Halloween History | “The Whaley House” San Diego’s Most Well-Known Haunted House

Whaley House

For over 100 years, The Whaley House in Old Town, San Diego, has been known for its alleged paranormal activity. Referred to by Life Magazine as “the most haunted house in America,” this 1857 Greek Revival residence built by Thomas Whaley at a cost of more than $10,000, was built on land used for public hangings a graveyard. At the time the home was built, it was considered as the finest home in Southern California. According to San Diego Coast Life, Whaley himself said:

“My new house, when completed, will be the most handsome, most comfortable and convenient place in town or within 150 miles of here.”  

Regularly used as a gathering place, it also served as San Diego’s first commercial theatre, the county courthouse and general store. However, Whaley and his wife Anna suffered through family tragedies while residents of the home and left for extended periods of time returning off and on throughout the rest of their lives. After the death of Thomas, the home fell into disrepair before his son Francis restored the property in 1909, turning it into a tourist attraction. The last living child of Thomas and Anna, Corrine, continued to live in the home until her death in 1953.

The home was first reported as haunted by the Whaley’s themselves. Shortly after moving in, family members told the San Diego Union they heard heavy footsteps, which they believed to be the ghost of James, “Yankee Jim” Robinson, who had been hanged on the property for stealing a boat. Years later, visitors claimed to have seen the ghosts of Thomas and Anna. Regardless, the Whaley House is thought by many to be the most historical property in San Diego and remains a popular tourist attraction, especially the week prior to Halloween.

The San Diego Historical Shrine Foundation opened The Whaley House as a museum in 1960 and has been maintained by Save Our Heritage Organization since 2000. The home is open for tours throughout the year, but for those interested in visiting a historical “haunted” house The Whaley House is open extended hours this week.

October 26 – 27 10:00am – midnight
October 28 – 30 10:00am – 9:30pm
October 31 10:00am – midnight

Of course, while there are no haunted homes(that we know of) for sale in San Diego, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty offers gorgeous properties throughout San Diego, Orange County, and the Coachella Valley and Palm Springs areas.

Our gift to you this Halloween are some of our favorite homes with a price reduction that you will find far from scary. Hurry, these properties are priced to sell!

15564 Las Planideras, San Diego
PRICE REDUCED! Located on a quiet tree-lined street on the west side, this open and airy one story Mediterranean style home enjoys natural light, high ceilings, soaring French doors, garden patios, and private canyon views. The floor plan includes gourmet kitchen with butler’s pantry, 6 en-suite bedrooms in two separate wings, designated office, den and 4 car garage. Set on 2.49 acres with detached guest casita, entertaining patio overlooking the pool and graded space ready for horses, tennis, playground etc. $3,895,000.

1780 Haydn, Cardiff by the Sea
PRICE REDUCED! Coastal dreaming! Ocean views in the amazing and serene secret location of this popular beach community. Walk to all Cardiff has to offer, hip shops, and restaurants, beautiful parks, and beaches. This elevated, quiet location offers 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, vaulted wood beamed ceiling, open kitchen and family room on the second level which flows onto a large patio deck with ocean views to La Jolla and beyond. Amazing! $1,675,000.

15141 Canyon Pass, Poway
PRICE REDUCED AND SELLER MOTIVATED! Single level resort estate with stunning sunset views on 2.24 acres in the highly desirable area of High Valley in Poway. Private backyard retreat is an entertainer’s dream featuring outdoor gourmet kitchen under a custom built gazebo, a vanishing edge pool with waterfalls and spa, outdoor fireplace and several lounging areas including a sunroom. Landscape includes paths lines with roses and lavender to your very own private orchard consisting of various fruit trees. Open floor plan, gourmet kitchen, master retreat with a private sitting area and double-edged fireplace. $1,399,000.

206 Park Blvd., #210, San Diego
PRICE REDUCED TO SELL! This corner unit has one of the best floor plans in downtown with an open living area and split bedrooms. Features include fresh paint, new stove and newer appliances. TAndem parking spot is the length of three full-sized cars. Across the street and walking distance from Petco Park, Tailgate Park, and the central library. Ideally located close to all – Gaslamp and everything downtown has to offer! No need to Uber home after a night on the town! $539,000.

For information on these or any other properties, visit us at www.pacificsothebysrealty.com

Julie McGuire, PSIR Marketing

Julie McGuire, a freelance writer who works with the Pacific Sotheby's International Realty marketing team, specializes in the real estate and travel industries. She is a graduate of San Diego State University with degrees in History and Journalism and currently is researching material and writing her first book.

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