Haunted San Diego offers thrills and chills

If you ever hear strange noises when you’re alone or have ever felt a cold breeze when nearby windows and doors are shut, you might not be alone.

Courtesy of Hotel Del Coronado

Step inside the history of San Diego and you will soon discover that our city is host to its own paranormal activity.

Psychics and parapsychologists have flocked to numerous sites in downtown San Diego, documenting enough spooky appearances and disturbances to scare even the most level-headed person.

Visitors to such sites claim to hear strange sounds, while others experience bizarre sensations that they attribute to alleged supernatural activity.

Whether or not you believe in ghosts or the paranormal, check out some of the following attractions this Halloween. They might just send chills down your spine.

The Whaley House

Located in Old Town, the Whaley House is by far San Diego’s spookiest attraction. Built in the 19th century, this Victorian-style house was once San Diego County’s seat of government, and it has a creepy history.

In the second half of the 19th century, a man named “”Yankee”” Jim Robinson was accused, under conflicting reports, of stealing a large boat. Although he attempted to elude the police, he was quickly caught by a civilian who took the liberty of whacking him over the head before officials threw him in jail.

Robinson received a trial, but was probably only semi-conscious during the proceedings due to his head injury. The court found him guilty in no time and ordered him hanged. However, due to a calculation error, Robinson did not die immediately. His feet touched the ground and he suffered a long, painful death.

It is believed that Robinson’s spirit still lurks in the house. Visitors report hearing sounds of heavy footsteps upstairs and recall feeling strangled while passing through the archway where Robinson was killed.

Also, the house’s original owners, Thomas and Anna Whaley, their daughter and one of her childhood friends are said to remain on the property — in spirit, at least. The smell of Thomas’ cigars and Anna’s lavender perfume linger in the rooms, and the children’s laughter can be heard.

Even Regis Philbin, who spent the night at the house in 1964, left in a bit of a nervous panic after seeing an apparition at 2:30 a.m.

The Whaley House is located at 2482 San Diego Ave. It is a museum in the Old Town San Diego State Historic State Park and is open every day except Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is $4. For more information call (619) 297-7511.

La Casa de Bandini

Also located in Old Town is La Casa de Bandini, a beautiful adobe hacienda built in 1829 for Juan Bandini and his family. In 1850, it was converted into a hotel and it is now a Mexican restaurant.

Unfortunately, dinner out may be more than you bargained for.

Some claim that a female ghost in a long dress who glides along the balcony and through sealed doors is a permanent resident. Reports also allege that lights will turn on and off by themselves. Others hear footsteps on the wooden floor upstairs.

Casa de Bandini’s address is 2660 Calhoun St. and the phone number is (619) 297-8211. The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. Sundays.

Hotel Del Coronado

This gorgeous hotel is not exempt from its own mysterious events and paranormal activity.

Kate Morgan, a visitor at the hotel around the turn of the century, died here. The circumstances surrounding her death were never completely put to rest, leaving others to speculate about murder or suicide.

There are two rooms that are believed to be haunted: 3312 and 3502. One supposedly contains Morgan’s soul, and the other contains the soul of a hotel maid who also died under mysterious circumstances.

The Del is hard to miss if you’re in Coronado. Its address is 1500 Orange Ave. and it can be reached at (800) Hotel-Del.

La Casa de Estudillo

This adobe house in Old Town was built in 1829 for Captain Jose Maria de Estudillo. In 1910, the house was restored to feature a functioning kitchen and furnished rooms. Although La Casa de Estudillo is beautiful, it is also spooky and its history is tainted with unexplained incidents.

Visitors report feeling sudden cold spots in certain rooms and hearing faint sounds of prayer. There are also reports that a young Victorian girl wills a rocking chair to sway back and forth in a bedroom.

La Casa de Estudillo is located on Mason Street in Old Town and is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily and is free of charge.

Whether you’re a believer or you think these reports of the paranormal are all bunk, head out this week and check it all out for yourself. It just might make your Halloween that much spookier.

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