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News 8 Throwback | Historic Whaley House holds court for the first time in 151 years

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

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

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

“The house was San Diego’s first commercial theatre, one of the first courtrooms in the area, one of the first general stores in the area and a residence to a very prominent family in San Diego,” said Victor Santana, Whaley House Operations Manager.  

Whaley House 1984

CBS 8 reporter Hal Clement dared to visit the haunted Whaley House in celebration of Halloween 1984. He set out to prove one way or the other if the famous house in Old Town is indeed, haunted. This is a pretty convincing report. Sound tech Rick Corcoran heard mysterious scratching noises in his mic. Hal felt cold in certain areas of the house. You might not want to watch this alone. It's pretty creepy. 

News 8 Throwback 1978: Halloween haunts at Old Town San Diego's Whaley House

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


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

In 1975, one of CBS 8’s most celebrated TV personalities Bob Dale toured the Whaley House in Old Town, San Diego. Bob recounted 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 mysterious past of the historic home. June shared stories of spooky occurrences she had heard and observed over the years in the well-known Whaley House.

One of the most interesting - and eerie - items June shared was a mold 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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