California State Historic Landmark #65 also known as The Whaley House is one of the most important historical homes in San Diego. The house has been transformed into many different businesses including a ballroom, school, polling place and even Thomas Whaley's General store. The Whaley House, at one time, was also the Country Court House and San Diego's first commercial theater. Since 1960, the house is now a museum. It is safe to say that The Whaley House has been the home for many things including tragedy.
The Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted had dubbed the house the number one most haunted house in the United States. Of course, America's Most Haunted isn't the only television program the Whaley House has been featured on and probably won't be the last. It's history of hangings, violent death and the seizure of court documents is enough to make someone interested in it, for paranormal reasons or not. Is it haunted? No one can say for sure but many believe it is.
The earliest known ghost at the Whaley House is James "Yankee Jim" Robinson. He was convicted of attempted grand larceny in 1852 and hanged on a gallows off the back of a wagon where the house now stands. Thomas Whaley was present at the execution. He bought the property and built a home for his family despite what happened. Soon after they began hearing footsteps moving about the house that of a large man.
Many visitors to the house have reported experiencing many strange occurrences. A little girl was said to have seen a man, perhaps Thomas Whaley himself, waving in the parlor. Even television personality Regis Philbin reported seeing Anna Whaley in the house. Anna isn't the only female visitors see or sense. Some have claimed to sense a small figure woman in the courtroom. No one has been able to identify this woman but it is believed she is one of the numerous tenants that the house was rented to.
A long-haired little girl has also been spotted in the house, particularly in the dining room. According to an urban legend, the little girl is one of the Whaley children's playmates that broke her neck on a low-hanging clothesline in the backyard. Unfortunately, there aren't really any records to confirm or dismiss this legend. Most believe a past employee created the story to add to the house's mystique.
Human spirits aren't the only ones seen at the Whaley House. A parapsychologist reported seeing a spotted dog, perhaps a fox terrier, run down the hall in the house. The Whaley's owned a terrier named Dolly Varden.
The Whaley House museum still stands over San Diego Avenue, welcoming visitors from around the world. Even if you are not a believer of the paranormal, the 150 years worth of history is enough reason to take the tour.
For further information on tours and the Whaley House click here.
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