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Top 5 Spooky Places in San Diego North County

Shannon Biszantz

Shannon Biszantz is a San Diego native from elementary school through university Shannon graduated with a Business Administration Degree from USD and ...

Shannon Biszantz is a San Diego native from elementary school through university Shannon graduated with a Business Administration Degree from USD and ...

Oct 16 4 minutes read

Feeling brave this Halloween season? Hunt out some of San Diego North County's most terrifying ghosts, spirits and ghouls at these haunted spots from around the city. You can visit these haunted places any time of the year, but there's obviously no better time than Halloween. Go if you dare.

Check out this week's Top 5 as we get to know some of the most haunted areas close to home. Some of us drive by these areas every day – and don’t give a second thought to what may lurk there. We’ve listed some of the reportedly most haunted locations in North County that are right in our neighborhood.

1. Del Mar Racetrack

The popular Del Mar Racetrack that draws thousands of tourists each year has a haunted past. Particularly, the Del Mar Grandstand on the fourth and fifth floors which was once a  rooftop nightclub rebuilt more than 25 years ago, this area has employees swearing they smell cigar smoke, hear clinking glasses, and seeing dark entities. Not to mention, there’ve been sightings of a family from the 1930s near the back of the racetrack near the “old stables.” Both staff and guests also hear horses in empty barns and galloping on the track.

2. Hunter Steakhouse

This Oceanside restaurant that has been built over the Buena Vista Cemetery has a fair warning to the faint-hearted,  "Dedicated to the memories of those who were buried at Buena Vista Cemetery," and that "while some bodies were moved before and during construction on this site, many remain here or nearby." Restaurant employees have reported seeing objects moving on their own, experience random and unexplained power surges, and hear their names being called…by no one. Patrons have also reported floating apparitions with a female spirit sighted most often near the stairs to the bar area.

3. Escondido Public Library

The Escondido Library, a two-story and 40,000 square foot of space opened in 1890 and from then on, employees and volunteers began reporting spooky experiences, such as disembodied voices, unexplained equipment malfunctions, cold spots, and sightings. One employee heard books sliding off shelves when nobody was there. Others have reported sightings of a man in Mexican vaquero (cowboy) clothing as well as a man dressed in 18th-century attire.

4. Elfin Forest

Located between Escondido and San Marcos, these winding hills is said to be home 10-foot owl that soared in the skies at night, as well as a witch seen riding a black stallion through the hills. One of the most common stories was the sighting of a lady in white, perhaps drawn from the Mexican folk legend of La Llorona, a floating ghost woman who weeps for the souls of her dead children. Many people have reported a feeling of impending doom while driving at night. Old stories say that a group of gypsies was slaughtered here and has been roaming the forest most nights.

5. The Julian Gold Rush Hotel 

Built in the 1890s by former slave Albert Robinson and his wife, Margaret, this historical hotel is said to be haunted by one or two ghosts. After Albert died in 1915, legend has it that his spirit returned to the hotel to cause noisy mischief. There have also been comments from visitors that a female ghost named Lola has been seen moving around the guest rooms.

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