As you well know, San Diego has quite a few good ghost stories. This one is more of an “urban legend” type, but none-the-less is fairly creepy on it’s own. In eastern Chula Vista, East H Street turns into Proctor Valley Road, and what had previously been nothing but cow country is now a gigantic subdivision of “McMansion” type houses. Eventually, though, the development peeters out and Proctor Valley Road stops being an urbane and paved road, and turns into a desolate dirt path, for about five or six miles, before you end up on the other side of San Diego County in the small town of Jamul. There are a couple of stories surrounding this area, the most famous is the Proctor Valley Monster, which is a whole other genre to itself.
The scarier one is the Proctor Valley Hitchhiker. There are several stories surrounding this ghost. One is that it is the ghost of a girl who died in a car accident on prom night, and now wanders the road late at night looking for a ride home. The other is that it is the ghost of a girl raped and murdered by a gang of illegal immigrants (or something), and she either wanders the road looking for her killers, or looking for a ride home. One legend states that if you see her and do not pick her up, you’ll be struck dead at the end of Proctor Valley Road!
I have heard from a few people who have claimed to have seen the ghost, and don’t know what to make of it. The most interesting story of a fellow who claimed to have seen a woman in a baby blue nightgown laying in the fetal position at the side of the road; when he pulled by the “woman” she stirred and looked up at him and began waving her arms as if trying to flag him down. Unsurprisingly he drove away (and I don’t blame him). I’ve been down the road a few times at night, and let me tell you, it’s a creepy place. Very lonely and desolate, once you’re in the middle of the trip down the road you’re three or four miles from the nearest house, so just try to think what would happen if your car broke down out there.
I went out there one night with some friends determined to solve the riddle of the Proctor Valley Ghost Woman. We had been drinking a bit (which is the hobby of most college students after all) and headed out there at 12 or 1 in the morning. Well, the driver decided to drive us into a ditch, and we were stuck on the ghost road for about three hours trying to dig our way out of the mess we had gotten ourselves in. Finally a passer-by helped us out and we continued down the road. Unfortunately we didn’t see anything (though we were all very unnerved by the experience). I haven’t seen anything at all on my subsequent trips down the road late at night by myself (and once with my girlfriend, who was very nervous the entire way, since I kept jabbering about the ghost that was sure to strike us dead if we didn’t pick it up and so on).
I write this only to say hurry up and catch the ghost road while you can, if there is something out there it might not be there for long, since the last time I was out there the road had been widened and it looks like it will be paved (since many people use it as a shortcut to get to the Indian casinos in the far East County), and eventually I assume houses and strip malls will sprout up like weeds. Just watch those curves though.