San Diego Hauntings – Whalley House


What is the Whaley House?:

The Whaley House is a historic house in San Diego’s Old Town State Park. Formally dedicated as a historic house museum on May 25, 1960 and open to the public ever since, it is a favorite place for Old Town visitors. Over 100,000 people visit the Whaley House annually, and it is owned by the County of San Diego and managed and operated by the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO). The Whaley House is located at 2476 San Diego Avenue 92110.

Why is the Whaley House famous?: 

Well, it’s less about it being an old house that became prominent in the formative years of San Diego. No, the reason why the Whaley House is famous is because of its past stories and tragedies. And that it’s supposedly haunted by ghosts of its tragic past, which makes it a favorite place to visit during Halloween in San Diego.

What is the history of the Whaley House?:

Thomas Whaley came to California in 1849 during the Gold Rush. He relocated to Old Town San Diego and set up various businesses. He purchased the property in September 1855, which had been the site of the hanging of the infamous Yankee Jim Robinson in August of 1852. He first built a single-story granary on the property, with bricks manufactured in his brickyard on Conde Street. The adjacent two-story Greek Revival style brick residence was designed by Whaley and cost $10,000 and completed in 1857. The home, acclaimed as the “finest new brick block in Southern California” by the San Diego Herald. Whaley also established his general store in this residence for a period.

Over the years, the Whaley House also functioned as San Diego’s first commercial theater, the county courthouse, and the Whaley and Crosthwaite General Store, a ballroom, a billiard hall, school, and polling place. After a number of family tragedies, Thomas Whaley built a single-story frame home for his family at 933 State Street in downtown San Diego and the family moved into the new residence, leaving the Whaley House vacant for over two decades.

Is the Whaley House really haunted?:

Not just another San Diego urban legend, significant events, such as the suicide of Violet Whaley in 1885 as well as the hangings which occurred on the property before the house was constructed, have given the Whaley House an air of mystery. So much so that the the Whaley House was designated as an official Haunted House by the United States Commerce Department in 1960. The only other official haunted house in California is the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA. The Whaley House grounds was reportedly haunted even before the house was built and the Whaley family moved in. The first ghost to be reported was the ghost of James “Yankee Jim” Robinson who was hanged in 1852 on the property that was the site of a gallows before Thomas Whaley purchased the property and built the house.

In addition, four members of the Whaley family died in the house, including the suicide of Violet Whaley by gunshot.

Is there proof that ghosts are in the Whaley House?:

According to the Travel Channel’s show “America’s Most Haunted,” out of all the haunted houses in the United States, the Whaley House is the number one most haunted. The alleged hauntings of the Whaley House have been reported numerous times since since the house first opened as a museum in 1960.

Even the Whaley family reported hearing footsteps in the house, supposedly those of the hanged Yankee Jim Robinson. In 1964, when he was a local TV host, Regis Philbin reportedly sighted the ghost of Anna Whaley. Various Whaley family members have purportedly been spotted over the years, and even sightings of ghosts of animals that once resided at the house.

Can anyone do a ghost sighting?:

Every last weekend of the month, the Whaley House Museum offers a late night paranormal investigation tour co-hosted by The San Diego Ghost Hunters (sdGH),a group that specialize in assisting historical landmark owners in discovering or confirming paranormal activity. The tour is limited to a small number of guests who are allowed to bring cameras (still and video) and audio recorders. During the tour, guest investigators are educated on the history behind the legendary spirits that are said to haunt the house and are instructed on how to operate and utilize basic paranormal investigation tools for searching out the house’s mysterious residents.

Additional Whaley House Info:

There are lost of architectural gems to visit around Old Town. There are theVictorian collection of homes in Heritage Park. And then there is the mysterious Whaley House. The Whaley House is located in historic Old Town San Diego at 2476 San Diego Avenue, San Diego, CA 92110

Please arrive at least 30 minutes before closing to allow enough time to tour the house. All tours are self-guided, but docents are always available to answer questions and provide additional information. No advance reservations are necessary for groups of less than 15.

Daytime Admission (10am-5pm)
$6 for adults · $5 for seniors (65 & over) · $4 for children, (ages 3-12)
Free for children 2 and under
(Includes admission to the Adobe Chapel Museum, 10am-5pm, Saturday & Sunday only)

Evening Admission (5-9:30pm, Thursday-Saturday only)
(Last tour begins at 9:30pm)
$10 Adults · $5 Children (ages 3-12)
Free for children 2 & under

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Great Ideas for a San Diego Day-cation

There are literally hundreds of things you COULD do while in San Diego, and if you have special interests, by all means indulge them. These suggestions are designed to give you a look at some of San Diego’s many faces and a chance to visit some of the special Southern California places of interest.

San Diego is one of California’s most popular tourist destinations. In recent years, San Diego has become a surprisingly sophisticated place, and it has something to offer almost everyone, from ballet to theatre to zoos. These itinerary suggestions are enough for a family vacation up to two week long. Each of them will take about a day. Mix and match to create your own fun San Diego itinerary.

  1. Best Zoo: The San Diego Zoo consistently ranks among the world’s best, visited by more than 5 million people per year. If you like animals and zoos, you’ll love this one.
  2. Beach Bum for a Day: One of the hardest things you’ll do all day is decide whether to play beside the ocean or along the shores of Mission Bay. If you choose the beach, use our guide to find the one that matches your style. There’s also plenty to do at Mission Bay, the largest man-made aquatic park in the country. No matter where you spend the day, a trip to Belmont Park, an old-fashioned seaside amusement park makes for a fun evening.
  3. See Things from the Sea: Sea World San Diego seems to appeal to almost everyone, especially families. It’s a medium-sized park, easy to walk across, with rides, animal exhibits and shows.
  4. Seaside Villages: Enjoy a day along the oceanfront in two of San Diego’s most charming seaside towns.
    • Just across the big bridge you see from downtown is Coronado Island. Its white, sandy beaches have earned numerous ratings as one of the country’s top ten beaches and you’ve probably heard of the Hotel Del Coronado, but we think one of the most fun things to do is the Coronado Island walking tour.
    • North of town, La Jolla, whose name means “the jewel” is a beautiful town ringed with blue waters. It’s one of California’s prettiest oceanside towns, and home to several of the state’s best beaches, a fun aquarium, one of the state’s best theatre companies and some great restaurants.
  5. San Diego Safari: It changed its name from the Wild Animal Park to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, a better description of what you’ll find there, where species mingle much like they do in their native Asia and Africa.
  6. Play by the Bay: San Diego is justifiably proud of its “Big Bay.” Take a day to explore:
    • Start (or end) with a Harbor Cruise, taking both legs to see it all
    • Seaport Village is a waterfront shopping and entertainment area, a good stop for a meal or snack
    • USS Midway was the world’s largest ship when commissioned in 1945. She now serves her final tour of duty in San Diego, home to one-third of the Pacific Fleet and a large cadre of the Midway’s former crew.
    • The San Diego Maritime Museum is a good place to explore the world’s oldest active sailing ship, a replica of an early America’s Cup yacht and a host of other seagoing vessels.
    • It’s not on the water, but this is a good time to take in the Gaslamp Quarter, which is nearby.
  7. Legos Gone Wild: Legoland is designed for children ages 3-12. It’s one of the best places in California to take younger children for a fun day of play.
  8. Park It: Balboa Park is largest cultural complex west of the Mississippi. Besides the San Diego Zoo, it’s also home to 8 gardens, 15 museums and a Tony Award-winning theatre.
  9. Race Up to Del Mar: Late July through early September, the Del Mar Race Track is more fun than you might imagine, even if you don’t want to bet on the horses. Our guide takes all the mystery out of a visit. Before or after your day at the races, you can also visit La Jolla.
  10. On a Mission to Discover San Diego’s History: California’s oldest European settlement has a lot of it to see:
    • Start where it all began (in 1542) at Cabrillo National Monument, where explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was likely first European to set foot in San Diego
    • Old Town State Historic Park, north of downtown was the first European settlement in what is now California, established in 1769
    • Mission San Diego de Alcala: California’s first Spanish mission was originally in Old Town, but moved further inland in 1774. The current structure, completed in 1820 is one of the state’s best-preserved
    • The Gaslamp District owes its development to early entrepreneur Alonzo Horton and an area of great architectural charm, its streets lined with nineteenth-century buildings. Take a walking tour from the William Heath Davis House to learn more about its history and famous residents, including Wyatt Earp.
  11. Be a Flower Child: With mild year-round weather, all of San Diego can seem like a garden and you’ll find lots of nice places to enjoy them:
    • Check out Balboa Park, where you’ll find a half dozen gardens to explore, so close you can walk from one to another.
    • If you visit the nearby San Diego Zoo, you may be surprised to find that it’s is also a botanical garden with more than 6,500 plant species, some of them more exotic than the animals. Plant-lovers can pick up special garden guides near the entrance.
    • Early March through early May, 50 acres of red, orange, yellow, green and purple Giant Ranunculus flowers are on display at the Carlsbad Flower Fields.
    • The San Diego Botanic Garden is north of town in Encinitas and they put on a special evening light display in December.
  12. Get Outta Town: If you’re only going to be in San Diego a few days, you may want to stay in town the whole time, but if you’re there longer, check out some of these great day trips

Sadly, because of violence, we can’t recommend a trip to Tijuana. According to the U. S. Department of State: “During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area.” We know you may not listen to them – or us. If you decide to go, use this guide to visiting Tijuana at your own risk. Allow at least half a day.

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Relaxed Mortgage Regs Could Free Up Credit

Banking regulators voted Tuesday to relax mortgage rules meant to prevent risky lending practices like those that helped spur the economic crisis while also expanding access to credit for homebuyers.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) became the first of a half-dozen agencies to approve a final qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule required by the 2010 Wall Street reform law.

The long-awaited regulations generally require lenders to keep at least 5 percent of the risk associated with loans on their books, thereby keeping their “skin in the game” in the event of default.

“The finalization of the rule should go a long way toward providing clarity to the markets and facilitating access to credit on sustainable terms,” FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said.

The Federal Reserve and other regulators are expected to wrap up their work Wednesday on the rule, which stands as a victory for industry groups that balked at more stringent requirements floated in the wake of the economic crisis.

The final regulation, for instance, does not include steep down payment standards that were a part the initial draft and would have required borrowers to put up as much as 20 percent of the price of their home to qualify.

That provision, along with restrictive debt-to-income ratio and credit history requirements, sparked a torrent of comments from industry groups.

Ultimately, the final rule was drafted to hew closely to the related Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) qualified mortgage (QM) regulations enacted in January to ensure borrowers have the ability repay their home loans.

Business groups heralded the regulations as providing a uniform set of standards that would help reduce regulatory burden by lowering compliance costs and, consequently, the cost of credit to consumers.


Not Up For Camping Out? Try Glamping … :~)

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Sleeping on the ground in a tent is so 20th century.  When you combine “camping” with “glamorous”, you get Glamping.  Otherwise known as civilized camping.