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The Whaley House: Visitors Experience Chills & See Shadows Moving. Know the Haunted Past Behind It!

The Whaley House: Visitors Experience Chills & See Shadows Moving. Know the Haunted Past Behind It!

What is your favorite tourist spot? For most of us, it is none other than San Diego, California. It is due to its white beaches, pleasant weather, and artistic attractions. But who would have thought that it contained America’s most haunted house? The Whaley House is a mansion situated in Old Town, California, and now a historical landmark.

Convincing enough, The Whaley House is a definite destination, offering a “Ghost Tour” inside the house. The Ghost Tour costs $50 per person with the price increasing for extra hours. It takes the paranormal enthusiasts on a complete tour of the 1857 Greek-style house, where one can encounter a scary experience.

The Whaley family

The story behind the spookiness of the Whaley House is not very complicated. Thomas Whaley and his family in the 1850s constructed and owned the house. Before Thomas built the house, the land was a famous site for public execution. This site had also seen the execution of the infamous thief, Yankee Jim Robinson.

But the history of the land did not bother Thomas, and he continued his plans for building his family house on that very site. He purchased the property in 1850 and started living in the constructed home in 1857 with his wife and three children.

The Whaley House was the first brick building in that resident area. They also opened a general store inside the house. But unfortunate happenings seemed to have joined hands with the Whaley family since they started living in the house.

Not long after they moved in, the family had to witness their first death in the family. Their youngest son, who was only 18 months old at that time, died due to scarlet fever.

The Fire

A few months later, a ravaging fire destroyed the general store. This caused the Whaley family to move to San Francisco, only to return to the same house several years later, in 1868. The family, with five children, opened a general store again.

They opened the first Courthouse, theatre troupe, and many more new attractions in the Old Town. Still, unfortunate events never left their back.

When Thomas Whaley was away on a business trip in 1871, a group of armed men seized the courthouse documents as Anna Whaley was at the end of a gunpoint. This was a turning point for the Whaley family that led them to despair.

Years later, two of the eldest daughters married inside the house. Violet, youngest of the two, had an unbearable marriage that led to a divorce. She got into depression and shot herself in the year 1885.

The Hauntings

Throughout the years, the Whaley family descendants continued to live in the house. The house saw the death of the Whaley family. The members included Thomas Whaley, Anna Whaley, and their children Violet, Lillian, Thomas, and Francis.

Throughout the years of restoration and living, the house experienced many strange incidents. It felt the sounds, aromas, and sightings that happened without any explanations.

One of the frequent talks was that the spirit of the thief, Jim Robinson always lingered in the premises. The thief ever made eerie footstep noises and left footprints scaring the Whaley family for years.

Baby Thomas, who first passed away in the house also contributed a fair amount of eeriness in the house. Visitors have heard the sound of tiny footsteps, sounds of a small child crying and laughing, even though there was no one else in sight. Another sighting was that of the daughter, Violet’s.

People have seen her spirit lingering on the second floor of the house, where she spent most of her time after the divorce, with sorrow consuming her. Visitors have also mentioned that they felt the cold feeling of her grief throughout the house even now.

Some people have sighted Thomas Whaley’s spirit as well, standing near the stairs all dressed up. Others have stated that they could smell Anna Whaley’s signature perfume.

Visitors experienced the sightings of other family members’ spirits as well. Near the stairwell, on the compounds, etc. Some have also noticed a figure looking out the upstairs window long after the house has closed for the day.

Despite the closed windows, people reported that they saw curtains flying. Many have heard the sounds of children pacing, running up and down the stairs. Visitors experienced chills and seen shadows moving. Fog, lights turning on and off, lamps swinging by themselves, all signs that the Whaley House still belongs to its builders.


The Whaley House conducts Halloween tours for visitors of all age groups. You can also opt for special after-hour tours on Halloween. The house conducts a special tour from 7 pm until midnight. If you are courageous enough and are a haunted lover, you must visit the Whaley House Mansion when you visit San Diego.

Plan a Horror Night Next Time & Share the Stories Among Friends!


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