idea of dressing up for Halloween and create the practice of trick or treating.


By the 1950’s, Halloween had become a kid oriented holiday with lots of parties where people could get together and have fun. Trick or treating proofed to be a cheap and easy way for people to participate in the holiday. This is what led to Halloween being celebrated the way it is today.


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DUI Checkpoint and What to Expect

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DUI checkpoints often feel like a nuisance for most people. This is a good thing, since most people do not drink and drive. Unfortunately, there are still some people out there who think it is okay to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking. In fact, a person is injured due to a drunk driving accident every 2 minutes.

This is why law enforcement agencies setup DUI checkpoints, especially around holiday weekends. It is no secret that people like to drink a little more around holiday. Even more so if the holiday creates a 3 day weekend. While Halloween does not create a 3 day weekend, it is still a holiday that encourages a lot of partying.


Due to the increase in drunk drivers around Halloween, you can expect to see more DUI checkpoints. You are allowed to avoid these checkpoints, so long as you do not break any driving laws to do so.


As long as you have not been drinking, you have nothing to worry about. When you pull up to the officer, he will likely ask to see your license and registration, and ask a few questions. The questions will be simple: Where are you going? Where are you coming from? Have you been drinking?

After you have answered the questions, and the officer determines that you have not been drinking, he will let you go on your way. However, if the officer suspects that you have been drinking, he will ask you to pull over to the side of the road. There, another officer will conduct a field sobriety test, and if you fail, you will be arrested for driving under the influence.

The best way to avoid this, is to drink responsibly. This means either designating a sober driver, or hiring a taxi, Lyft, or Uber to take you home. Doing this will help you stay out of trouble, and keep the roads safe for everyone.

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Candy Facts for Halloween

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With Halloween just around the corner, many kids are, and even some adults, are getting excited over the thoughts of all the candy. Candy is undeniably one of the biggest parts of the Halloween celebration in the United States. In fact, Americans buy around 600 million pounds of candy on Halloween, and most trick-or-treat bags will be filled with 11,000 calories worth of candy.

There is no denying that we love our candy. Since it is such a huge part of the holiday, here are a few facts about our favorite sweets.

  • Every state has a favorite Halloween candy, California’s is Life Savers.
  • Kids tend to prefer chocolate candies over other types.
  • Adults will often hand out their favorite candy to trick-or-treaters.
  • Three Musketeers bars used to come with three bars in a pack, one chocolate, one vanilla, and one strawberry.
  • The mystery flavor in Dum Dums lollipops is ever changing, and is created when two flavors mix due to the machine switching to a different flavor.
  • Despite the myth, Pop Rocks will not make children will explode, however, the FDA has created a hotline that parents can call if they are still concerned about this.
  • Rock Candy can take a few days, or weeks to produce. It all depends on how many crystals are being created.
  • Smarties are the best candy to have when counting calories, they only have 25 per pack.
  • It takes roughly 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

Have a fun and happy Halloween this year, and try not to eat too much candy.


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Be Safe This Halloween

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Halloween is rapidly approaching and the excitement is building. There will be trick or treating for the kids, and parties for the adults. No matter what your age, there will be plenty of candy and treats to indulge in. however, it is important to not get to carried away and forget about safety.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your children safe while trick or treating.

  • Ensure that each child has something that gives off light, such as a flashlight, glow stick necklace, or even flashing shoes. This will help them remain visible as the evening progresses.
  • Make sure everyone is wearing comfortable shoes. Trick or treating involves a lot of walking, and so it is best to pick comfortable shoes over shoes that match the costume.
  • Be sure that all costumes fit properly, and that none of them drag on the ground. Costumes that drag can become a trip hazard.
  • Try to use face paint instead of masks, since masks can make it harder for children to see.
  • Do not trick or treat after 9 PM. This will give your children plenty of time to have fun, and keep things from going on too late.
  • Only trick or treat at houses that are lit up on the outside. The general rule is, if the house has its front porch lights on, then residents are participating in Halloween trick or treating.
  • Check your kids’ candy before letting them eat it. Throw away anything that is not in a sealed package or looks like it has been opened.

Even if you are not going trick or treating, you should be careful. There will still be a lot of foot traffic on Halloween night, so be extra cautious while driving. Remember to be safe and have lots of fun this Halloween!

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Think There Might Be a Warrant Out for Your Arrest?

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Have you ever wondered if there is a warrant out for your arrest? If so, and you feel embarrassed that you do not know for sure, do not worry. This is actually far more common than people realize. Warrants get issued for peoples’ arrests all of the time. A warrant can be issued just because a person has too many unpaid parking tickets.

The fact of the matter is, warrants for peoples’ arrest get issued all of the time, and that does not mean the person knows about the warrant. They may find out through some way, such as a friend hearing about it from another friend, but they do not know for sure. Now, they need to confirm whether or not a warrant for their arrest exists, but how do they do that?

As it turns out, we offer free warrant checks for all Californians here at Penny Bail Bonds in Buena Park. If you think there might be a warrant out for your arrest, just talk to one of our agents. They can search through most California county databases to check for warrants. All they need to get started is your name, birthday, and the county where you think the warrant was issued.

If there is no warrant, then you are free to go about your day relaxing now that you know for sure there is no warrant. However, if there is a warrant for your arrest, then there is work to be done. You will need to visit your local law enforcement station to get the warrant taken care. Before you do that, you can work with our bail agents to get all of the paperwork for a bail bond figured out. This way, if you are arrested, we can bail you out right away, thus ensuring you spend as little time in jail as possible.

With Penny Bail Bonds in Buena Park by your side, you will have nothing to worry about when it comes to a warrant. We will help you put your mind at ease, and can help you spend only a small amount of time behind bars if it is necessary.


To talk to a bail agent about getting a free warrant check, just call 866-736-6977 or click Chat With Us now.


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What to Do During an Earthquake

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As residents of California, it is important for all of us to be prepared for an earthquake at any moment. After all, many of us live very close to the San Andreas Fault. Earthquakes can occur at any moment, and be truly devastating. This is why it is important that we all know what to do when an earthquake strikes.

If you are indoors when an earthquake strikes, you need to find a sturdy piece of furniture and get beneath that. Be sure to cover your head and neck with your hands and arms as best as you can. Do not stand in a doorway, since these are not typically any stronger than any other wall in the building. Be sure to stay away from windows or other glass objects that could shatter and break. Remain inside in a safe area until the shaking stops, and beware of falling debris as you exit the building.

If you are outside during an earthquake, find an open area away from tall trees, structures, and power lines, and then drop to the ground. If you are in a vehicle, pull over to the side of the road as quickly and safely as you can. You want to stop at a place that is away from tall structures, trees, powerlines, and over or underpasses. The vehicle will bounce around during the event, but stay inside. Do not leave the vehicle if there are downed powerlines near you. After the shaking has finished, you can drive on, but remember to do so with extreme caution as the shaking could have damaged the roadway.


Above everything else, it is important to remain calm. This will help you make better decisions, and help keep others calm around you.


These are just tips for what to do during an actual earthquake. A person needs to do a lot more planning and prepping if they want to be truly prepared for an earthquake. For instance, a person should have stored enough food and water supplies for 3 days for each member of the household. However, just knowing what to do during an earthquake can save several lives.

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After the Rain Falls, It Is a Brighter Day

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Similar to how a beautiful rainbow and bright sunny day appears after a gloomy storm, a person will see a happy, successful life again after dealing with an arrest. In the midst of the storm, or the legal process, it might be hard to imagine a positive outcome, but it is there. Do not worry if you cannot picture it yourself, Santa Ana Bail Bonds will help you see it for real.

The critical first step toward getting through this tough time is bailing your loved one out of jail. If bail is not posted, they live in jail through their trial, which can be days, weeks, or even months.

Santa Ana Bail Bonds will help with the bail bond process by providing a bail bond that costs only 10% of the full bail amount, which is paid in increments even after the defendant is released. There are some contingencies: the 10% is not refundable, the defendant must appear for court appointments, collateral may be required, and a co-signer will be required.

The contingencies are relatively simple and easy to follow, so the bail bond process should not be hard at all, especially with Santa Ana Bail Bonds helping you each step of the way. So, let us post bail and take that first step toward getting through this storm to see the next sunny day. Your loved one could see a sunny day when they post bail and are released from jail.

Santa Ana Bail Bonds can be reached 24/7 online and at 866-736-6977 .

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The Future Is Bright after Bail, We Promise

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There is nothing that says if you have a terrible day, everything from there on out will just get worse. So maybe it is a string of bad luck and hard times, but you know what? Everyone experiences this in some way or another, and they get through it. Stressing about your loved one being arrested and having to get them out of jail is something you can manage, and you will not have to do it by yourself.

Orange County Bail Bond Store is more than available to help assist with the bail bond process. We are available 24/7 and we offer affordable bail bonds with customized payment plans. The total paid will sum up to 10% of the full bail amount. Bail bonds are more commonly used than straight cash bail for the affordability, flexibility, and getting a professional bail agent to assist with the entire process.

So, we understand that it can be hard to see the bright future that comes after this troubled moment, but we promise it is there, and we promise to help you reach it.

Contact Orange County Bail Bond Store online or at 866-736-6977 .

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New Voting Laws in California

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You might have thought the talk of elections and voting had ceased for a while, but January 1, 2017 saw the start of a handful of new voting-related laws in California. Here they are:

    1. Californians with low-level felony convictions now have the right to vote. One of the main reasons behind the passing of this new law is the note that many such felons serve their time outside of prison because California prisons are overcrowded.
    2. Voters can now mail in their ballots at any county elections office in the state of California, not just the county who issued the ballot, making it easier to vote for many people.
    3. Californians may register to vote on Election Day. Previously, registration would close 2 weeks before Election Day. If registering to vote on the day of the election, the voter has a conditional voter registration, meaning it will first be verified that they are eligible to vote before their vote is officially counted.
    4. It is no longer illegal to snap a selfie of you and your ballot and then posting it on social media. There was definitely quite a bit of debate on this in the presidential election.

Aside from new voting laws, there are a slew of other new laws in California, including laws regarding guns and employment. Be sure to read up on them, it could help.