When thinking of San Diego, California, most outsiders quickly imagine lush beaches, palm trees, the sun, and an alternative rock playlist that seems to serve as a permanent soundtrack to the lives of the comfortable citizens of the landscape.
Sure, those things are technically there, you don’t have to look farther than your nearest billboard off of the 805 freeway to find the way to that type of scenery. However, if you look past the beaches and pristine streets, you will quickly find the grime and crust of urban legends and violent pasts that stain the outwardly immaculate body of my beloved hometown.
As in all towns, there was the standard haunted house at the end of the darkest street, or the restaurant that was occupied by supposed demonic entities; but none of these tales could hold a candle to the fear that Proctor Valley Road could place into a child’s soul.
From hitchhiking figures to occult and Klan sightings, there were plenty of reasons to be dubious about Proctor Valley Road, and fortunately for me, I spent most of my life on a ranch in the suburb of Bonita that rested right at the entrance of this eerie hollow.
As a kid, my Uncle “C” used to tell me stories of how he would go out to Proctor Valley in the 70s and party with his friends at a well-lit bonfire. However, one story always stood out to me.
“I was at the fire with my friends, you know, drinking booze and flirting with ‘chicks,’ then one of my friends started screaming in the distance. We all ditched the fire and went towards the screams. We found him about 50 yards out, near a tree where he had been taking a piss. A young girl in a white dress could be seen hanging by a rope from a nearby branch.”
Now, he never went beyond what happened next. Did they go to the police? Was she a spirit? Was she just “hanging” around the bonfire waiting for a drink? We never knew. I honestly think this story was one told to keep ill-behaved children on the right side of the tracks. But his story is not the only story of murder on the road. Proctor Valley was notorious as a place for local denizens of the underbelly to stash the bodies of their robbed victims, so who knows…maybe my uncle was onto something. I sure know my Aunt “D” was with this next story.
“One dusk evening your cousins & I drove down the dirt road to get to Eastlake ( before the road was paved) on Procter Valley. We came across a young man walking & talking on his phone. My first thought was to ask him if he was lost but I had my 3 kids in the car & just moved on. As we drove by him slowly he had a hooded jacket covering his face so we weren’t able to see him. The next day he was on the news with a covered blanket over his upper body. To make a long story short we were the last to see him alive….” she said.
There are also rumored KKK sightings and occult offerings made on the vast dirt road in the middle of nowhere, but really all it seems to be is stories, and the only thing I’ve personally found out there was childish pentagram graffiti on dilapidated farm houses. But is it the real danger that kept us away from the road? Oh no, my dear Plague Rats. On that road, there were plenty of “Monsters” lurking in the shadows.
*The most popular monster myth on this road is the Proctor Valley Monster. This is something that has so many versions of the story that I’ll provide you with a link to a great article from the San Diego Reader here.
Of course, for any Hispanic child, the story of La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is one that is sure to keep them in line. Yes, there is a version of La Llorona on Proctor Valley Road. Legend has it, there is an older lady who wanders the dirt roads crying out for her children…..best hope she doesn’t catch you, for according to legend if she does, it’s curtains for you.
Another mysterious woman is the Lady in Blue. According to tall tales, she crouches down in the middle of the road and cries out for help as drivers roll by. Should you pick her up, she will “surely” kill the driver before the car reaches its destination. Should you leave her, your act of cruelty will also result in your death before reaching your destination. Cheesy, I know, but there are some stories that only the witnesses can comprehend.
My Aunt was kind enough to provide another story of PVR. While this is not the women that I discussed previously, this story is honestly a completely terrifying one and is enough to keep me off of PVR at the age of 30!
“My dear friend Marcia and I used to carpool, and she’d take the short cut daily to pick me up. One night after dropping me off she saw a lady in a white long dress with no face appear in front of her car. As she slowed down not knowing who or what she was the lady looked at her with no face and glided off! Marcia never took that road again at night!”
It’s a wild story, so believe it or not. I just know in all my years my Aunt hasn’t lied to me.
The final legend and the one that I am most curious about is the story of Haven Bakery. This eatery used to reside in Jamul, CA, where PVR ended. I believe it was demolished in 2008 to be replaced by something corporate. As my dear friend Amy says, no matter how dirty the history, it’s a damn shame to see it replaced with a Walgreens.
According to legend, Haven was run by a father who one day discovered his daughter hanging from a noose in the basement, dead. Wild with rage, the father is rumored to have killed all of the workers in the restaurant and leaving the bodies in the bathroom to rot before killing himself. This building used to be a large haunt for teens and amateur ghost hunters to get into mischief, and it is no surprise that the bathroom and basement areas are deemed the most haunted based on the story.
I haven’t been able to find any factual evidence of a massacre, but it does make for a fun story to frighten oneself with while exploring a run down property. Here is a video of the bakery from Vegas13adventure’s YouTube Channel.
Although there isn’t evidence of the actual murder taking place, there is a handful of proven accidental deaths on the property.
Keep in mind that there are tons of stories based around PVR, and this post didn’t even scratch the surface.
*In Rod Serling voice* So, next time you find yourself in San Diego, California at night. Take a chance and take a drive down that long dirt path at the end of Sweetwater Road. Keep your headlights on and your wits about you, or you may just find yourself a permanent resident of….Proctor Valley Road.
If you have a PVR in your hometown, Metroplague wants to hear all about it in the comments section below. Please subscribe to us so that we can continue to be DFW’s number one source for Horror and Goth culture. Look out for our review of The Mummy on Friday!