Pre-story: I am a hardcore atheist skeptic, and I don't believe in the supernatural. At all. I don't believe in spirits, ghosts, demons, yadda yadda. All a bunch of boogeyman bullshit that people made up for various reasons.
But I do believe, with all my heart, that there is something wrong going on in May Van Canyon, CA, that defies rational explanation. It is something sick and fucked up, on human levels, and I don't think human beings are behind it. Or aliens, or bigfoot, or anything physical. It's something out of a fucking Lovecraft story.
The area of land is fairly innocuous to look at in Google Maps. I'm sure some of you have already looked it up - it's just outside of Big Bear Lake. Undeveloped land. And it has a history.
You won't find any online articles because it's a patch of dirt that few know about, let alone remember the history of. My grandmother was a local historian - she died 10 months ago, before she could ever publish her history of Big Bear. She spent the last 60 years compiling info that most could not - she even interviewed, decades ago, some of the last surviving gold rush miners.
May Van Canyon... This is a case of a place that poisons minds and may, in fact, contain a very real, very evil, very hateful "spirit" of some sort.
Whatever it is, a chunk of that land, 5 miles into the woods, is now cordoned off by the Federal Govt with official warning signs stating that the natural artesian well there has "harmful radiation levels." I don't believe that for a fucking second.
In the 1800s, Big Bear Valley was a furrier's fox farm, until the CA gold rush, which caused a HUGE boom in residents. A smaller valley on the outskirts formed a mining community called Bluff Lake, named after a large pond there. One miner struck it medium, bought an entire 40 acre parcel of land that, at the time, had NO name. He discovered that there was a natural artesian well up in the hills that was the source of a small creek. Just pure water bubbling out of the rocks. I've seen this well, and the creek, before the fed gov cordoned it off, and the flow on it was probably, at least, 2 gallons per minute.
Eric Van, and his wife, May, had two sons. They were well known around town. Well to do, they helped fund a church being built there. Now, keep in mind - this was in the 1870s. Dirt roads and horses. No electricity, people tended to keep to themselves in small groups.
One day, a townie finds a blood trail on the road to the north shore of the pond. There they find Eric Van, stabbed to death and dumped in the pond. The sheriff goes to their cabin, where they find the two Van kids stabbed "viciously," blood all OVER the damn place, and May hanging from a rafter. Some apocryphal evidence is that she managed to slice open her own stomach after kicking the chair out. She left a suicide note that was short, and poorly written, as she was barely literate. Saying that when her family smiled at her she could tell what their real thoughts were, and she was afraid they were going to eat her.
In 1922, two brothers, by the last name of Williams, bought the land. There was rumor, but my grandmother never found any evidence, that they were twin brothers. But they were fairly wealthy, a couple guys who'd invested in Hollywood in the 20s, and were notoriously good natured and close. About a year after they moved in, they were found in the forest. The one brother had shot the other in the chest, and then put the shotgun in his mouth.
So... coincidence, right?
1960 - A man by the name of John Webster buys the place. He's some kind of high-falutin artist from Los Angeles, has enough fame and money to live off of his art. At this point, my family enters the picture.
My grandfather was a bit of a local tycoon, and a good looking man in that town, well loved in the community. My grandmother was a damn good looking woman, and it's not really a secret that they cheated on each other sometimes. Drama happened a lot in that way.
John Webster immediately starts befriending my grandfather, asking about other properties in Big Bear that might be a good investment. Not long after that, he starts sending my grandmother notes in which he claims that spirits in the woods have opened his eyes. My grandmother is actually a reincarnated "indian princess," and John is her lover from a past life. He needs to murder the evil oppressive white man, who's keeping her from him, my grandfather.
My grandfather got wind of this, confronted John Webster, and ended up kicking nine levels of shit out of him, with a stern warning to stay the fuck away from his family if he knew what was good for him. John never spoke to any of my family again.
A year later, my grandfather (who was on the Sheriff's Posse) got a call one morning. He took my mother, age 14, along with him at the time, as he liked to show his kids some dark shit. Good man, my grandfather.
When they got there, Webster's body had already been removed. He'd apparently built a second cabin deeper in the woods. Damn fine place. And he'd used it as an art studio.
Keep in mind, Big Bear gets cold. REALLY cold, in the winter - lows in the negatives, Fahrenheit, some years. For some reason, Webster had run out of firewood. This is kinda difficult to do in Big Bear, as the place is literally embedded in a giant swatch of pine forest.
He'd apparently decided to sleep in his car with the heater running. Snow had blocked the exhaust, leaking it into the car, and he'd died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
My mother went with my grandfather to the main cabin. And the cabin had been built with LARGE glass windows. And it struck her as creepy that there was writing all over the windows in light blue paint. Every window was covered in neat block letters, about an inch high, naming the names of saints. A lot of these were names that she later realized weren't canonical saints: St. Nixon. St. Avery. St. Rosemary...
And to further fuck it all up, every time a letter had a vertical line? For instance, the letter H has two. He'd made a little cross-beam mark turning every vertical line in the letters into small crosses...