The Whaley House

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. He was hanged on a gallows off the back of a wagon on an empty lot. Thomas Whaley was present at the execution. He bought the property in 1865 and built a home for his family despite what happened. Soon after they began hearing footsteps moving about the house thought to be 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 male spirit, perhaps Thomas Whaley himself, waving in the parlor. Even television personality Regis Philbin reported seeing the spirit of Anna Whaley in the house. Anna isn't the only female ghost 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. Another young woman believed to haunt the property is Violet, the Whaleys daughter who died in 1885. She allegedly suffered from clinical depression which led to her suicide. Many feel heavy sorrow on the 2nd floor of the house.

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, events and the Whaley House click here.


Unknown said…
It’s really an amazing story! What a house! About ghost stories, I recently found an incredible website dealing with all paranormal issues and I watched three video interviews to people who experienced meeting ghosts. Great stories too!
The first video is about an old lady who tells what happened to her when she was a child and she used to play with a guy who turned to be… dead! This is the link (the interview is in Italian but it’s subtitled in English): .
The second and the third ones are about a medical doctor who saw his father and brother after their death. Great ones! These are in English: e Hope you appreciated my contribution. Ciao.

Unknown said…
Nice story... and there is many true stories about ghost and paranormal, and people who experienced the ghost they believe that ghost stories are not myth it may be true.

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