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: