November 2004 - The Witch's Tower - San Diego, California

Special Guests:
Sarah, Alissa, and Teelah


Local's call a storage shed, located in a parking lot adjacent to the mission at Presidio Hill, The Witch's Tower. There is a large pentagram built into the cobblestones atop of this structure. Visitors have seen apparitions dressed in Druid type clothing or black cloaks with glowing eyes. Reports of possession, & strange darting figures.

After countless hours of research on San Diego's Presidio Hill area, and many unanswered E-mails to the San Diego Historical Society, the following information is my best 'guess' of the History of this possibly haunted structure. To the Best of my Knowledge, the story goes like this...

The structure known as 'The Witches Tower' was used at one time as a guardhouse and a makeshift jail, and today is known as "THE PATTIE MEMORIAL".

The Pattie Memorial sits on the spot where Sylvester Pattie, who came to San Diego on March 27, 1828.

He and his son, James Ohio Pattie, along with six other men decided to undertake an expedition into New Mexico from St. Louis. The group eventually got lost and crossed the New Mexico desert into California as a last resort to stay alive. They found their way to the Presidio of San Diego and begged for just enough food, gear and horses for a return trip. However, the Governor of San Diego, Jose Maria de Echeandia, did not believe them. Rather, he believed this group had been sent to spy for the Spaniards who, he believed, still desired to take back control of California.

Echeandia sent them to the guardhouse, which was converted to a makeshift jail, where they were held captive for many years. The elder Pattie died in this building before he could be freed with-in the first year of captivity. He is reputed to be the first American to die in California.

James and the rest of the group were eventually freed, on condition that Pattie should vaccinate the mission Indians, who were dying in great numbers from an epidemic of smallpox.

Nothing could be found about the cobblestone pentagram, or when this guardhouse was originally constructed. However this next set of pictures show the guardhouse as part of the original walls that surrounded the mission, and they also show the roof with-out the pentagram

This early hand drawn sketch of the area makes reference to the guardhouse as "Pattie Memorial".

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Saturday November 6, 2004:

Damon and I were not planning on going to the Witch's Tower, since we were not exactly sure where or what it was. However we met three girls in the El Campo Santo Cemetery, named Sarah, Alissa, and Teelah, who mentioned they were going to go there and would be willing to take us. Since nothing real spooky was happening in the cemetery we decided to go with them

After a short drive up a large hill in the dead of night we arrived. The girls pointed out a rather small structure at the end of a parking lot and said that this was what people refer to as 'The Witch's Tower'! By today's standards this is the farthest thing from a tower. It's a single story structure with stairs leading up to the top.

They mentioned that they had been to the Tower earlier in the night, but some other people were there making out or something, and they went to the Cemetery where they met us instead. I inquired if they had ever seen anything as far as ghost go here in the past. They all said no, but indicated that they have in fact seen people dressed up and doing witchcraft type rituals. Definitely nothing Supernatural.

We went up to the top and sure enough there was a large pentagram that took up the entire roof. In the center of the pentagram were dark stains that the girls claimed to be blood, but with out my JR. CSI detective kit, I had no way of proving or disproving this statement.


After a while it became increasingly clear that this structure isn't haunted. So we did what ever other supernatural investigation group would do. We lit some candles and acted like we were sacrificing one of the girls in the center of the Pentagram.
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The legend says Druid type apparitions have appeared as well as darting figures. This can all be chalked up to some bored high-schoolers with nothing better to do on a Saturday night, or some young kids going to a dark spooky place to make out. I am curious however, why is the pentagram there? Who put it there? There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, or a sinister one, but one thing is for sure there's no ghost here. Just a lot of young over active imaginations that are not too familiar with their town's history.
If I were trying to scare someone, I would make up a far more believable legend. I would say it's haunted by the ghost of Sylvester Pattie. The man that died inside of this 'Witch's Tower'. The Man that died tragically in captivity. The man that was imprisoned unjustly and was the first American to die in California. The man who's name is on a plaque on the outside of the building...but that's just me...
Do you think this place is haunted?
Rating: Average rating: 2.0652173913044 46 Ratings
HAUNTEDMaybeWho CaresDoubtfulHell No!