Haunted History – The Whaley House

Greetings Daywalkers!  It’s Friday, you know what that means!  It’s blog day for your friendly neighborhood Creepy Chick!  I’m going to tell you all about this crazy haunted joint that the locals call, The Whaley House!

Let me roll out the history behind this bad boy so we can understand the paranormal madness that goes on there!



So, it’s 1852 when this tall, lanky dude rides in to San Diego.  Yankee Jim was a shady character to say the least.  It didn’t take him long to stir up enough trouble to where everybody in town knew exactly who he was. Even though old Jim was a nasty bastard, it’s not his character flaws that still have folks talking about him today.  Check this out Ya’ll:

This dude way overstayed his welcome.  The day finally came when the town-folk decided they’d had about enough of his bullshit.  Before he could sleep off the bourbon from the night before, he found himself locked up in jail, waiting to be hanged.  Yeah, this was going to turn into one hell of a hangover!

The judge that heard his case really didn’t have much choice in sentencing Jim to hang.  Everybody and their Grand Mama showed up, and they were all pissed.  They wanted to see a noose around this dude’s neck but, before he hung, they did at least arrange for the local priest to baptize him.  Meanwhile, across the street on a vacant lot that was conveniently adjacent to the local bone yard, the gallows were going up.  This pretty little lot had been the scene of more than a few such lynchings, both before, and after old Jim.

Well, the gallows were finished and it was time for a hanging.  The hangman leads old Jim to the back of a buckboard wagon then slides a noose around his neck.  Jim fought to keep his feet on the platform for as long as he could, but of course, his struggle was in vain. The wagon was pulled out from underneath him and he was hanging by his neck. There was a problem though.  No one had taken Jim’s height into consideration, the tips of his toes were touching the ground.  So, Jim’s primal instincts kick in and he fought for his life, which made the hanging take even longer.   Poor bastard looked like a ballerina dancing around on his tippy toes!

In the crowd, watching this madness go down, is a handsome young entrepreneur named Thomas Whaley.  He’s wearing a sly smile on his face.  His grin had nothing to do with Jim’s dilemma, it had everything to do with the vacant lot.  Two years later the slick dude has made one hell of a deal, and he bought the lot.  He starts planning to build the biggest and fanciest mansion in the area.

Now, Whaley may have been nice to look at but apparently he wasn’t all that bright.  The locals are warning him left and right that the lot was cursed by the wicked souls of the men that had been hanged there. Whaley didn’t listen, he just shook his head and went on with his plans.

By 1856 a grand Greek revival estate sat smack dab in the middle of where the gallows had once stood.  But even before the Whaley family moved in, there was some weird stuff going down in this house.  It seemed that there was a invisible squatter hanging out there.  Thomas even admitted that he’d heard the sound of heavy footsteps echoing through the hallways, yet no one was ever there.  He was convinced it was the ghost of Yankee Jim.

Pretty Boy was asking for it!  He’d actually designed the home to where the archway that separated the den from the dining room was the exact spot where Jim, and many others, had been hanged from the gallows.

Thomas’ wife Anna was quite aware of Jim’s presence too.  Every moment of every day she felt like she was surrounded by some unseen force while she was inside the home. There had been occasions where Anna actually saw Yankee Jim.  She described him as a terrifying giant of a man with huge evil eyes.  Anna, blamed Jim for all of the torments that she’d experience in this home.

In 1858, two years after moving in, her 18 month old son died from Scarlett fever.  After the sting of his death wore off a bit, it seemed that her daughter, Violet, would bring some joy into the household.  There was going to be a wedding!  Well, come to find out , the new husband was a con artist.  He ditches Violet on their honeymoon and disappears.

Violet comes home, maddened by depression. She turns into a recluse and hardly ever leaves the second floor of the home.  Not long after, Violet shoots herself in the chest with her father’s gun.

After Violet’s suicide, there was another tragedy.  The young Whaley kids were playing in the back yard with another little girl from the neighborhood.  They’re all running around like a bunch of heathens when all of the sudden, the little girl runs into a clothesline and breaks her neck.  She died there in the backyard.  She’s not alone though.  A few years later she acquired an eternal playmate when one of Thomas and Anna’s young grand daughters dies inside the house from swallowing poison.

Besides all the deaths that went down on this property, the house was actually used for other things besides the family residence.  At one time it was the Thomas Whaley general store.  It was also used as a courthouse, so there’s a little more emotional trauma.  And from trauma to drama, the upper level was once rented out to the Tanner Troupe Theater.  There was always something going on at this joint!  I’m surprised any of them saw ghosts at all with all this craziness going on!  Regardless, they did.  After the passing of Anna and Thomas, the house went on to other relatives, and for 150 + years the legends of all of these ghosts, including Yankee Jim, have endured to this day.

Chairs rock, chandeliers swing, doors open and close on their own.  Invisible fingers play melodic tunes on a piano that’s not even there anymore.  There are the sounds of cutlery against fine china, often accompanied by the aroma of fresh baked bread and pies.  The scent of Cuban tobacco and French perfume are ever present in the halls.

The activity isn’t limited to just humans.  The Whaley’s had a fondness for their pets.  “Dolly” the dog and “Winks” the cat have been spotted by numerous visitors.  Folks claim to see a small dog chasing a cat through the house and out into the garden.

Other visitors have heard the disembodied pounding of a gavel echoing through an unseen courtroom as an invisible judge hands down his sentence.  There’s laughing and music from back in the day that seeps from the walls of the upper level rooms.  The pitter-patter of tiny feet hauling ass down the hallway alternate with the clicking sounds of dainty high heeled shoes and the rustling of silk skirts.

Then there’s the legend of the “ninth step” which started when folks claimed to experience an overbearing pressure when they were ascending the stairs.  Some folks think it’s the remnants of Anna Whaley causing this odd vibe.  It’s been assumed that this was the spot where she was standing when she heard Violet’s self inflicted gunshot.

Thomas shows up sporting pantaloons with a frock coat and top hat.  He’s been seen standing at the top of the stairs.  Anna, is spotted in a green gingham gown sitting on the settee in the parlor, or sometimes walking around outside in the garden.  And of course there’s poor Violet who didn’t venture from the second floor after being dumped, yeah, she’s still hanging out there today.

Needless to say, there have been tons of paranormal investigations here, not many have left empty handed.  Each passing year only yields more evidence and documentation of Thomas and Anna, along with a lot of other tormented souls, are still making frequent appearances at the Whaley house.  After all, this is their home, and they show no signs of leaving.

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