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Please include debunking or confirming information on subpages. Note: Many of these listed are debunkable with a little research, don't believe everything you hear!


City Legends

  • Haunted Houses
    • I grew up in Davis, and I have never heard of any haunted houses. As kids we used to play in the Davis Cemetery, but even that wasn't haunted
    • The Baxter House is supposedly haunted.
    • Old City Hall/Police Station - Davis PD moved to a new building recently, after having been in the old City Hall that was built in 1938 or so. Downstairs, after it was vacated, in the Women's restroom, there was seen a wild haired redheaded woman rushing toward the 2nd stall door in an 'attack' posture with outstretched arms and claw-like hands towards a person's face.
  • Jimmy Carter's visit
    • Jimmy didn't visit, but Rosalynn Carter did, to see Village Homes, which was the country's first all-solar housing developmentBevSykes
  • What's buried under the bike statue on Russell
  • Unidentified Flying Objects
  • Why is the bar called Froggy's?
    • Check out the page for an explanation

Campus Legends

  • World War Two Prisoners
    • I am not sure what is meant by this heading, but a former City Councilman, Jerry Kaneko, was interned in a Japanese labor camp during WWII.
  • Girl's Face on Side of Tercero B - legend has it that a girl living on the second floor of Tercero B leapt to her death (from a second floor?!). The faint image of her face later become apparent on the wall - or it maybe it was that her friends painted her face on the wall, it was later painted over, and reappeared (which would make complete sense as one can often see the vague impression of underlying layers of paint).

When I was a freshman in Tercero C, I heard a different version of this story. The girl's face CAN be seen from outside, but it is painted on the underside of a third-story awning on Tercero A, facing C building. The story that we were told was that many years ago, two identical twin girls lived in the room where the painting is located. One evening, one twin was out at her boyfriend's house while the other twin was asleep in their room. Supposedly at 3 am or something, she suddenly woke up, opened up her window, leaned out from her top bunk bed, and started drawing this image of a face on the underside of the awning. She didn't know what possessed her to do it but she couldn't make herself stop. At some point she finished, looked at the picture, and thought that it was funny that it resembled herself. She went back to sleep and was awakened at 7 am the next morning by a phone call. It was her mother, calling to tell her that her twin sister had been killed in a car crash coming home from her boyfriend's that last night at about 3 am. She was so stricken with grief that she leapt to her death from the third floor window. Legend has it that the image has been painted over every year, but somehow, the face mysteriously reappears through the paint. I have no idea if this story is true, but it used to scare the heck out of me as a freshman. — KayRide

WTF? I was in Tercero B (IS '96-'97) and this is the first I've heard of it.NicoleTheWonderNerd

I think it's more recent than that. I'm not sure, though.MikeIvanov

I heard from several RA friends that it was in A building rather than BLizethCazares

  • Suicide note in the Malcom Hall elevator shaft - Back when I was a freshman living on Malcom 3 it was brought to my attention that if you take the elevator to the 5th floor and look up through the crack between the door and the wall, writing is visible on the ceiling of the elevator shaft. It said something to the effect of "what did I do wrong? why do you all hate me?". Legend has it that a girl hung herself in the elevator shaft shortly after writing the letter. I haven't actually been in Malcom for about 3 years so the writing may be gone by now. — DanMasiel
    • At the top of the shaft it says: shit, give me a chance.ErnBro
    • Still there for the 02-03 year. A painted message was at the top of the Ryerson Hall elevator shaft as well, and it might have said the same thing, so it's probably fake. Just look straight up when the doors are open. I thought it said 'shit, give me another chance. -ES

Greek Legends

  • Any Greeks care to spill the beans?
    • I think the story of the kid being stabbed 27 times, and it being ruled a suicide should be put here for future generations.. It will become an Urban legend
    • I suspect the above comment is referring to the death of Andrew Wieman. Information on his death can be found on the Tragic events page.

Debunked Legends & Truth

  • Agent Orange was invented on the UC Davis campus. Agent Orange was actually born as a defoliant at the University of Chicago during World War II.
  • Cow Tipping
  • Davis was the first city with curbside recycling. Not true! Davis started curbside recycling in 1974, while Madison, Wisconsin had already started in 1967.
  • Lands deeded with stipulations.
  • Square Tomatoes were invented here. Most tomatoes one finds in a grocery store are "square" tomatoes. They are more robust than traditional tomatoes, eliminating a formerly significant problem of tomatoes breaking during harvesting. (No, they aren't square in shape any more than Coral Bells are made from coral or Baby Tears are related to crying infants).
  • Sword and Sandals is a campus secret society.
  • Radioactive Beagles were buried on on UC Davis property - from this report:

The former Laboratory for Energy-Related Health Research is a 15-acre site located on part of the University of California, Davis campus...The Atomic Energy Commission and Department of Energy sponsored experiments at LEHR during the 1960s through the 1980s. These experiments consisted primarily of exposing beagle dogs to strontium-90 and radium–226 to extrapolate the human effects from exposure to low levels of radiation. Waste from these research activities was processed in a Radium/Strontium Treatment System... waste was also buried in the southwest corner of the site in unlined trenches (Southwest Trenches).

  • A Russian spy was caught in Davis during the Cold War. The Walker "Spy Ring" was essentially John Walker and his family, for the most part; they stole all kinds of classified info from the Navy, and sold it to the Soviets. One of John Walker's main contacts/partners in spying was a recruit of his, Jerry Whitworth, the sole non-family member in the group. Whitworth was living in Davis at the time of his arrest in 1985, in the Rancho Yolo mobile home park (at that time it had a mixed population, before it became seniors only) on Pole Line Rd., just north of Fifth Street.
  • The large three story house on the corner of 4th & I Streets has a backwards swastika embedded in its chimney, marking it as the home of Nazi sympathizers. This historical home was built in 1911 by German-born Theodore Schmeiser; he incorporated the symbol as a good luck designation.
  • The Unabomber Visited UC Davis. UC Davis librarians handed over to the FBI a book found in the stacks with handwritten markings around text closely paralleling some of the Unabomber's manifesto, which raised the possibility that the Unabomber may have used the UC Davis library for researching and writing at least part of his manifesto. There is no firm evidence that the Kaczynski studied at the UC Davis library. However, the Unabomber's attorney was Federal Public Defender Quin Denvir, a Davis resident whose wife, Ann Denvir, taught math at Davis High.
  • Famous Locals & Alumni
    • Hasan Akbar - became internationally infamous for a fragging incident during the Iraq invasion. He was sentenced to death.
    • Josh Davis aka Dj Shadow - Davis Senior High graduate
    • Paul Moller - Developer of the Volantor Skycar, a flying passenger vehicle through his company Moller International.
    • Xavier Mosely - Blackalicious DJ
    • William Sullivan - Current CEO of Agilent Technologies, Graduated '77 w/ B.S.
    • Ann Veneman - Former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and current director of UNICEF, Ann Veneman earned her bachelor's degree in political science from UC Davis.
    • Martin Yan - chef, author and host of Yan Can Cook
      • Martin taught cooking classes here. He gave a high priced cooking class at the University and taught the same class for $20 through the Adult School. I took two of his Adult School classes and they were wonderful. Before Martin became big on TV, he was working with local attorney Stephen Cole to get a program started in Canada (I was working for Stephen's father, Robert M. Cole at the time. —BevSykes