Whaley House – San Diego, California - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

San Diego, California

Whaley House

San Diego's most historic and haunted home. 

Once home to Thomas Whaley and his family, the Whaley House is recognized for its historical significance in San Diego’s Old Town neighborhood. Built in 1856 the home is a two-story Greek Revival designed by Whaley himself. It was built using bricks from Whaley’s brickyard and was the only construction of its kind in San Diego at the time.

Aside from housing the Whaley family, the home also served as San Diego’s first commercial theater, a general store, and the county courthouse. The house is currently furnished in tribute to the many functions it served before being turned into a museum.

What’s most unusual about the home is the numerous reports of hauntings by docents; visitors; and, yes, Regis Philbin. The Travel Channel’s “Most Haunted” show designated the Whaley House as the most haunted home in the United States.

Volunteer docents in period costumes are quick to point out rooms that are said to be haunted by Whaley family members who died in the home and others who were hanged on site.

San Diego Ghost Hunters hosts a Whaley House Museum Paranormal Investigation Tour on the last weekend of every month. Paranormal investigation techniques and tools are utilized throughout the tour, which provides access to several roped-off rooms. It’s clear that the Whaley House is well-known for its paranormal sightings and reports; the museum even charges more for evening admission to visitors hoping to leave a little bit shaken.