The Whaley House

An ImageCalifornia 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.


Anonymous said…
Been there about 30 times between 1990 and 2000, even became a member of the historical society. I probably took more than 200 photos, with no strange results.
Gettyburg, on the other hand, is a different story...
Anonymous said…
Sometimes what u don't see is rite in front of u trust me learned that the hard way when I walked in the house u can feel there existence even in my pics I saw nothing but I can feel there presents and see things in the corner of my eyes even in other places
Anonymous said…
From my experience, the ghosts at the Whaley House go out of their way to not be seen by the public. However, I've visited the Whaley House 3 times, and on 2 of those visits I saw an apparition. I was just lucky.

I first visited the house over the 4th of July holiday in 2005. I was with my sister and cousin up in the 2nd-floor theater. While there, there was a group of maybe three people filming the master bedroom. We passed them going up the stairs and into the theater- they said they were filming the bedroom since it was supposed to be the most active room in the house. A few minutes passed and nothing. The people filming the master bedroom gave up. I explicitly remember hearing the "ding" sound from the camera turning off. Not a second later I heard a very loud bang come from the master bedroom, and the three people who were recording promptly started screaming and ran down the stairs and out the house. Catching up with them afterwards I learned that they saw a chair in the back of the master bedroom levitate and then hit the back wall.

My cousin, sister, and I were curious as to what the noise was- we walked from the theater over to the master bedroom. The three of us were the only ones there. As soon as we got there we saw a full-bodied apparition in 19th century attire materialize at the site of the chair and proceed to run across the length of the master bedroom, vanishing immediately before reaching the hallway closet that connects the bedroom with the theater. While the apparition was running it looked just as real as any flesh-and-blood human being, and it was able to affect the real world as though it was physically real.The only thing that was amiss was the face... the apparition's face looked bland, like it was devoid of features. It was more like a representation of a face than a real face. While this apparition ran it ruffled the rug and the breeze it caused ruffled the curtain enough that the curtain ended up covering the window lamp. The window, of course, was closed. Most people can write off ghost stories as being a smudge on the lens or a hallucination. I've never been able to wrap my head around how this hallucination was seen by three people at the same time, and how it was able to affect the physical world before our very eyes.

We talked to the docent immediately afterwards- he told us that the person we saw, based on what we described them as wearing, was Yankee Jim. As well, Yankee Jim is known to play pranks in the master bedroom, so that also indicated that we saw him. (For instance, the docent told us that on the anniverary of the hanging of Yankee Jim, the master bedroom is sometimes turned upside down). Since we were in the little alcove viewing area for the master bedroom, this apparition was only ever feet away from us.

The docent let us all into the master bedroom through the theater after reporting this incident... of course, we saw no trap doors, strings, cameras, projectors, etc. Nothing there that would have been out of place in the 1860s. The docent told us that we saw what was perhaps the most active sighting ever reported at the house. We ended up recording this event in a paranormal log that was kept on the first floor (which recorded all paranormal activity in the house). As of the last time I visited the house this log was no longer present, so I'm not sure what happened to it. It seems however that I did see a full-bodied apparition of Yankee Jim in the master bedroom. I'd add more but there is a word limit here.

Popular posts from this blog

Reader Submission - The Creeper

Mr. Apple's Cemetery

13 Facts About the Number 13