Historic photos of the Whaley House and Whaley family members
save our heritage organisation

October at the Whaley House

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), which operates the historic Whaley House Museum in Old Town, has some "spirited" fun in store for visitors this Halloween season, including extended hours, period lighting and music, Past & Presence Ghost Tours, and after-hours Ghost Hunts.

The Whaley House was built by San Diego pioneer Thomas Whaley to house his growing family and his general mercantile store, and is believed to be the oldest two story brick building in Southern California. When completed in 1857, The San Diego Union called it the most elegant home in San Diego. The building served at various times as the county seat and courthouse, San Diego's first commercial theater, a granary, store, kindergarten and Sunday school, party venue and ballroom, polling place, and meeting place for both the City Council and County Board of Supervisors. Former California state senator James Mills has said that the Whaley House "has sheltered more history than any other building in the city."

In addition to being one of the most historic buildings in San Diego, the Whaley House has earned its reputation as America's Most Haunted. "The Whaley House is one of the most actively haunted mansions in the world today," said famed ghost hunter Hans Holzer, who wrote more than 120 books on the subject. Reports of its hauntings has brought visitors from around the globe and in recent years has lead to numerous televised ghost investigations by shows such as Most Haunted and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2005 Life Magazine declared it "the most haunted house in America." Spirits believed to inhabit the historic home include Thomas Whaley and his wife Anna, their daughter Violet, their great-granddaughter Marion, their fox terrier Dolly Varden, and of course "Yankee Jim" Robinson.

Robinson, a desperado convicted of attempted grand larceny, was hanged on the grounds where the Whaley House now stands in September of 1852, a few years before the building was constructed. Legend has it that his spirit never left the spot where the gallows stood and now roams the halls of the Whaley House.

Visit the Whaley House this Halloween season for some hauntingly good fun!


October 2 | 3 | 23 |24
Past & Presence Ghost Tours

Let the Past & Presence Ghost Tours be your guide to San Diego's most haunted historic sites. Come visit the past and you might just feel a presence as you explore some of Old Town San Diego's most haunted locations. Truth is stranger than Fiction! Learn the fascinating true stories of each of these historic sites and of the real people who inhabited them, and hear the legendary ghost stories that surround them. This unforgettable and entertaining excursion includes an exclusive after-hours tour inside the Adobe Chapel, El Campo Santo Cemetery and, of course, "the most haunted house in America" the Whaley House.

$25 per person · Details & Purchase Tickets
(Attendance is limited to 25 each night, so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Ages 12 & older. Tour begins in Whaley House side yard)

Wednesdays · 7 | 14 | 21 | 28
Silent Screams
7pm & 9pm

Horror and suspense classics of the Silent Era
screened in San Diego's first theater.

$13 per person · Details & Purchase Tickets
(Seating is limited; advance purchase is
strongly recommended)

October 9 | 11 | 16 | 17
Whaley House Ghost Hunting Tours

Join the Whaley House Museum staff and the San Diego Ghost Hunters for an exclusive 90-minute paranormal investigation of "America's Most Haunted."

$50 per person · Details & Purchase Tickets
(Attendance is limited to 20 each night, so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Ages 12 & older. )

Saturday, October 31 · 10am-midnight
Daytime hours: 10am-5pm
Halloween Nighttime Admission (7pm-Midnight)

Period music, historic lighting, and tales of paranormal
encounters will raise your spirits.

$15 per person · Purchase advance Halloween Tickets
(Or purchase tickets at the door)

Saturday-Monday · October 31-November 2 · 1-9pm
Día de los Muertos - Day of the Dead
Old Town San Diego will hold its fifth annual event honoring this historic and cultural celebration. Officially observed on November 1 and 2, with an additional day this year to include Halloween, the Day of the Dead pays homage to the presence of the dead among the living and is a colorful tribute to California's own Mexican heritage. The holiday's roots are deep in history, culture, and family tradition making it the perfect event for Old Town. Día de los Muertos is a celebration of life and death. It is not in any way to be confused with Halloween which precedes it; the celebration is not ghoulish nor morose. The holiday is joyously spent with friends and family, as a time to offer hospitality to the spirits and to honor and remember loved ones.

Old Town San Diego's Day of the Dead DETAILS. Visitors are invited to visit all the Old Town altars during the community wide three-day event.

Celebration Details at the Whaley House



2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-7511
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