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Historical and Abandoned Spots in San Diego

San Diego is filled with a long history and with this comes some cool abandoned places. If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend or want to explore your city a bit more, here is a list of some of San Diego’s top abandoned spots. Be careful, as some are rumored to be haunted!

The Old Abandoned Marshal Scotty’s Playland Amusement Park

Located in El Cajon, this abandoned theme park was running from 1967-1998. The park had multiple rides including a 20-foot railroad, a waterslide, small roller coaster, a tilt-o-whirl and Ferris wheel. The abandoned amusement park is rumored to be haunted by old employees and children who never left. It’s currently on privately owned land so please do not trespass, only view from outside the fence. You can, however, visit it during October and December when they hold a “Scare Trails” and during December to take photos with Krampus and Santa Claus!

Location: 14011 Ridge Hill Rd. El Cajon, California 92021

Daley Ranch

Daley Ranch is a known hiking and equestrian spot in Escondido where you can find beautiful trails and scenery. The land was originally lived on by the Kumeyaay tribes. In 1969 the land was first pioneered on by Robert Daley who eventually was granted claims to the 1,600 acres of land. He lived in a small pine house which is still standing today across from the other Daley Ranch home. In 1916, Daley passed away and his family built the ranch house out of redwood. You can see the old houses just a mile from the entrance to the trail!

Location: 3024 La Honda Drive Escondido, CA 92027 – Follow the paved road straight ahead at the entrance, it will be on your right after about a mile.

Golden Hill Fountain Grotto


Golden Hill Park was an extension of Balboa Park designed in 1907 by architect Henry Lord Gay and features rustic arts and crafts style inglenook with benches, walls, rock double stairways, and radiating trails. There’s also a rustic stone fountain which is one of the oldest surviving parts of the park. The park also has a community garden.

Location: Russ Blvd, San Diego, CA 92102

Presidio Park


Overlooking Old Town, Presidio Hill is the location for the first permanent English Settlement on the West coast. Father Junipero Serra then established the mission and the mission and fort were built in 1775. They eventually burnt down and were rebuilt. In the park, you can find the Pattie Memorial that is also known as the Witches Tower. This building was a Spanish Guardhouse used to imprison the American Sylvester Pattie. The roof contains candle wax and dark stains giving evidence that it’s used in occult practices. You can also visit the Serra museum that is rumored to be haunted in addition to the Witches Tower. There have also been ghost sightings of the white deer, Lucy.

Location: 2727 Presidio Drive, San Diego, CA 92101

Mt. Woodson Castle


This beautiful home was built from 1916-1921 as part of the Craftsman Movement. This was Irene Amy Strong’s dream home and became a symbol for the Craftsman Movement which emphasized harmony between the environment and the individual. Irene Amy Strong was a successful dressmaker in San Diego who was involved with charity work with underprivileged children. The home is 12,000 square foot home complete with five bedrooms, four baths, a sixteen-foot ceiling, a windmill and more. There are rumors of paranormal activities and hauntings on the property. The building is now used for weddings and events but it is still a beautiful sight to see especially if you enjoy old architecture and historical buildings.

Location: 16302 N. Woodson Drive Ramona, CA 92065

Written by Ascent Real Estate on January 4, 2018.

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