Presidio Park Ghost Spirit Haunt:
Presidio park overlooks Old Town San Diego, California: on Presidio Hill. El Presidio Reál de San Diego – on May 14, 1769; Royal Presidio of San Diego was a fort and the first permanent European settlement on the Pacific Coast. In addition to a military presence, a Christian religious contingent was brought to form Mission San Diego de Alcalá. The mission was established by Father Junípero Serra at Presidio Hill. The Fort and mission were built on Kumeyaay Indian land. The relationship was not always a peaceful one, and on November 5, 1775, the wooden mission was burned to the ground, and leader, Fr. Luis Jayme was killed. The fort was continually added upon to keep the Spanish safe. The fort would also see use as the Capital of all Baja California during Mexican Authority. Eventually, the fort and mission were abandoned as settlers continued to move further inland. George Marston a San Diego businessman purchased Presidio Hill and built a private park and Serra mission museum in 1907. Ultimately Marston donated all of the property to the City of San Diego. No original historic buildings still exist.
Presidio Hill has witnessed life and death in the past, and present. One of the first noted haunts ghosts is actually that of an escaped white deer named, “Lucy.” In the 1970’s it is suspected Lucy escaped from her owners. Residents and guests began to keep track of the deer Lucy and even went so far as to offer her food and water. Sadly in 1975, during an attempt to tranquilize the deer Lucy for her own protection, she died of an overdose. Angered residents collected funds and an actual concrete monument was erected in honor of the deer Lucy. It wasn’t long before locals and guests to the area started spinning yarns of a phantom white deer. Many persons believe the deer Lucy’s spirit haunts Presidio Hill to this day.
Witches tower is another reported area of ghost haunts. Witches tower is a yellow one-story adobe tower across from Serra museum and atop Presidio Hill. The Pattie Memorial sits on this spot where Sylvester Pattie, who came to San Diego on March 27, 1828, died in prison. It is believed a guardhouse- jail once existed close to the actual memorial spot. The current tower is in fact a storage facility, and the landing is a viewing area of the scenic park. Though it has been difficult to trace when the tower was built, photo evidence from plans in 1928, shows no sign of the tower. Photos from the 1940s however, clearly show the tower. So sometime between 1928 and 1940, the tower (storage shed) was erected. The tower is referred to as “The Witches Tower,” due to the fact a large cobblestone pentagram exists on the floor the of landing. Many paranormal groups have found melted candle wax and other signs that point to an occult presence. It is possible that occult activity may be causing some of the paranormal activity. Activity includes seeing cloaked figures darting around the tower’s base and footing, feelings of paranoia, and possession.
The Serra Museum is also reported to be haunted by similar cloaked monk-like figures, and a boy spirit has been witnessed atop the mission tower. The museum is a modern structure built circa. 1929, however, the structure is roughly in the location of the first Spanish Mission.
The back-trails behind the Serra Museum lead to a lone Park Bench. The bench area is said to be the most active, and possibly dangerous with regards to haunts, and paranormal. Rumors claim a boyfriend raped, and then stabbed to death his girlfriend, on that bench. No such claims have been substantiated by San Diego Haunted. There is a factual basis for both a suicide and a rape occurring inside Presidio Park. The rape trial has yet to commence for suspect Daniel Edward Dana. Dana was an active San Diego Police Officer when he befriended, kidnapped, and then raped a local prostitute. The rape occurred in his patrol car parked at the Serra Museum. The suicide occurred as part of a murder-suicide, in two different locations within San Diego. Krisanto Barquia Jopanda’s corpse was found in a Presido Park ravine about 200 yards from his car. He was wanted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Avitha Rafael. Jopanada shot and murdered Avitha in her Spring Valley Home, and in front of their 10-year-old son. Jolanda attempted to hang himself with shoestrings, being unsuccessful, he ended his life with a single gunshot wound to the face.
It is unclear who or what is haunting the back trails of Presidio Park. The best reports come from a local paranormal group called San Diego Paranormal Eye, which has been investigating the park since 2011. According to an anonymous guest member, “I felt my necklace levitate from around my neck, I reached for it, only to find it on the ground by my feet.” Other paranormal reports include possible possession and odd light phenomena. Matt Barron founder of San Diego Paranormal Eye urges, “We “HIGHLY” advise any individual or individuals not to investigate the mission or trails without a guide to, investigate safely. My team and I welcome anyone to contact us with questions regarding Presidio Park.”