Pro tip: Proctor Valley Road is best enjoyed while playing some Janis Joplin in the background while you read. Trust Me. In America, there is an area called Proctor Valley, it’s northeast of the Otay Lakes, and it’s home to a road known as Proctor Valley Road. This area and the road, in particular, have been home to multiple urban legends dating back to the ’60s and continuing to this day. One of the most well-known legends is about something called the Proctor Valley Monster.
One of the versions of this legend goes about two teenagers driving down Proctor Valley Road late one night when they suddenly get a flat tire. Following true horror movie/urban legend tropes, the guy gets out of the car to inspect the tire, and the girl stays in the car and locks the doors. The next thing, the girl hears a loud scraping noise on the car’s roof, she calls out, but the guy never responds. The next morning the cops find her still in the car. She then learns that the guy’s fingernails were what made the scraping sound she heard as he was dragged over the car by someone… or something.
The cops end up finding the guy hanging by his feet from a tree nearby. And even though big, animal looking footprints surround the car – the girl is the only suspect.
Most of the legends follow a very similar formula to this, and they all speak about the Proctor Valley Monster. What this monster looks like is a matter of who is telling the story, and in this case, the story is being told to us by Grant Morrison (Hellblazer; The Invisibles; Doom Patrol) and Alex Child (Treehouse; Temple; Great Schott).
Written for BOOM! Studios (Alienated; Something is Killing the Children; The Woods) with art by Naomi Franquiz (Harrow County; Misfit City; Bitch Planet), Proctor Valley Road is a made-up story about a very real road in America and the things that go bump in the night along with it.
Proctor Valley Road follows the story of four very different girlfriends as they try to do anything and everything that they can to scrape together enough money to all go and watch Janis Joplin live in concert together. After exhausting multiple other money-making options and hearing some older boys talk about a ghost story that they heard about “Proctor Valley Road” the girls hatch a plan:
They’ll rally some of their classmates and take them on a guided “spook tour” to “Proctor Valley Road” – what could go wrong? Everything. Everything can and does go wrong. The tour ends up being a bust, and they end up splitting from their classmates who they took on the tour, only the classmates never end up back home again.
Now the four friends find themselves as the only suspects in the disappearances and in the middle of a real-life ghost story that no one would believe is real.
It’s no secret that I love a good horror story, and that’s precisely what Proctor Valley Road is. It toys the line between real and imaginary so beautifully that you can’t help but get pulled into the world it creates. It’s not all just the story either, being set in the 70s also makes for a very aesthetically pleasing and different tone for the comic. It creates a strong feeling of being where everything starts – this isn’t just a ghost story, this is one of the original ghost stories.
There is just something so utterly endearing about Proctor Valley Road, and I feel like that’s grounded in the relatable setup of the story. Growing up, I always had a very close friend group who shared the same interests and always tried to experience as much as possible. We also really loved music and going to see the artists that we loved live, so I could instantly see this happening to us… if we had a “haunted” road nearby and been alive in the 70s.
I picked up Proctor Valley Road because of its fantastic cover art but ended up instantly falling for the story. Reading Proctor Valley Road is best described as going through a haunted house at a carnival, it’s got its scares, but most importantly, it’s fun from beginning to end.
If you haven’t started reading Proctor Valley Road yet, now is the perfect time to jump in with the final issue dropping soon. Also, the Universal Studio Group division that adapted Happy! and The Umbrella Academy for screen are set to adapt Proctor Valley Road.
Want to grab Proctor Valley Road for yourself? Head over to Critters and Comics. The series is currently available in the following formats: Digital; Single Issues (5 Issues)
Reviewer for GLITCHED | Comic addict | Gamerholic | Collector who never has enough money
Translation: I have the job that you always wanted & spend a LOT of time in PJs