Considered by Time Magazine to be the most haunted house in America, Whaley House was home to a countless amount of people, and has experienced much activity in its history.
The Whaley House was built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley, who was a wealthy businessman. Located in San Diego, it is perhaps one of the most famous homes in all of California. It wasn’t long after the residence was built that Whaley established a general store inside of it; eventually he moved the business elsewhere, as it wasn’t successful in the Whaley House. Eventually, Whaley and his wife Anna had up to six children, Violet Whaley was perhaps the most tragic of all the children. She wedded a con-man who merely used the marriage as a way for him to collect dowry money. Soon after the marriage he divorced her, causing her to spiral into a severe bout of depression; adding insult to injury, the community shunned her for being a divorced woman. Sadly, she never did recover from the grief and embarrassment she felt and proceeded to commit suicide.
Allegedly, people have seen Violet Whaley in pictures they’ve taken of the guest bedroom. Anna Whaley is also alleged to be haunting the residence, as some visitors claim to smell the lavender perfume Anna once used when they’re in certain parts of the house. Visitors have purportedly experienced a number of phenomena related to Thomas Whaley, such as the smell of cigar smoke, loud footsteps, doors slamming, laughter and even sightings of his apparition.
Certain locations in the home are supposedly a hotbed of paranormal activity. Some who have visited the Whaley House ostensibly hear the piano playing from the music room. The courtroom is professed by a few visitors to be haunted, as some of them have apparently seen a female apparition appearing in it.
Besides the Whaley family, there are other ghosts purported to be seen, like the apparition of a young girl named Washburn. A few people touring the residence have reportedly seen a little girl in a long dress playing inside of the house. Before the house was even built, the land itself was used for public hangings. One of the victims, Jim Robinson (also known as Yankee Jim) was alleged by the Whaleys themselves to be haunting the house. To this day there are alleged experiences of Jim haunting Whaley House. Aside from being a location where hangings used to occur, this house was also located very close to Native American land; sightings of Native American apparitions have ostensibly occurred. The spirits of animals supposedly roam the grounds, with alleged experiences like the sight of a dog running around the premises.
The Whaley House is rich with history, not only pertaining to the Whaley Family, but to events that happened even before the house was built as well as others who have been inside of the home; it was even located near a Native American settlement at one point in the past. This place was a hotbed of activity in the 1850s and onward, and some would allege that said activity has not ceased. Whether this is true or not is entirely up to you. Regardless, it remains one of the most interesting places to go in San Diego. You don’t have to see an apparition to appreciate the beauty of this old home. So if you happen to be traveling to California this summer, why not stop by the Whaley House during your trip? You’ll get a dose of history and maybe even a tale or two tell others when you go back home.