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The Whaley House

Whenever I hear a debate about whether or not ghosts exist, I like to remark that when a light bulb gets turned off, the electricity doesn’t disappear, it just goes somewhere else.

One of the fundamental rules in science is that everything goes somewhere, nothing just disappears. I think that’s a good scientific basis to show that when the cessation of all life departs from the body that that energy has to go something else. Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only change form.

I also like to remark on how many non-believers have become believers, but believers never turn into non-believers. The tide does not flow both ways. Ghosts, spirits and apparitions have been seen by doctors, police officers, lawyers, police officers, military officers, politicians… individuals whose responsibilities are based on their intelligent observations and, yet, the general public is only allowed to hear the testimonies of those who might be considered less than intelligent. What about the blue-collar workers, the farmers, the electricians, the plumbers, the contractors?

About the only niche of society that the public seriously pays attention to is the celebrity: the actor, the model, the musician, the athlete. These are the people who sell the products we buy in the stores, who promote the clothes we buy, the cars we drive and the services we need and, apparently, yes, Virginia, they see ghosts too.

One of the most famous and over-exposed locations in paranormal research is the Whaley House in San Diego, California. The almost 150-year old structure supposedly has ten to twelve ghosts ranging from an accused thief, the builder and owner of the house, his wife, their children and a few servants.

It’s one of the thirty official haunted houses recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce. In the Nineties, researchers caught the sound of billiard balls being clinked, but not the sound of the modern wood balls but of the old-fashioned antique ivory balls. Back in the Seventies, television personality Regis Philbin was a local television celebrity that came to the mansion to do a story on the ghosts.

One night around 2AM, he was sitting on the sofa in the living room when he saw a bright light through the arched doorway to the dining room resembling Mrs. Anna Whaley, the wife of Thomas Whaley, who had died in 1913. His crew was surprised and shocked, but then someone tried to shine a light on her and the figure vanished. Since then, the museum no longer allows over-night visits.

In addition to the ghosts, the staff has separately smelled the scents of cigar smoke and apple pies being baked and heard the voices of phantom children as well as Mr. Whaley’s deep laughter from the back of the house.

William Collins
William C. Uchtman has spent much of life listing haunted locales from across the world. He is the author of “Volunteer Ghosts,” a book dedicated to listing obscure haunted houses in Tennessee. He is also the creator of the Collinsport Ghost Society website (The Collinsport Ghost Society, a fictional ghost society for fictional haunted locations from television and the movies. He also maintains or is affiliated with the following websites: * The Nitpicker Society for Dark Shadows * The Official Guide to the Mythological Universe * Unsolved Mysteries Wikia * The Our Gang Wikia * The Marvel Appendix

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One thought on “The Whaley House

  1. I didn’t smell or see anything unusal while visiting there. However, I did get a bright blue orb in the master bedroom on one of my pictures taken in the house. Mike’s nephew heard children talking and he smelt cigar smoke.

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