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28 votes

Whaley House

2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, California 92110 USA

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Whaley House

Go San Diego Card

San Diego
1, 2, 3, 4 or 7 days
From $84

San Diego Day Trip from Los Angeles

Los Angeles
13 hours
From $169

Tequila, Tacos and Tombstones Culinary Tour

San Diego
2 hours 30 minutes
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Closed Now
Opens Mon 10a
  • Independent

“The Most Haunted Home in America!”

This humble, two-story brick building has been called "America's Most Haunted House", has been featured on countless TV shows and lists about the most paranormal places in the country, and has played host to ghostly guests since the 19th century-- San Diego's infamous Whaley House. Even Regis Philbin, who visited in the 1960's, claims to have encountered a spirit here... and if Reg says it's haunted, it must be. Right? Given the Whaley House's colorful past, it's not really a surprise that it's so damn haunted. Before the house was built, the town gallows were on the property. Then the building, meant to be the nicest house in San Diego at the time, was put up-- not only did the prominent Whaley family live in there, but it also housed "a granary, the County Court House, San Diego's first commercial theater, various businesses including Thomas Whaley's own general store, a ballroom, a billiard hall, school, and polling place". The Whaley House has been known to be haunted since the Whaley family lived there-- the ghost of Yankee Jim, a man hanged for attempted gran larceny and who was almost too tall for the gallows, terrified little Lilian Whaley, the youngest child, and intrigued neighborhood children. Anna Whaley, the family matriarch, would often scare kids peeking in her window, hoping to catch a glimpse of Yankee Jim-- and then invite them inside for a cookie.  The hauntings didn't stop when the Whaley family moved out either-- one of the Whaley children, Violet, committed suicide in the house 1885, and one of the kids' playmates allegedly broke their neck and died after running into a low-hanging clothing line. Their spirits still roam the halls of the house, along with the ghosts of Thomas and Anna Whaley themselves. Former tennants of the house and even family pets have been seen haunting the property as well.  Since then, it's been turned into a museum, but they're very accomodating to the spirits who still live in the house-- just ask any of the docents when you visit; they're almost guaranteed to have a good story about an eerie occurance. If you're looking for some paranormal action yourself, they offer night tours between 5 and 9:30 pm on weekends, and during October they offer paranormal investigation tours, "scary story Sundays", extended evening hours, and tons more-- check their schedule for details! - Roadtrippers The Whaley House is an 1857 Greek Revival style residence, a California Historical Landmark, and museum located in Old Town, San Diego, California. In 2005, LIFE magazine called Whaley House the "most haunted house in America". To this day, visitors feel chilly cold spots, see ghostly apparitions, and even hear the piano playing on it's own.. Thomas Whaley came to California in 1849 during the Gold Rush. He left New York City, the place of his birth, on January 1, 1849, on the Sutton and arrived 204 days later in San Francisco. He set up a store with George Wardle on Montgomery Street where he sold hardware and woodwork from his family's New York business, Whaley & Pye, and offered mining equipment and utensils on consignment. This young entrepreneur, born on October 5, 1823, came from a Scots-Irish family, which immigrated to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1722. His great-grandfather, Alexander Whaley, a gunsmith, participated in the Boston Tea Party and the Revolutionary War where he provided flintlock muskets for soldiers and the use of his house on Long Island by General George Washington. Thomas' father, Thomas Whaley, carried on the family gunsmith business, and served in the New York Militia during the War of 1812. He married Rachel Pye, whose father, William, manufactured locks in Brooklyn. - Whaley House

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  • 5 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 09, 2015
Rated 3.0

Whaley House is a nice little museum house but not scary or ghostly. The guide was very knowledgeable about the history of the house and San Diego and accommodating to the crowd.
Note though that I did feel nauseous towards the end of the tour so that may have been a ghost influence (we were warned towards the beginning of the tour that sometimes ladies feel a little queasy on the tour)!

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Whaley House

2476 San Diego Ave
San Diego, California
92110 USA


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  • Thu - Sat: 10:00 am - 9:30 pm
  • Sun - Tue: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm

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