Historic Whaley House holds court for first time in 151 years

Built in 1856, the historic house has been called the most haunted in the country.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. – The Court was back in session at the Whaley House for the first time in 151 years. On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the historic home revisited its roots as San Diego’s second courthouse from 1868 to 1871. The event extended the current San Diego Superior Court to include Whaley House as a place of business of the official court for a day. Judge Richard Whitney presided over four civil cases in a special session open to the public.

The historic house has been called the most haunted in the country. Built in 1856, it was named the most haunted house in America by the Travel Channel, and a horror movie, The Haunting of Whaley House, was made in 2012.

“The house was San Diego’s first commercial theater, one of the area’s first courtrooms, one of the area’s first general stores, and the residence of a very prominent San Diego family,” said Victor Santana, chief operating officer of Whaley House.

Whaley House 1984

CBS 8 reporter Hal Clement dared to visit Whaley’s haunted house to celebrate Halloween 1984. He set out to somehow prove whether the famous Old Town house is indeed haunted. It’s a pretty compelling report. Sound technician Rick Corcoran heard mysterious scratching noises in his microphone. Hal was cold in some parts of the house. You might not want to watch this alone. It’s quite scary.

News 8 Throwback 1978: Halloween Haunts Old Town San Diego’s Whaley House

A few days before Halloween in 1978, CBS 8’s Judy Elfenbein got into the holiday spirit by visiting spirits at the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego. Once a county courthouse and later a home and theatre, Whaley House was dedicated as a historic house museum in 1960. The ghosts of its former owners – Thomas and Anna Eloise Whaley – are said to roam the halls along with several others spectra. In this interview, museum employee June Redding even shares the story of a ghost dog!

San Diego Historic Landmarks: Whaley House in Old Town with Bob Dale in 1975

In 1975, one of CBS 8’s most famous television personalities, Bob Dale, visited the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego. Bob told the famous building’s history as the first two-story brick building on the West Coast and spoke with museum employee June Redding about the historic house’s mysterious past. June shared stories of spooky occurrences she had heard and observed over the years at the famous Whaley House.

One of the most interesting — and weirdest — items shared by June was a cast of President Abraham Lincoln’s face.

The Whaley House is a California historical landmark – no. 65 – and a San Diego Historic Landmark – no. 24.

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