19908 Questhaven Rd
Escondido, CA 92029
Hike: 2 miles roundtrip Level: Easy
Dog-Friendly: Yes Kid-Friendly: Yes
From their website: “With all this mystery surrounding this area, it is also home to a beautiful non-denominational Christian retreat center called Questhaven. “Founded in 1940 by the Reverends Flower and Lawrence Newhouse, it encompasses 640 acres of pristine wilderness inviting the worship and experience of God in a peaceful nature setting. People come from all over the world to this retreat for quiet and renewal. When one goes out for thrills to touch the gate or explore the area at night, it only causes problems. Be respectful.” (www.questhaven.org)
Questhaven, which is neighbors to the Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove, is filled with haunted rumors. Whether or not there is any truth to these rumors will remain a mystery. What is undeniable about this place is the spooky feeling that it gives you when you drive on the windy, woodsy road. Much of what used to be known as Questhaven is now known as the San Elijo Hills suburbs. Tons and tons of wooded acres were cut down to replace homes. Although this area is definitely scariest at night, I also recommend checking it out during the day too because the surrounding area is actually filled with interesting spots to explore.
Personal Experience: This area, along with the Elfin Forest and Harmony Grove, are the types of places that are brimming with many stories and mysteries that quite possibly will never be revealed to the public. It is only natural for us to respect that. When I was younger I used to pry so hard into these places. I would go in areas that I shouldn’t have gone and could sense that I was upsetting something far more powerful than me. Through my exploration I found many interesting places and really felt that I was beginning to unearth some of the secrets that we aren’t supposed to know. I will not be writing about those discoveries here and most likely never will.
It was one fateful night in 2007 that everything came crashing down on me. I learned a powerful lesson that curiosity with places like these can be extremely dangerous. Let’s just say the night ended a bloody mess.
Part of what creeps me out in this area are the names. For a haunted area, the names are so peaceful (for the most part) and yet there are some very dark undertones. We have Questhaven, Spooks Canyon, Elfin Forest (El Fin is translated to “The End” in Spanish), Harmony Grove and you can take Avenida del Diablo (Avenue of the Devil) to get out here. Creepy!
The houses have character out here:Here is the hiking trail (which you used to be able to drive through until around 2006). This is where we were one night when I had my accident.I find this fascinating. Every wooden post along the trail has a star carved into it. Literally hundreds and hundreds of star-carved posts:The gate that everyone gets so worked over. It’s not scary inside guys. It’s a retreat.