The Whaley House in San Diego, California is a haunted house with a dark and scary history. Now operating as a museum, it has the reputation of being one of the most haunted houses in the world. Ghost Hunters investigated Whaley House a few years ago.
As the story goes, the Whaley House was built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley on the site of San Diego’s old public gallows and cemetery. It was the scene of numerous deaths and is now home to many ghosts and haunting apparitions.
Countless hangings occurred on the property before the Whaley House was constructed. The stairs are located on the very spot where Yankee Jim Robinson was hung in 1852. Yankee Jim was a tall man and his feet scraped the ground as he hung from the noose. They say he took nearly an hour to die.
In order to build the house, Mr Whaley had to knock down the old gallows. Soon after the Whaley family moved into the house, they began hearing heavy footsteps moving up and down the stairs. Mr Whaley said they sounded like the boots of a large man. Many people have experienced the feeling of a noose tightening around their necks when they stand on the 9th step. Others have even seen the ghostly figure of Yankee Jim walking up the stairs.
The Whaleys’ young son was the first person to die in the house. He was found dead of scarlet fever in his upstairs bedroom, in 1858, at the age of only 17 months. Ever since, the haunting cries of a baby have been reported coming from this room.
In the mid-1800’s a young girl named Carrie Washburn, who was friends with the Whaley children, was playing in the backyard. She wasn’t looking where she was going and accidentally ran into a clothes line. The rope wrapped around her neck and crushed her throat. It was as if she had been hanged. Her corpse was brought into the house and left lying on the kitchen table. Since then, a young blond girl has been seen standing in the kitchen and running in the yard. A meat cleaver hanging on the kitchen wall has also been seen moving.
At one time, Mr Whaley rented out the upstairs portion of the house to a theater group. One night, a member of the theater group got drunk and accused his girlfriend of being unfaithful. When she denied it, he took a knife and stabbed her to death at the back door.
Thomas Whaley’s eldest daughter, Violet, inexplicably attempted to commit suicide in 1885. She threw herself off the roof of the Whaley house and fell into a deep well outside. Her father heard her scream as she fell into the water and he managed to rush out and save her.
Three weeks later, Violet died mysteriously. They say she went into the toilet of the Whaley House, took out a gun and shot herself in the chest. However, when they found her dead body in the toilet, the gun was nowhere to be found. Many years later, the weapon was discovered hidden under a slab of concrete in the barn behind the house. Nobody knows how it could have gotten there.
The ghost of Thomas Whaley has been seen on the second floor landing, dressed in a black frock coat and wide-brimmed hat. People have also seen his ghostly figure staring out at them from the upstairs windows.
Years ago, TV presenter Regis Philbin tried to spend a night in the house. Sometime after midnight, he said, he saw something move from the study into the music room, but when he turned a flashlight on, it disappeared.
The house has been a museum since 1960. The 150-year-old home has certainly seen its share of sorrow and death. Visitors regularly report seeing the ghosts of the man who was hanged, the master of the house, and the lady of the house wandering the halls. People travel from far and wide to see this historic building and the mysteries it holds inside.
According to the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted, the house is the number one most haunted house in the United States. The ghosts of the Whaley House have been investigated on the TV shows Ghost Hunters, Haunted History and Most Haunted.