Albinos have been sighted chasing cars on ominous Hicks Road. They have been seen lurking about in the woods above The Cats Restaurant in Los Gatos. And a large enclave of albinos frolics in the gorges of upper Alum Rock Park. Urban legends of flesh-eating albinos are not unique to San Jose. Google “albinos urban legend” and countless links from communities all over the world provide harrowing accounts of albinos emerging from the dark in search of human flesh or poodle meat.
For millennia, schoolchildren matriculating in the Alum Rock district have spoken of albinos who swoop down the slopes in search of food, or perhaps to change the pin placements at the nearby San Jose Country Club. Demonic pin placements have been observed, sometimes the holes being moved completely off the green and placed next to badger lairs. I suspect parents may have started these lurid tales to scare their children into coming home before dark, such machinations being required when dealing with
children—an unruly lot at best. A classic example of the tactic was used by San Jose parents in the 1960s, who warned their children to shape up or be “dropped off in Alviso.” Nobody wanted to be dropped off in Alviso in the 1960s.
Alum Rock Park is open to the public, but the threat of albino attacks keeps out all but the most foolhardy. And I suspect the ultra-ominous $6.00 parking fee keeps out a few folks as well. Old time San Joseans, such as Dave Hickey and Greg Howe, remember visiting the park as children to swim at the natatorium (indoor swimming pool), or to sample the four “flavors” of mineral spring water—white sulphur, black sulphur, soda or iron. At various times, Alum Rock Park has sported a restaurant, hotel, zoo, Chinese tea house, natatorium, merry-go-round, dance pavilion, and a famous meteor. A narrow-gauge railroad once connected the park with downtown San Jose. All are gone now. What remains are several fetid, oozing, sulphur springs, and remnants of what might well be blood-curdling albino ceremonies—including poodle bones and empty bottles of Cliquot Veuve.
Heinous Albino Menace
Official San Jose site of Alum Rock Park