Let me just start out by saying, I love San Diego. The place is beautiful! The weather is amazing. The beaches are awesome. The food is delish. The people are cool. Life is good! If you've never been, I highly recommend you put this place near the top of the bucket list.
Now I know what your thinking. Yeah, San Diego is a wonderful destination but that place is not cheap. I know, I know! Well I'm about to show you that you can explore all that haunted San Diego has to offer without breaking the bank. We'll also throw in a few extras for those fortunate people who have a little extra cash to blow.
San Diego has a sort of vibe to it (paranormally speaking). The best place to feel that vibe is in a part of the city called Old Town. That's where we'll start our journey into the darker side of America's finest city.
The Whaley House – Built in 1857, this was the home to business, Thomas Whaley. The home was used not only as his personal residence, but also as a general store, courthouse and even a theater. This place is the stuff that legends are made from. I remember being a little kid and reading about the most haunted place in the US, the Whaley House. Even our own government has certified this ghost factory to be, in fact, haunted.
The house is on par with most other reportedly haunted places, many deaths and suicides through the years. However, many ghostly tales can not lay claim to being built on top of the old public gallows. That's right. People were strung up and hung right where the Whaley House sits today. One of the ghosts said to haunt the home is the spirit of the infamous Yankee Jim. He met his fate at the end of the rope and the story goes that Yankee Jim was a little too tall for his own good. Instead of a fast, clean easy break of the neck, Jim choked for a few minutes while the tips of he's toes were just able to touch the floor. Needless to say the people who have run into his ghost claim he's not a happy camper.
In my humble opinion, a must see while you're here. A nighttime tour will set you back $ 10 and half that for the kiddos. The Whaley House is located at 2476 San Diego Ave right in the middle of Old Town. Got Questions, give them a ring at 619-297-7511.
El Campo Santo Cemetery – OK are you scared yet? If the Whaley House did not frighten you too badly bad, head down San Diego Ave. To the 2nd oldest cemetery in the city. Established in 1849, you can say this place has some history. In fact, it was there before most of the town was and as the city grown, it basically grown right over the graves. Be careful where you park your car around the cemetery. You might be on top of a restless spirit. If your lucky you might even be able to catch someone hanging around the tombstones who might fill you in on who's buried there. So there you go, two haunts for the price of one.
Star of India – So our next journey takes us from land to sea. The Star of India is the oldest iron hull sailing ship still active. The ship is said to be haunted by a young sailor by the name of John Campbell. The story goes that he fell 125 feet off the mainmast. He survived the fall but died 3 days later on the ship. This place has been visited by the TAPS crew, the popular TV show that is known as Ghost Hunters. So it may be worth checking out. The Star of India is located near downtown within the San Diego Maritime Museum. Tours start at around $ 12. The address is 1492 N. Harbor Dr. And you can contact them at 619-234-9153.
Now if you have some extra dough, there are many company's in San Diego that do ghost tours. Prices vary, so contact them if you are interested.
Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours 800-632-3303
Where to Eat:
The Cheap: The Alamo for Mexican food and Bergie's Pub for a burger.
The not so cheap: Old Town Mexican Caf. A true tourist trap, so expect a wait. They make their own tortillas and they are awesome! Plus it's right across the street from the Whaley House. Did I mention those tortillas?
Jack and Giulio's for Italian.
Casa Guadalajara: Also make their own tortillas and they have tasty margaritas.
Where to stay:
The Cheap: Padre Trail Inn. If you are just looking for a shower and a place to lay down your head after a long day of ghost hunting, this place is for you. Do not expect much more then that. Do not worry about the pool, it's frigid and your room probably not so much. Their A / C is touch and go. The location is the saving grace. You can enjoy all that Old Town has to offer in a very walkable distance, which is great when you've had way to many margaritas and ghosts following you home. You should be able to score a room here for around $ 50 a night.
The not so cheap: Best Western Hacienda Hotel in Old Town. Nice place. A great location that is in the heart of Old Town. This place will set you back about $ 150 a night.
Definitely not cheap: The Horton Grand Hotel. A very nice hotel located in the Gaslamp Quarter. You may even get lucky and experience the haunt in room 309. The room and the hallway are both said to be haunted by a famous gambler.
Nowhere near cheap: The one, the only, Hotel Del Coronado. A work of art is the only way to describe this place. Even if you can not afford to stay there, it is worth the time to go check this beautiful place out. Many reports of hauntings through the place just add to its mystique.
A last thought before I leave you would have to check out Balboa Park. It may not be haunted to the best of my knowledge, but a great place to spend the day taking in the open areas and the beautiful architecture of the museums. Best of all it will not cost you a dime. So there you have it. Go out there and enjoy haunted San Diego.