California’s Elfin Forest
This week we are taking a trip to Elfin Forest. Haunted houses are spooky, but you can leave or move most of the time. Haunted forests and land are a whole different issue, plus San Diego County is less known for its haunted forest and more for its beaches and surfing unless you ask locals about Elfin Forest.
Elfin Forest in the Santa Rosa Mountains’ foothills is in San Diego county. The forest is known for its strange and unusual things happening in the dark woods. Escondido encircles Elfin Forest to the southwest. San Marcos to the North and West, Harmony Grove to the northeast, Olivenhain to the southwest, and Rancho Santa Fe to the South.
What’s fascinating is that the darkness surrounding Elfin forest also touches Harmony Grove and Questhaven.
Locals say that the spirits from the Questhaven asylum haunt Questhaven. Except there never was an asylum. No records exist of building forms or business licenses of an asylum found. However, there is an abandoned half-torn-down building there. Research showed there is no asylum but a boarding house for the insane.
There is barbed wire covering the chain-link fence that surrounds the area. So, something was there worth keeping snoopers out. Or was the wall to keep someone in like the boarders of the boarding house?
Did the pain and madness of the boarding house leak into the surrounding forest? Usually, despondent spirits haunt places they are comfortable with and know. It doesn’t make sense that a ghost would leave a familiar location to haunt one they don’t.
Witnesses also report seeing a giant white owl soaring ten feet off the ground. Between the hours of midnight and two am – it searches for prey. Not rodents, but human targets, so you might not want to be out during those hours.
Today, Questhaven is private land, but stories about spirits and monsters roaming the area are prolific. So, you wouldn’t need permission to explore the woods surrounding the building if you dare.
The next stop is Harmony grove which has an exciting story. A sect of psychics and occult practitioners live in Elfin forest. They are happy to regale visitors with all the spooky happenings in their beloved woods.
One of those haunting stories is about the White Witch of Elfin Forest. The story goes about a family of three walking in the woods enjoying the day when this woman came stumbling out of the woods. Three men had attacked her family and killed her husband and son. She managed to escape but was severely wounded.
The family took care of her until she healed but during her healing period, she met with people from the local tribes and attended strange meetings. She announced she was ready one day and then disappeared into the woods.
After that, witnesses tell of a woman in white who haunts those woods. Witnesses include local campers and hikers who only want to enjoy the gorgeous landscape. They enter the woods, not expecting to see a spirit in a white dress floating through the woods.
To make matters worse is that another witch is haunting the woods. Except this witch is a little more on the dark side. She has been plaguing the Elfin forest since the persecution of the gypsies.
Did I forget to mention that gypsies used to camp out in the forest? They established a community in the region of Spook’s Canyon. Witnesses describe ceremonies and rituals held at a sacred rock labyrinth at the forest’s center.
The locals weren’t too happy about these strange people, but they did make a few friends. It didn’t last, though, and they were chased out of the forest by a mob of local citizens. Some of the gypsies told them about the spirits of Indian children buried on the land.
Legends say the gypsies conjured up these spirits and began haunting the town. The locals complained of children’s spirits laughing and playing. They reported mysterious footprints appearing and ghostly apparitions of children.
Legends say that this witch with dark nature is one of those gypsies chased out of the woods.
Stories say the gypsies cursed the Elfin Forest, and the black witch is the precursor of that curse. She rides the dirt roads on a spectral black stallion. If a stranger enters the forest, the witch marks them with a cursed mark only she can see. The black witch makes a ghostly figure with a black cloak wrapped around her face and mounted on an equally creepy horse chasing strangers out of her woods.
An even stranger story is about an Englishman’s ghost who wore a bowler’s hat and carried a cane. No one knows who he is, and there is no record of such a person fitting that description.
The Elfin Forest is a beautiful collection of trees, plants, and mother nature in all its glory. Yet, there are also dark and mysterious things lurking in the shadows.
Are you brave enough to explore Elfin Forest’s many secrets? I wouldn’t go alone if I were you if you do.
Image by MKrause from Pixabay