Most Haunted Houses in America: Whaley House
Nestled in beautiful southern California, the Whaley House is known to be America’s most haunted house. Listed as only one of two houses in California that is certified haunted, the Whaley House was built by Thomas Whaley in 1857 during the Great Gold Rush in the west. Whaley, an entrepreneur from New York City, purchased the property in 1855, which was served as a part of the gallows in old town San Diego. The Greek Revival style two story house not was not only his residence, but also his general store in the lower level of the home.
That was just the beginning, The Whaley House was home to a courthouse, a school, a polling place, a ballroom, and a billiard hall to name a few. The 152 year old house has a rich history and was home to a series of important events in California history such as a seizure of important court documents.
Originally built as a one story granary in May of 1856 to hold between 300,000 and 400,000 pounds of grain, Thomas Whaley decided to adjoin a two story Greek Revival style house later that year which was finished in 1857, which was listed as the finest brick block in Southern California by the San Diego Herald. In August of that same year, Mr. Whaley had opened a general store in the lower floor of the house that catered to cash paying customers.
Over the years, many tragedies happened to the Whaley family, such as the death of their 18 month old son Thomas, the suicide of their daughter Violet, and an arson caused fire that destroyed the general store just to name a few. After the fire and the death of young Thomas Jr., the Whaley’s moved to San Francisco, which lasted until a major earthquake hit the region in 1868 where they moved back to the brick house in San Diego.
Throughout the years, there had been reports of several events which the first reported was of James “ Yankee Jim” Robinson, who was hung at the gallows in 1852 for grand larceny by Thomas Whaley himself. He died on the grounds of the Whaley home when it was still the city gallows. The next was Anna, who was witnessed by television personality Regis Philbin, as a floating white spirit. He became so excited that he turned on the flashlight to find nothing there.
Other occurrences have been a sighting of a young child who appeared to be between 5 and 6 years old. This was supposedly a friend of one of the children who had broken her neck, while staying at the home. Some have spotted Mr. Whaley himself on the upper landing, along with a woman in the courthouse, and many others. Even the family pets have been spotted running through the walls of the century and a half old house.
Today the Whaley house is a part of California’s historic landmark and has become a very popular museum. Even those who do not believe in paranormal activity has a wonderful time exploring the rich history of this century and a half old home. Some individuals may complain of not seeing any activity while on the premises. However, one can sense that there is an abundance of activities that happens within the walls of the Whaley House.