BOO! Happy Halloween from CEC! In honor of the holiday, let’s take a look at some of San Diego’s paranormal highlights.
The Whaley House is a museum and California Historical Landmark dating back to 1857. It was once the home of Thomas Whaley and his family. The house was name “the most haunted house America” by LIFE magazine and even Whaley and his family themselves reportedly heard heavy footsteps in the house which they believed belonged to the ghost of Yankee Jim Robinson who had been hanged on the property. The house has been featured in many television shows including the Syfy Channel’s Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files, the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures, and the Bio Channel’s The Haunting of Regis Philbin.
The Robinson-Rose House was the home of Judge James W. Robinson and his wife in the 1850s and is currently used as the Visitor Center for San Diego’s Old Town Historic Park. A fire destroyed much of the building in 1874 but the city built an exact replica of the original house using old records, historic maps, photographs and other sources. No one knows for sure who is haunting the place. Could it be Judge Robinson and his wife? Or could it be other entities tied to homes and businesses built on the site? Several different apparitions have appeared before park employees and tourists. Some are seen as cloud-like vapors while others look like people, dressed in 18th century attire. A clear apparition of a man dressed in an 18th century shirt and tie can be seen in one of the upstairs rooms, going about his business when the place is quiet and not open.
The Horton Grand Hotel is a restoration of two historic hotels, the Grand Horton and the Brooklyn Kahle Saddlery. The Grand Horton was a luxury hotel while the Brooklyn-Kahle Saddlery Hotel was a less formal hotel with a prominent saddle and harness shop. Guests of the original hotels included Benjamin Harrison, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Babe Ruth, and Wyatt Earp. There two reported ghosts haunting the hotel. One is Madam Ida Bailey, the one-time owner of the brothel that stood on the site. The other is Roger Whitaker, the man who haunts Room 309 and its hallway. He has made numerous appearances. One guest saw him in the hallway, and he looked so real, she asked him where the ice machine was located. Guests have been awakened in Room 309 in the middle of the night by the bed being shaken and the armoire’s doors being opened.
La Casa de Estudillo is a historic adobe house constructed in 1827 by José María Estudillo and his son, early settlers of San Diego, and is located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. The house gained much prominence by association with Helen Hunt Jackson’s 1884 novel Ramona. The museum staff has seen human faces in mirrors hanging on the walls, when they were the only living souls in the room. An apparition wearing a brown monk’s robe has been seen in the long hallways, especially near the room which was used as a chapel. The entities in this mansion enjoy music! There was a report that the lid on a music box on display in one of the rooms lifted up all by itself and its music began to play. Apparitions have been seen dancing across the floor, perhaps revisiting good times.
Del Mar Racetrack is a famous thoroughbred horse racing track built in 1937 and was frequented by many stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age. It is not very clear who, or what, could be causing the strange occurrences employees have experienced there. The sounds of hoofbeats have been heard on the track at night, when the horses are safely stabled. Doors are known to close and lock on their own. Cold spots are felt on the grounds, even during balmy summer nights. In the Turf Club, the clatter of dinnerware can be made out. Voices are heard laughing and talking, though the building is practically empty. Cigar smoke has been smelled in the grandstand, though smoking is not permitted inside.
Interested in learning more about San Diego’s eerie past while at CEC 2015? Why not take a tour? The San Diego Ghost Tour holds nightly tours year round beginning at 9 p.m. Tickets are $19 for adults and $10 for kids ages 6–12.
What sorts of spooky things are you doing to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve tomorrow?