Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!
Hike: There are many trails on this land Level: Each hike varies in levels of difficulty
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
Proctor Valley is an extremely large, dry and mostly deserted area with one lone, dirt road taking you from Chula Vista to Jamul (UPDATE: It appears MUCH of this poor road is falling victim to development). The ghost stories of this area date back to over a century ago, with tales ranging from a large ape-looking beast to a screaming banshee to a hitchhiking lady dressed in blue.
You will also hear stories of a demon car chasing after you, small hand-prints on your car and your car mysteriously breaking down or crashing out here.
Perhaps the stories began back when rancher’s cattle began going missing and found miles away mutilated. Rumor has it that a local museum even has a huge footprint that was once found in the valley. There used to be a bakery out here where a man killed his family and then himself. There are rape and murder stories as well.
Perhaps through decades of tragedy and horror, this lonely dirt road has accumulated an energy from those whom are not ready to move on, and so instead they attempt to have their story heard.
I can see how things can easily go wrong out here and how a story can be created. This is an extremely dark and isolated area where your screams will be muffled from the sheer distance of the nearest home. If for some reason a person is traveling this area by foot to get from one end to the next and the wrong person is cruising this road, you could become a statistic.
If you are driving out here and your car breaks down, once again you could run into problems. My phone was drained very quickly out here and died within the first 10 minutes. Bottom line: be safe and be smart.
It appears people are witnessing things in the dead of the night. The witching hour is 3 a.m. so try being out there during that time if you’re brave enough and looking for a scare! Remember: safety in numbers!
What I noticed is that there are two Proctor Valley Roads. There is the easy one which is just going straight the whole way and East H just turned into Proctor, or there is another where you turn left on Mt. Miguel rd and then make another left a little further down back onto another Proctor Valley Rd. Both of these roads are dirt road. Does anyone know if both are considered haunted? I imagine construction cut this road in half awhile back.
The Reader did a very informative write-up of this area: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2001/mar/08/what-story-behind-proctor-valley-monster/
Here are some of the more interesting stories that I read on the internet:
“I can honestly say that me and 5 others saw the lady. Back in ’87, we had heard this story about a lady walking around on Proctor Valley Road asking for help. We thought, “Ok, it’s 3am in the morning. Let’s drive out there.”As we were coming around a bend, we see this blue thing on the side of the road. It was this lady that was in a fetal position. We slowed down to get a better glimpse of this “blue thing”. As the headlights shined on this thing, it stood up. It turned out to be some lady in a bluish gown of some kind. She did look like she was glowing in a faint manner (or it could’ve been the high beams). She started waving her hands (like she was asking for help). I also remember her mouth moving, as if she was talking, but no words were coming out. Obviously, we all freaked out and sped out of there as fast as we can. A buddy of mine looked back and said, “I don’t see her anymore.”
“Around 1976 me and a few freinds took a drive thru proctor valley rd, we entered by lyons valley rd almost towards the end to the right side we saw what looked like a ball of fire must have been the size of a basket ball and it was jumping around movin, we know it wasn’t someone holding it because we would have seen them, but it was very freaky seeing a ball of fire moving around.”
“On my buddies wedding night, my dad, my friend, and the soon to be husband, and i went to proctor valley… about 5 minutes into the valley our truck shut down. we had our windows open and out of nowhere this loud scream that came from a lady…. keep in mind that the lady in white is a screaming banshee…. anyway we heard this loud scream. all of a sudden our truck turned on. as we were hauling out of there we saw something following us… something huge…. when we got out and stopped at the entrance of the valley, something was looking at us and then this huge thing just started to go back into the valley.”
“I’ve been out there about five times total but have only ever experienced anything once. I was out with a friend at around 1 AM and we got almost all the way through to Jamul before we decided to turn back. Out of nowhere some headlights appeared about a mile behind us. Within five minutes they were right on our tail. If we decided to just skip a turn and go through bush they did the same. When we finally got to paved road the vehicle behind us suddenly stopped. When we looked back we saw the headlights but strangely enough we saw no body of a car. No light reflecting off of metal. Nothing. Just two lights. We got out of there. I’ve heard a few stories of a “demon car” out there and maybe that could’ve been it?”
I’m still trying to grasp what is so scary about this area. To me, a truly creepy area is scary both in the night AND day. I can, however, see how it can be dangerous. I have read that it’s the Questhaven of East County but I’m going to have to say that there’s no comparison! In Questhaven, you also have the Questhaven Retreat, Harmony Grove, the Harmony Grove Spiriualist Center and Elfin Forest. You can keep coming back and back for endless excitement.
I did find the lakes nearby which was really cool, but didn’t see anything creepy. If it is purely an energy thing, then that’s cool. Part of the fun with spooky areas is for the visuals too though. I feel like I’m too old to be exploring this area at night but I may. Will update.
If you take a short hike southeast from here, you will end up at the famously-graffitied Upper Otay dam and reservoir. Walk a little further and you will end up at Lower Otay lake, where Savage Dam is. This dam is notable for bursting during the great flood which was created by the rainmaker, Charles Hatfield, in the early 1900’s.
We found a few ruins through small hikes. Is this abandoned cattle ranch one of the ones that cows were disappearing from and showing up mutilated? I wonder……
Update: This photo was sent to me from a reader who said these muddy handprints appeared on her car after they drove thru the area one night:
The footprint of the Proctor Valley Monster is very much real. I mean. I don’t know that it’s REAL, but I have seen the cast of it. It’s part of the collection of the Bonita Museum and since they moved to their new location next to the new library a few years ago I think they may have taken it off display (I am not sure why) but if you ask the docent about it, they will happily tell you about it.
And, as far as I know, both sections of the road are considered equally haunted. You are right in that they used to be one about 20 years ago. I worry that the encroachment of the city on the Monster’s territory may endanger him. 😉
March 27, 2014
The stories about the demon cars. I used to live at the end of East H. At night I would practice driving rally style on Proctor Valley. I’d often chase down cars with kids looking for ghosts. I’d drive with the lights off until I got really close, turn on the lights behind them, slam on the brakes and turn them off. Then I’d speed up and pass with the lights off still. So much fun.
April 3, 2014
Proctor Valley Monster was a large furry bovine that was ugly and had a bunch of bells tied to it. I forget why the farmer did it or the breed of cow…maybe to scare kids off. Oh and once I was out in Proctor Valley when I was really young and birds were circling my mom said to get back in the truck and we left. A body was found less than a week later in the same area.
April 13, 2014
I use to LIVE out in proctor valley. You ever seen that huge castle looking mansion up on the hill? Well, I was their neighbor.. Lived out there for 5 years. I just moved a couple months ago…
The only thing that has ever happened to me was a car tailgating me aggressively at night. All of a sudden its lights shut off (so I thought). I slowed down and looked behind me and the car was gone! Til this day idk what the hell that was all about.
April 22, 2014
I used to live in the condes out there when I first moved to SD before the highway was built. I used to drive that road all the time because I could bypass all the H St.traffic. Many times at night. Back then I didn’t know it was supposed to be haunted. I never saw anything but I did get a little creeped out. I would drive fast just to quickly get to the Chula Vist
October 24, 2014
I live in Bonita. Its all a myth. Farmers created the idea of the monster to scare away kids from the land. However, the scary stories did the exact opposite. So when you come visit please keep the area clean. A lot of people leave trash behind. Bonita takes pride in its rich history. Come on down and visit just respect the land.
July 24, 2015
I grew up in the area. My sister told me for years about a night her boyfriend was driving she and me home from an overlook/cliff where a local road ended. I was about six and I guess I’d fallen asleep in the back seat. My sister looked back to check on me and next to me she says she saw a horned shadow figure with red eyes. I have no memory of this but I can only guess she somehow used the memory of the devil from Rosemary’s Baby and transferred the image here somehow. Anyway, my other siblings also have stories about this figure that have surrounded me at different times, but always near our parents’ house in Eastern Chula Vista.
October 28, 2015
i was driving here on my civic practicing my driving for dirt. i had my phone never drained on me and nor was it scary. quit exaggerating and lying about your drunken nights on this road.
April 30, 2017
The old bakery was not at the same location as the Walgreens. The bakery used to be on the south side of Campo Rd just west of Vista Sage Ln. It was called Haven Bakery. I believe the sign may still be there. The bakery itself was torn down 10 or so years ago. On google maps there is still one visible building on the property, but I never ventured out far enough to find it. The stories of the murders are true as I was able to find newspaper articles corroborating them.
July 6, 2017
As a Chula Vista kid, I was well aware of this story, but I had a strange experience on sunrise highway in the Laguna mountains. It was late october in 1986 about 8am and I was driving down to work in the town of Descanso, I was a Hotshot firefighter and very familiar with the area and forest. Suddenly, on a sweeping curve in the road, I almost hit this guy/person/whatever, walking while crossing the road. He was about 6′, very very dirty, dark hair and beard, torn clothes and barefoot We looked at each other and he looked wild. It was a very cold morning, who would be barefoot. He even had a big foot walking stride. My buddy was in a car behind me and we stopped a couple miles down the road to discuss, he’d seen it too, it was too weird, we couldn’t figure it out, escaped inmate or mountain hermit or what ? we continued down the road a notified a highway patrol officer near pine valley.
October 23, 2017
One of the Proctor Valley Monster stories
This story was told about the legend of the Proctor Valley Monster. A teenager from Monte Vista High School was driving his girlfriend home from a date. He decided to use Proctor Valley Road to try to use the darkness and remoteness to put the night moves on her. He winds up running out of gas and pulls the car over by some trees. It’s very late and the area is secluded and remote. The boy tells his girlfriend that he is going to walk to a gas station in Jamul. He tells her to stay in the car with the windows rolled up and locked and he’ll get back as fast as he can, no sense in both of them going, right?
Well, the girl waits in the car. It’s been about 20 minutes when she hears a faint scratching noise. It starts to bother her, but she blows it off as the tree branches hitting the car, it had been windy that day, she decides to turn on the radio to listen to KCBQ rock radio. Well, now it’s been almost 2 hours and she’s starting to get worried. Her boyfriend was a jock and could have easily made it there and back in under an hour. A half hour later she’s very worried and decides to turn off the radio and look around. He had told her not to get out under any circumstances so she tries to peer out the window, she sees nothing. To her annoyment the scratching sound is still there. She decides that she will get out just long enough to break off that love branch. She gets out and notices the gas can on the ground near the door. She immediately turns around and sees her boyfriend hanging upside down from the tree, throat slit, and his fingernails dragging across the top of the car making a scratching sound.
Another victim of the Proctor Valley Monster.
November 24, 2017
Back in 1978, some friends and I drive out to Proctor Valley Road for the fun of it. They were tripping on LSD, and I was the designated “pilot” making sure to take care of them. We were having fun driving on the dirt roads and checking out the old farmland. It was well abandoned back them. We came across an old windmill used to pump ground water. It was still standing, but within an hour, my friends and I had loosened the turnbuckles on the guy-lines that supported the tower. It must have been 40 feet tall and it collapsed in a big crash all over the ground. We thought it was funny back then. I regret doing it now. But who knows, someone else may have done it.
I was just thinking that blaming someone for sharing hidden places today on the internet is nothing compared to the damage and vandalism by generation did to vacant properties.
November 24, 2017
Ur a lil pussy
July 15, 2019
there’s also a extraterrestrial on the left side of the trunk.
October 15, 2019
pee pee poo poo
October 24, 2019
January 24, 2020
I grew up in Bonita went to Sunnyside School down the road from Proctor valley, also played in the Sweetwater little league baseball. I was very very familiar with this road as I use to ride my horse and motorcycle and my Audi like a rally car from Bonita to Jamul every weekend. This was back in the 70s and 80s and even 90s, first of all anyone that had grown up in the rural parts of Bonita with animals like I did became very in tuned with nature and its surrounding. My senses to this day are very sensitive and pick up and slight variation of energy of animals, earth or it`s surrounding. Every time I traveled on this 9 mile patch of road from San Miguel Rd to Jamul I would detect the energy of lost souls immediately. Several atrocious crimes were committed in this area but its also sacred land of the Kumeyaay Indians. The valley of Bonita was occupied by the Spanish Military for growing crops to feed the military back in the day, the Spanish also fought against the Kumeyaay so this land Is very alive and rich with history and energy. The smaller mountain next to Mount Miguel known as The Rock House was actually a look out tower that the Indians used. to warn their people against the Spanish. Many people are ignorant of the centuries old history of this area, so if you hike this mountain and see an American flag on top of the rubble of the rock house whomever place it their has no clue how disrespectful it is to the native Indians.
June 15, 2020
The views are nice and hiking is good for the soul and peace of mind. Growing up in the south bay area in the 70s 80s and 90s this whole area had cows grazing in the fields. Then all these housing developments happened. Every place has its history native that lived here to the Spanish conquistadores etc. No one should be offended over the growing population things happen and scary things can happen. Cayotes, rattle snakes and big foot. Enjoy the trails!
July 1, 2021