Monday, February 25, 2008

My Town Monday: Haunted House in San Diego, CA


The Whaley House, located in historic Old Town San Diego, is THE most haunted house in California. Quite possibly in the whole USA. In 1964, Regis Philbin and a friend tried to spend the night in the Whaley House. They were so spooked by the ghost of Anna Whaley, who appeared in the form of a ball of light, that they bolted in the dead of night. Granted, Regis doesn't have a huge rep for courage, but even the US Department of Commerce agrees the house is haunted.

The Whaley House is a two-story brick building built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley, a businessman. Before its construction, guess what was located on the grounds? The town gallows. Now, you don't have to be a ghost hunter to guess you're probably going to run into some paranormal problems in this location. Sure enough, Yankee Jim Robinson, hanged from the gallows on the back of a wagon in 1852 for theft, haunts the Whaley House with heavy footsteps.

Other ghosts you might hook up with during your visit include: Thomas Whaley (usually on the upper landing), his wife (in the downstairs room or in the garden), a woman in a long full skirt, a redheaded girl between 9 and 13 years old (in the kitchen), a spotted fox terrier. Plus, there's an overall sense of being watched. And the smells of cigar smoke and lavender perfume. Not to mention the sounds of singing, giggling, a baby crying.

I've been to the Whaley House several times. It's a great little museum. Slightly more expensive to visit in the evening. You can wander through at your leisure and see the various furnished sections of the house, including the courtroom and theatre. I love Old Town in general. So, if you're here and at the Whaley House, give me a shout. We could always meet for Mexican.

Is the Whaley House in I So Don't Do Mysteries? Yes. Because it's the perfect place for Sherry's mother (a ghost) to stay when she comes to San Diego.


And, thanks to Travis Erwin for coming up with Home Town Monday. He has a fun post today on Amarillo, TX.

29 comments:

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Barrie,

This is a wonderful post. I cannot wait until my grandkids (The oldest is five) are old enough to read about Sherry and her many adventures.

Terrie

Travis Erwin said...

Regis Philbin - Daredevil. Who knew?

Sounds like an interesting place. I've been to San Diego but not this place. Wish i would have known about it though.

This is exactly the kind of cool fun fact that I think makes this fun. Thanks for playing.

Debora Dale said...

How cool is this? It's the West Coast's answer to the Amityville house on Long Island. :-) I would so love to visit the Whaley House, but I'm afraid I'd run from the place before walking through the front door. Bravery and I have nothing in common. Thanks for sharing this story. Way cool.
~Debbie

Bina said...

I wonder the TAPS guys haven't been there? They go to places that don't seem to really be haunted, but I wonder what they do in that house?

I'd like to think I could stay in the house over night, but knowing me, I'd pee my pants before I could even begin to run! LOL

Elizabeth said...

Sounds too strange for me!
In Morocco there are djinns - bad spirits that cause lots of trouble - but I try not to think about them.
A friend there has two angels who live down a covered up well in her basement........
Have a good week.

Patti said...

got the book! thanks so much!

i would so pay the extra dough to wander this house at night...

PJ Hoover said...

Oooh! I want to spend the night there :)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I wish the Sci Fi Channel Ghost hunter guys would go there. That'd be so cool.

It must have been one of those nice places to live, since the dead don't want to leave.

Jessica Burkhart said...

Cool! So spooky! :)

Stephen Parrish said...

Oh, man!!! My town doesn't have a haunted house. I'm moving.

Larramie said...

Too bad the Whaley House didn't have a virtual tour but -- then -- you'd probably never experience "whatever it is." ;)

Beth said...

I totally have to go! I love ghosts!

Family Adventure said...

I'm spooked just reading about this....but when I come back to Canada, I am so getiting your book for my boys :)

Heidi

Kaye said...

This is so interesting. It looks like a great place for your character's mother to stay. Esp. since she's a ghost!

Cameron Williams said...

Ghost Hunters have been to the Whaley House, but the TAPS team has not. They haven't been to San Diego.

polkadotwitch said...

i loved ghost stories as a kid and hope i never outgrow them!

Sandy Levin said...

looks like a great place to take my sister-in-law who comes to town this week.

spyscribbler said...

Oh, now that's cool! I love haunted houses. You didn't say. Did you see a ghost while you were there? :-)

Jim D said...

Wow! Cool! I need to stay in a haunted house for writing research. This would be the place if only I were famous enough they'd let me. :-)

Jim D

Jess Riley said...

How fun!! I loved haunted houses when I was a kid. Couldn't get enough "true" ghost stories, either. Very cool that you put this particular haunted house in your novel!!

laurie said...

wait! wait! you left out the most important detail:

when you were there, did you see the ghost?

i lived in a haunted house for three months--the James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. i wrote about it, if you're interested. (you could easily search my blog.)

i definitely experienced the ghost.

Rhonda said...

I believe that the energy of a place can be determined by its past use. I used to live in and then rent out a condo in a complex built over an old landfill. I had never been happy there. Plus, when we had to rent it out because we couldn't sell it, everyone who lived there had awful problems in their lives while living there. Busted up relationships. Bankruptcies. Coincidence? Maybe. BTW, we finally sold it about six years ago.

Sherry said...

Do we know why these people haunt this house??

CHATTI PATTI said...

I lovvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeee haunted houses!! YOW!!!!

lyzzydee said...

Great information, I have enjoyed reading this!!

Pieces of Me said...

Hi,

I am not a particular fan of haunted houses.Still I enjoyed reading your post.

Thanks for visiting me. There's a tag waiting for you on my blog.

Dorit

alex keto said...

Regis Philbin chased around by a shrieking female demon?
Sure this wasn't a re-run with Kathie Lee in it.

Travis Erwin said...

Alex, has a valid point. :)

Laurie said...

I'm going to the Stanley Hotel in Colorado with the TAPS crew and Darkness radio. I'll be blogging about it soon with sign up details. I just took a paranormal class in Lafayette, Louisiana with my sister. I love this stuff.