People are always telling me of locations that I need to visit because they are known to be haunted. The Whaley House is one of them. It was voted by Travel Channel and Life Magazine as one of “America’s Most Haunted” locations in the United States. I had seen a few paranormal shows on TV that had done investigations of the location, and a few shows that were more about the history of the location. So of course I was curious to see what I could sense and read from The Whaley House.
A Little History:
Thomas Whaley built the house in the late 1800’s as a residence and as a business. The downstairs was a general store and granary, and the upstairs was the living quarters. The granary did not last long so they rented that space to the county of San Diego and the county turned it into a courthouse. But before all of this, the land where Thomas Whaley built the house, had the towns gallows on it. It is where, after someone was ruled guilty of a crime, they took them to hang them. One of the most famous hangings was of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson. He was a bandit who was convicted of grand larceny. It is reported that he is one of the ghosts that haunt the Whaley property.
There were tragic deaths on the property and the suicide of Thomas Whaley’s daughter, Violet, who shot herself in the heart. Thomas Whaley himself died on the property. So between the years of deaths and the grief this family went through, no wonder it is a hot spot for paranormal activity. There are a lot more details to the history of The Whaley House, but I only touched on these, because they relate to my experiences when I visited the location a few years back.
My husband and I were staying in San Diego for a weekend for our anniversary, and we spent a day in Old Town San Diego. My husband had said before we got there that he would rather have me go do the tour of the Whaley House by myself. We did, however, walk through all of the historic homes and barns in the old town square together. I felt different spirits all through the old town, but nothing that stood out and most of it was residual.
Then it was time for me to tour the Whaley House. I went to the little gift shop next to the house to buy my ticket and get my flier that tells a little bit of the history of the home. I was so excited and nervous. I had been wanting to do the tour through this home for years.
When I first entered the home, I was struck by how small it was. For some reason in my mind, I pictured it to be a lot bigger. I went to my left first, into the small general store. Then I walked through the opening into the next room, which was the court house. I instantly felt the static electricity up my right side. Then I could feel my chest tighten, my throat started to hurt, and my neck started to ache. Then I heard what sounded like heavy boot steps walking on the wood floors. The sound was coming from the left front side of the court house. I looked in that direction and my stomach felt like I just dropped from a cliff. I saw the dark shape of a large man, and he was stomping back and forth. I was so shocked, that I just stood there and watched him. He then looked right at me. His stare froze me. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t talk, and he was fully aware that I could see him. He said to me in a gruff nasty voice that I will never forget, “my name is James.” He then angrily told me that he was hung and not happy about it, and he has been there along time. Then he started to walk towards me. I unfroze and got out of that room as fast as I could. I then stood in the general store to see if he was going to come out too, but he did not. I gathered up my nerves and went back in the court house. There was no sign of him and I didn’t feel his presence anymore. That’s when I got mad at myself….I was so frozen in fear that I did not take a picture or ask any questions….UGH!!! (I wanted to mention too, that this was on a Monday, and I decided to do the tour alone, not with a group, so the tour group that was in there was on the other side of the house)
Since the tour group was on the same floor as I was on, I decided to go upstairs next, then I would come back down and walk through the bottom floor. As soon as I got upstairs, I was drawn to the theater room. The room had a stage with red velvet drapes and there were chairs for the audience to sit on. It was the first commercial theater in San Diego when it opened. Thomas Whaley had rented the space upstairs to Thomas Tanner who lead a group of entertainers called the Tanner Troupe. This group turned the upstairs space into a theater provided all different kinds of entertainment for the citizens of San Diego.
When I was in the theater room, I felt like I wasn’t alone. I could sense a female presence, but she wasn’t communicating, so I just kept taking pictures. I would take pictures in sets of three of one spot, so if something did show up, I could compare it to the other pictures of the same spot. When I was done taking pictures, I did not feel the female presence anymore, so I finished my tour of the entire home.
The décor in this home was beautiful. I love antiques, especially pieces from the 1800’s, so I was just mesmerized by the rest of the home. (I own some incredible antique furniture pieces from the 1800’s myself) I had no more interactions with ghosts, but I did leave there very satisfied by what I did feel and see. I couldn’t wait to look at my pictures and tell my husband about my experience.
This is a picture of the theater room. This was the last one of the set of three that I took of this spot. Do you see a white mist peeking out between the curtains on the stage. I see a short woman or young woman in the mist. No other pictures I took had a mist in it. Also, the only reason I have this picture is because I had emailed it to myself and saved it, I went back to look through all of the pictures I took in the Whaley House so I could post all three of the pictures, but all of my pictures are gone. Somehow they are not in my photos on my phone where I last looked at them. All my other pictures that I took that day are still there, but none of the Whaley House. So this is my only proof. I know what I felt, but I thought it was awesome to actually catch a picture of it and the proof of it.