Thomas Whaley once said, “My new house, when completed, will be the handsomest, most comfortable and convenient place in town or within 150 miles of here.” As it turns out, it’s also the most haunted!
In 1857, Thomas Whaley and his wife Anna moved into a new home they’d built from scratch in San Diego, California. If they would’ve known about the death and destruction that was to befall their family, they would’ve turned and ran.
Almost immediately, the family began to hear strange noises and footsteps. They soon learned that their property used to be a graveyard and that it was also where criminal James “Yankee Jim” Robinson was hanged. However, all of this was nothing compared to the horrors that were to come.
The Whaley House has been certified as the most haunted house in America by the United States Commerce Department. But in 1857, the stunning property was a dream come true for the Whaleys and their six children.
Thomas Whaley moved to San Diego from New York with big plans. After constructing his home, he decided to open Whaley’s general store on the property and house the city’s first commercial theater on the second floor. Things were looking up for the family.
Sadly, the good times were short-lived. Just one year after moving in, Thomas Whaley Jr. died of scarlet fever. He was only 18 months old. Shortly thereafter, a fire consumed the general store, forcing the family off the property while repairs were made.
For the next two decades, the Whaleys lived peacefully, despite frequently hearing what they believed to be ghosts. Then, in 1882, the fifth Whaley child, Violet, committed suicide by shooting herself in the chest. Many people who have since visited the house have claimed to see her ghost, including the Redditor who snapped the photo below.
In the following years, Anna Whaley and three more of her children died in the house. In total, six Whaleys died within its walls.
Today, the home is a museum and a haunted attraction. Much of the interior is still filled with the Whaleys’ belongings.
There are many family heirlooms on display. The photo of the baby below is believed to be the only picture of Thomas Whaley Jr. in existence.
Whaley House staffers and visitors have reported a variety of paranormal activity, including full-bodied figures that disappear around corners, the smell of lavender, moaning, and even a ghostly dog that resembles the Whaleys’ terrier, Dolly.
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you can’t deny that there’s a lot of interesting history lurking inside the Whaley House.
(via The Whaley House Museum / Wikipedia)