Discovering the hauntings of Questhaven

Briana Osuna, Assistant Features Editor

Questhaven and Elfin Forest in San Diego county are rumored to contain haunted trails and there are several urban legends and myths that have circulated the community for years.

These tales include a story about gypsies who once occupied the land. These gypsies were forcefully driven off by natives. It is said that natives murdered the gypsies in order to take control of the land. In return the gypsies now lurk in the forest and haunt those who invade their property.

There is a story of a deceased witch whose spirit rides on a black stallion and lurks in the forest. Some say that the witch can sense trespassers and will mark travelers with a marking only she can detect and kill them should they ever return.

Another tale is that Questhaven was once an insane asylum, and patients haunt those who enter the paths. People have reported seeing full body apparitions of patients.

In the spirit of Halloween, I decided to visit Elfin Forest and investigate whether it held up to its haunting legends.

Upon arrival drivers leave behind the San Elijo community and are welcomed by eerie trees that drape over the road.

Immediately after entering the road, drivers see a battered green structure resembling a shed. The structure is surrounded by crippled trees, it is falling apart, paint is peeling, panels from the shed are lying on the floor and there are several broken windows. It appears someone had tried to keep people out by a broken-down barbed wire fence along the shed.

An explorer of the trails, Kristina Martignago shared her experience while roaming the trails.

“Being out in Elfin Forest, you automatically feel cautious because of the stories you hear. One thing that was sketchy was the fact that there was wind blowing, but only in one section of the forest by the shed,” said Martignago.

Healthy trees encircle the remainder of the path, but in the midst of the strong trees one stands alone, burnt and dead. It’s coloring is a dull charcoal gray and its branches droop over the paths.

“There is one dead tree that was really odd, like in that one particular spot something happened and only that tree was affected but you don’t know exactly what occurred” said Martignago.

As the path continued there were several hoof prints from horses that stopped and didn’t appear to lead anywhere. Perhaps they belonged to an equestrian who happened to be passing through, or maybe, just maybe they were the hooves of the black stallion.

Martignago visited the forest during the afternoon and said she didn’t experience any paranormal activity. However, the legend states that most of Elfin Forest’s haunting occurs in the night.

“This was the first time I was out here on foot. The thing that weirded me out the most was that you don’t know what could happen being out here and if something did, who knows what you could do to protect yourself,” said Martignago.

If you are feeling daring this Halloween season perhaps you can visit Elfin Forest for yourself. Head out in the dead of night and see whether these hauntings hold truth or are just a hoax. Who knows, you may experience something out of this world.