Real Haunted Houses

Real Haunted House

Whaley House

San Diego, California

During the early part of the 20th century, this house was home to the Whaley family, while it was also being used as a town hall and courthouse. Hangings were a frequent occurrence in the parlor, and strange happenings have been linked to this. All the Whaley children died unnatural deaths such as having an ax fall on their head, and being killed in the doorway of a closet. Today, in addition to the sightings of two apparitions, footsteps are heard and many weird odors permeate through the house.

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177 Comments

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SunnySDGirl says:

October 29, 2009, 3:28 pm

I have been to this house probably a dozen times being a native San Diegan. I love it. Every time I have “sensed” something different…sometimes seeing something out of the corner of my eye, a brush against my arm, a draft on my legs walking down the stairs, something. One time, probably my 5th time there, I was all of a sudden overtaken by a strange emotion and ran out of the house crying hysterically…very unlike myself. I still to this day have no idea why.

nick says:

November 15, 2009, 2:03 pm

omg iwentthere and i was stnding on a bedand then i herd muzik :0

maria says:

February 22, 2010, 8:13 pm

ok well i went to The Whaley house when i was about 6 im 12 now but i went with my mom & dad(: um well this house is definitly haunted nothing to be scared of tho they wont hurt u they wouldnt let u in if they beleved the ghost would hurt u ha anyways we went into the theater room and i was only 6 so my parents didnt want to scare me but they took a picture by the wall right above the light and when we came back we developed the pictures and this is a real as it gets.. there was 2 faces u could makeout in the pic! i was like wtf?! but yea its proof..(:

ginny says:

March 30, 2010, 11:02 pm

I was at the whaley house in 2005 once, we were upstairs near one of the rooms that had the glass paneling. I was just standing around talking to my dad. All of the sudden a bird shot up the stairs, somehow got through the glass paneling (without shattering the glass.) Just dropped dead and something must have dragged it under the bed. A week later I came back and saw a dead bird hanging from a nail on a tree. It had the word whaley on its side. I was freaked out!

hetty says:

August 22, 2010, 6:58 pm

ok LOL first of all to the person who says mrs. whaley was ONLY 4’2 thats so STUPID she was NOT 4’2 would have made her a dwarf aka little person which she CLEARLY was not i am sure she was 5’2 or a lttle taller but not overly tall or short. secondly this house IS REGISTERED on the national list of REAL haunted houses in the united states.

Mike says:

August 30, 2010, 9:23 am

I visited on a late evening with my wife around July 2008 and we walked around inside and outside the house after having been on a “haunted tour” of San Diego. We had a HD video camera, DVR and Digital camera. We didn’t have any experiences. We tried looking for EVPs and evidence in the video/pictures but, other than some orbs that were most likely dust, we found nothing. We even tried at El Campo Santo Cemetery down the street to no avail. It is possible that there were too many people out and about, and if we DID have any evidence it was just too contaminated.

Leave it to beaver says says:

September 26, 2010, 5:05 pm

i belive this house is haunted,some people dont but thats alright becuase some people belive in things that shouldent be belived in.RUMMSPRINGGGGGGAAAAAA

Tiffalkin says:

September 27, 2010, 11:45 pm

As a San Diegan, I can agree that the Whaley house is definitely a spooky place. You should hear some of the more detailed ghost stories; I’ll see if I can edit them on. For instance, the one I actually experienced- on the sixth step of the staircase, you can smell a woman’s perfume. On the seventh, you can feel a noose tightening around your neck.

Salem 1 says:

October 22, 2010, 2:06 pm

Last year my family and I went to the Whaley house and took the tour of the house at first I just thought this nice old house was of historic value to California history. Walking through the house we entered the court room then found our way upstairs looking at all the old items in the house I thought our visit was just going to be another unenventful afternoon. That was until we were nearly over the tour and we walked downstairs and was looking into the living room, all of a sudden we all felt the same feeling but in different ways, I felt sick to my stomach I felt like I was going to be sick and vomit, my wife felt sick but mostly depressed like she was sad and it hit us all of a sudden. I had this overwelming urge to leave the house. After we left the house we just wanted to get away we fel drained and decided to go eat or just sit down. We were all shocked at how much it hit us. It seemed like what ever came over us left just as soon as we left the Whaley house.
I am not saying that there are ghosts or what ever just telling what we experianced.

Tammy A. says:

October 24, 2010, 6:39 pm

Halloween 2008 my son and I heard a baby cry upstairs in the theater. outside in the rose garden at the edge of the brick and dirt. my son felt a soft whisk across his face and got chills. its said that one of the women that lived in the house liked children, and will touch them in this garden. its said it feels like walking into spider webs. We did not know this until AFTER the experience.

Cricket says:

March 2, 2011, 8:44 pm

A couple years ago me and my class went on a field trip to the Whaley House. My mother had chaperoned, and decieded we should go back by ourselves sometime, so we did.While walking through the house, i took pictures of all the rooms twice. When i looked through the photos again at home, things in the pictures had been moved, changed or shifed. But the wierdest thig, some of the rooms were covered by glass so as not to gain acces!

Cricket says:

March 2, 2011, 8:47 pm

My mom also thought that it was terrible the stories that our tour guide told us kids while on the class field trip.

Barbara says:

April 5, 2011, 3:38 pm

I visited the Whaley House March 3 and 5 of 2011 When in san Diego for my nephews graduation at MCRD. There were strange things in the house. But the weirdest thing was in the house where you purchase the tickets next door. My sisters and I were looking in some books with ghost photography when someone walked up next to me. i thought i was blocking them from the merchandise so I said excuse me and moved over but there was no one there. Great tour I really enjoyed it. i got a huge orb on the shade in the court room an big orb on the curtain in the theatre and my sister witnessed one of the rops start to swing and stop and start again. I love San Diego can’t wait to go back.

JoeDee says:

June 5, 2011, 2:16 pm

I really need to know how to get here! My friend and i want to go…can anyone help me?? 🙂 thank you thank you

Gary Coleman says:

June 14, 2011, 7:44 pm

When I went to the house, I was so scared that I shat on myself. Please excuse the spot on the porch.

NativeCalifornian says:

October 16, 2011, 11:06 am

Get the story straight! I have lived in Southern California all my life and have been to the whaley house numerous times. Is it haunted? yes! Did all the children die mysterious deaths? No! One child died from an illness and the oldest daughter shot herself in the outhouse behind the house when her lover left her, they brought her into the parlor where she later died. I took the night tour and I have some crazy pictures of white mists and one room had about fifty orbs in it. Not scary, just interesting.

Kitty says:

October 24, 2011, 4:30 am

I went to this house with my boyfriend. What a waste of money. Nothing happened at this house. Just a dusty old house that was all encased in plexy glass… you couldn’t get near anything just walk through it. The little dots they tell you about that are supposed from ghosts it is from dust. I proved it when my boyfriend and I went on a wine cellar tour that was underground and dusty. So when my camera took a picture a bunch of dots reflected off of the dust. Save your money.

David G. ( it's German) says:

November 27, 2011, 12:26 pm

I had a very distinct experience with the “Whaeley” house. Listen to my details and it will show this was not just a random occurance. In my 46 years of life I have only had extreme unexplained pressure put on my chest, neck and head only twice. The first time while visiting the “Whaeley” hous in 1995. Once I exited everything was normal again. Second time I visted the ” Whaeley” house again only to be attacked more stronger and this time I was with my wife and she was attacked too. So oviously something is going on. She felt pressure and tasted blood in her throat.

Amy says:

December 1, 2011, 8:28 pm

I’m a San Diego native, and when I visited the Whaley House a few years back, I actually didn’t see anything strange or hear anything, probably because it was full of tourists, so the ghosts didn’t want to come out…? Either that, or I’m pretty immune to paranormal things, seeing as I have a bit of a phobia with ghosts and such. Although, now that I think about that visit, I do recall catching a faint smell of someone smoking. I thought it was from one of the other tourists smoking, but I learned that Mr. Whaley used to smoke cigars…

Coraa says:

February 19, 2012, 5:01 pm

i’ve been to this house on a school field trip at old town and my friends were telling me stories and one of my friends told me that if you stand on the stairs you can’t breath because thats were one of the family members hung theirself but i want through the house as a tour and nothing strange happened.

Tracy says:

October 22, 2012, 12:24 am

My son and I took the night tour. Although I didn’t see or feel anything while in the house I have many pictures full of orbes. I took a picture and then within 5 seconds took another picture of the same windows standing exactly as I was in the first one. One picture is as clear as day….the other has several large orbes.. picked up orbes in several areas of the tour and outside. Will do it again.

Russ Mann says:

October 22, 2012, 1:40 pm

I toured the Whaley House alone two different times during a one-day stay in San Diego. I remained alone in the theatre upstairs, where I sat patiently, waiting and hoping for something to happen. However, the darn ghosts made themselves invisible to me. I had also hoped to capture something on my digital camera, but there was nothing. I left disappointed.

Diane says:

December 18, 2013, 4:20 pm

Amy, you never laid down any where in that house and especially not in any bedroom. All entrances to bedrooms, parlor, etc are blocked off with glass (or plexiglass) to keep people out of the rooms for preservation and to prevent people from stealing whatever they can fit in pockets or purses or backpacks. Been that way for years. With that saidâ?¦your story is full of ****. Furthermore, nobody ever spends the night in that house aside from Regis Philbin and a camera man over 50 years ago and they fled the house before the night was even over. I heard him say that right out of his own mouth on. t.v. within the last 10 years.

SD Native says:

January 20, 2014, 9:01 pm

I have lived in San Diego my entire life and have visited old town and the Whaley house numerous times over the years for school field trips and family outings. When I was in elementary school on my first trip there I was one of two kids who could see, smell, or feel things around us, and over the years in many other trips these these things have become more intense and clearer. I have smelled tobacco smoke near the parlor, lavender perfume out in the garden, and chocolate chip cookies near the kitchen. And…the docents/volunteer guides are not or never have been pumping in scents to these areas to make you think you are experiencing something. It is residual scents from events that have happened in the past history of that house and the people who occupied it. I have felt cold pockets of air when it was a hot and humid summer day and there was no a/c running to explain it, have had the hair on my arms and back of my neck stand on end for no reason, felt like I was being watched when I was the only one in a room, and felt things bumping up against my legs or arms like they are brushing past me and there was no one there to explain it. I have seen orbs that were not dust particles, shadows that move and have no explanation of where they came from or vanished into a wall, white floating haze that would rest over a chair or a bed, reflections out of the corner of my eye in pictures and in the plexiglass fronts that protect the rooms upstairs that look like an old west man (like a gunslinger) or woman in the long Victorian dresses with small children hanging off their skirts and as fast as I do a double take to see them clearer they are gone, the rocking chair moving slightly like someone had just gotten up out of it, the child’s baby doll carriage upstairs moving forward, curtains moving in rooms with no open windows or ventilation, and lights go on and off for no reason. I have also heard a baby’s cry upstairs, footsteps on the stairs at the base of the staircase where the gallos were and the only hanging took place before the house was built, a dog barking and whimpering, running water and splashing near the old water pump and well that does not work anymore, and children’s laughing near the rose garden.
I am a believer in ghosts and the imprinting they leave behind like a record being played over and over again repeating itself and it can’t stop. And I believe that if you have any amount of psychic ability or are just open and willing to believe….the spirits will show themselves to you and give you a glimpse into their time there at the house. My digital camera has picked up these things as well a few times, but every time I am in the courtroom and I try to take a picture the LCD screen goes green and then blank and shuts the camera off resulting in no image….and it’s always with a different camera or a brand new one that should have no reason to fail period!. It’s almost like I am being stopped by a residual electrical interference from the spirits letting me know they are there.
I am not afraid of them because residual spirits can not harm us and they are only there to let us know the past and tell a story. So the Whaley house is definatley a place to go and try to experience this for yourself….but be open to the thought of experiencing things and don’t go in with a closed mind or skepticism trying to look too hard. Spirits will manifest themselves in their own ways and will play games with you and let you into their past history replayed over and over again, but if you go in a non believer and not wanting to see spiritually then they will not show themselves and you will be one of the reviewers on here calling it a hoax and money trap for tourists.

Angela Ross says:

August 7, 2015, 8:00 pm

I visited the house a few years back. I am very sensitive and could feel strong energy just from getting close to the windows. I did not do the tour but one of the tour guides let me stand in the foyer of the house. I became very dizzy and light headed. I left to go across the street to eat at on of the Mexican restraunts. As I was sitting at the table to order my food I became very nauseated and dizzy. Long story short I became ill and had to leave and was violently barfing in my car on the way home. I strongly believe it was the house. I felt normal all day until I went into the foyer. After I threw up I felt normal again. Very weird.

Terry L Yarnell says:

June 14, 2016, 2:22 pm

In 2014 my wife and I toured the Whealy House. I was looking around the small general store area of the house when I felt my wife standing behind me looking over my shoulder. I turned to make a comment to her about the room, and there was nobody there. I felt the presence of a woman. I quickly left the room to find my wife looking around the kitchen area. It was such a frightening and real experience

Michael says:

January 16, 2017, 8:42 pm

I have been to the house twice and felt as I was being watched the first time and both times I got picitures of ghost I loved the house

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