Haunted Places: Whaley House

The Whaley House in San Diego is its most historic building. It was the home of a prominent pioneer family, the Whaleys, and a hub social activity for nineteenth century San Diegans, it has also served as the San Diego County Courthouse, San Diego's first commercial theater, a ball room, billiard hall, kindergarten and Sunday school, polling place, meeting space for the San Diego County Board of Supervisors and the San Diego City Council and Whaley's general store. (article)

How did haunting come into the picture? Well, it's a generally across the board accepted philosophy that the more historic a place is, the more people who likely died and met tragedy within its walls, especially those homes that were lived in before the times of shipping people to hospitals to pass and when children were the most susceptible to death at a young age due to childbirth and illnesses and unsettled territories created skirmishes.

The earliest documented ghost at the Whaley House is "Yankee Jim." James (aka Santiago) Robinson was convicted of attempted grand larceny in San Diego in 1852, and hanged on a gallows off the back of a wagon on the site where the house now stands. The local newspaper reported that he "kept his feet in the wagon as long as possible, but was finally pulled off. He swung back and forth like a pendulum until he strangled to death." Although Thomas Whaley had been a spectator at the execution, he did not let it disuade him from buying the property a few years later and building a home for his family there. According to the San Diego Union, "soon after the couple and their children moved in, heavy footsteps were heard moving about the house. Whaley described them as sounding as though they were made by the boots of a large man. Finally he came to the conclusion that these unexplained footfalls were made by Yankee Jim Robinson."(whaley site)

As well, the Whaleys themselves are reportedly seen at the site. This home is considered to be one of the most haunted in America.

All I need to do is go and stand in the building and I can tell if it is active. I hope to make a trip there in the coming year and report back my findings, of course.


  1. Been there before and didn't see any ghosts.
    But the tour is very cool.

  2. Just looking at the building from the outside kinda creeps me out. lol.


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