Tucked away in Old Town San Diego, the Whaley House is purported to be the city’s very own haunted house—so much so, in fact, that the Whaley House was named an official haunted house by the U.S. Commerce Department during the 1960s. Learn more about this fascinating San Diego attraction down below!
A House Brimming with History
Built in 1857 in the architectural style known as Greek Revival, the Whaley House was once the home of businessman Thomas Whaley and his family. It was founded on top of a graveyard and a site where hangings occurred, in addition to functioning at various times as a general store, the first commercial theater in the city, and the second country courthouse.
The personal history of the Whaley family has also added to the ghostly allure of the Whaley House. Thomas Whaley and his wife Anna had six children. The second-oldest, Thomas Whaley Jr., died from Scarlet Fever at just a year and a half old. Years later, Violet—the second-youngest child, now a grown woman—committed suicide with her father’s gun at the age of twenty-two after society rejected her for having been abandoned by her husband and divorced. Her death and circumstances caused her sister Corrine’s fiancé to break off their engagement.
Several more members of the Whaley family would meet their end in the house, though many years after these initial tragedies. To this day, staff and guests at the Whaley House have claimed to see the ghosts of the Whaley family inside of the house.
The Whaley House Museum, with the historic 1870s Verna House as the Whaley House Museum Shop, the historic Derby-Pendleton House from 1850, and two false store buildings from San Diego preserved since 1964.
The Whale House is open year-round, with the exception of being closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and closing early at 5:00pm on Independence Day, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve.
During the summer season of Memorial Day through Labor Day, hours are from 10:00am until 9:30pm, with prices from $6.00 to $8.00 for day admission and $8.00 to $13.00 for night admission.
Non-summer hours, from Labor Day to Memorial Day, are Sunday through Tuesday from 10:00am to 4:30pm and Thursday through Saturday from 10:00am to 9:30pm. The house is closed on Wednesday during this season. Prices range from $6.00 to 48.00 for daytime admission and from $8.00 to $13.00 for nighttime admission. Private after-hours tours can also be taken after 10:00pm.
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Contact our reservation specialists for more specifics on the Whaley House and other attractions worth visiting in San Diego when you book your lodgings in one of our idyllic vacation rentals today!