The land the cemetery was on was purchased by a schoolteacher in the 1950s. She wanted to preserve the view of Buena Vista Lagoon from her home located on Stewart Street. The land was later purchased by a developer who wanted to use the site for commercial properties. In January 1970, 17 bodies were disinterred and removed to El Camino Memorial Park in Sorrento Valley while others went to other resting places.
During the grading of the site for use, and during the creation of the ramp for the I-5 freeway, construction workers found human remains and coffins. These discoveries were swept under the rug by developers so the workers took it upon themselves to rebury any remains they found on the site.
Patrons and employees of the Hunter are said to have eerie experiences in the restaurant. These include hearing their names called, objects moving on their own, power surges and the desire to gaze at the windows in the building. The spirit of a woman seems to enjoy spending time in the stairwell to the bar area. A floating apparition was seen on the second floor. Doors slam, lighting fixtures sway and cold spots are felt.
A small reminder of the Buena Vista Cemetery remains in the form of a plaque near the entrance of the restaurant, donated by the Oceanside Historical Society. Part of it reads, "Dedicated to the memories of those who were buried at Buena Vista Cemetery. While some bodies were moved before and during construction on this site many remain here or nearby." The names of the people found on gravestones are listed on the plaque.Could it be the spirits of the former Buena Vista Cemetery residents are regular visitors to the restaurant and a nearby bicycle shop?
The Paranormalistics look forward to investigating this location.
In 1971, the Hungry Hunter Steakhouse opened on the site of the old cemetery. Many employees over the years have reported seeing apparitions, including a woman dressed in old-fashioned clothing, an older man, and vague misty shapes.
Often workers will hear their names being called, although they are alone in the building. The alarm system goes off for no reason, lights flicker, and chandeliers shake. Incredibly loud banging noises are heard from the attic, but nothing is ever found.
Female workers sometimes feel their skin or hair being stroked. One waitress, alone in the building late one evening, heard a “wolf whistle.”
Wine bottles rearrange themselves, doors open and close by themselves, and beer bottles fall off their shelves.
The credit card machine has been observed to work on its own, and the refrigerator door will sometimes lock itself. There are even a few icy cold spots in the restaurant.
The bartender, Kyle Gaines, has been working at the Hunter Steakhouse (changed from the Hungry Hunter in 1996) for many years. Late at night, when he is alone in the restaurant, cleaning up and getting ready to close, he sometimes hears his name being called. He has been aware of paranormal activity since he was a kid. He used to hunt for arrow heads with a friend who lived near some old Indian burial grounds, and he “used to feel things out there”.
There are some people around the area who believe the site of the Hunter Restaurant was actually a Native American burial ground before the settlers were interred there! Is it any wonder the Steakhouse has some unsettled entities residing within its walls?