Ghosts, History, and the Whaley House

One of the country's most famous haunted abodes offers October tours.

THE MOST OF THE GHOSTS: "Most haunted" is probably a label many a quirky bed and breakfast or old-timey diner would like to be handed. They could proudly display a certificate in the front window, or on a plaque near the entrance, and phantom fans would come from far and wide and away to see if a spirit might be sighted. But who gives out such certificates? Charming ghost books and cable shows do round up top tens, but there is, as of yet, no official Ghost Board ready to make binding determinations. And yet? And yet. And yet certain locations have a way of popping up over and over on those wraith-y round-ups. Names show again and again. And near the top of the repeat list? San Diego's own Whaley House, which is regularly deemed to be among the most haunted of all the historic Golden State ghosty sites.

OLD TOWN PAST: Of course, the Whaley House wasn't built to be a seasonal autumnal attraction, nor did its Thomas Whaley likely give much thought to supposed ghost residents when he first got to laying the foundation just over 150 years ago (1857, if you're playing along at home). But those kinds of places are the best destinations, right? Constructed with a whole different story in mind. A family home. The tales of ghosts, and the many ghost buffs, came organically as time passed.

SEEING FOR YOURSELF: The historic home, which has been affectionately tended to by preservation-minded groups over recent years, offers both history-focused tours and those with a more supernatural bent. Eager to join a ghost walk around the Old Town abode? There are a handful of Ghost Tours ahead, and they all start at the fairly witching hour of 10:30 p.m. If you've been in the Whaley at 2:15 in the afternoon, you know it is atmospheric any time of the day. We can't imagine how atmospheric it grows as midnight draws near. For October and November tour times, click.

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