Spooky San Diego spots that play host to ghosts

Posted at 2:23 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2019-10-31 18:12:26-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - With Halloween time upon San Diego County, residents can expect to see locals out and about dressed as ghouls and monsters.

But it's those who don't currently live here any longer that local ghosthunters will be seeking.

Those who have lived in San Diego long enough are likely familiar with local haunts: The Whaley House in Old Town, the Hotel Del Coronado, and the USS Midway are a few popular ones.

RELATED: Get pickin': Pumpkin patches around San Diego County

But there's more to be investigated and maybe even some witnesses have been too scared to reveal...

Here's the rundown of the legends surrounding ten haunted locations in San Diego:

The Whaley House - 2476 San Diego Ave., San Diego

Old Town's Whaley House is regarded as one of the most haunted locations in America. The home is believed to still be inhabited by Thomas Whaley and his wife, Anna, their daughter Violet, their great-granddaughter Marion, their dog, and  "Yankee Jim" Robinson, a convict who was hanged on the grounds nearby. Guests say they've smelled and seen cigar smoke when no one is smoking, witnessed unexplained lights flickering, and heard footsteps throughout the home.

The Hotel Del Coronado - 1500 Orange Ave., Coronado

As the story goes, in 1982 a hotel guest named Kate Morgan checked in under a fake name and was found days later dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It's believed she checked in waiting for her husband, who never arrived. Guests report seeing a woman in a black dress around the hotel.

The Star of India - 1492 North Harbor Dr., San Diego

The Star of India is considered one of the oldest working sailing ships around today and has thus curated a lengthy list of tales. One of those tales surrounds a young sailor who fell to his death from the ship's rigging. Another revolves around the death of a merchant, crushed by the anchor's chain. Past guests have reported seeing misty figures and feeling cold spots.

Horton Grand Hotel - 311 Island Ave., San Diego

It's said that gambler Roger Whitaker checked into the original Horton Grand Hotel and is said to have been gunned down for his tendency to cheat during gambling. In Room 309, it's said that unexplained events occur from lights flickering, an armoire door opening on its own, and items moving.

Old Point Loma Lighthouse - 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Dr., San Diego

Many believe the Old Point Loma Lighthouse still hosts the lighthouse's final keeper, Robert Decatur Israel. Guests say they hear sounds of heavy footsteps, feel cold spots at the lighthouse's entry and up the spiral staircase, and heard moaning sounds in rooms. 

Del Mar Fairgrounds - Del Mar

Paranormal investigators have long believed the grandstand at Del Mar Fairgrounds is an actively haunted area. Reports documented EVPs and guests claim to still catch a guest of the horse races from the past still roaming the stands.

Julian Gold Rush Hotel - 2032 Main St., Julian

Since Gold Rush-era California, Julian has played host to many - including at Julian Gold Rush Hotel. The sounds of footsteps, the smell of pipe smoke, and even ghostly figures have been reported at the now-bed and breakfast. Some say, Room 10 is where the action is...

Rancho Buena Vista Adobe - 640 Alta Vista Dr., Vista

Vista's Rancho Buena Vista Adobe has been home to may since the mid-1800s and has remained host to some past guests. Paranormal investigators say spirits haunt the grounds and claim to have captured audio over the years of communications with spirits.

Mount Helix - La Mesa

Locals traditionally investigate the La Mesa site of Mount Helix searching for the rumored bride who cries on the mountain. Those who claim to have seen the apparition say they could even see the tears running down the face of the unknown bride, who is clad in a Victorian-era dress.

USS Midway - 910 North Harbor Dr., San Diego

Guests who have visited the USS Midway Museum have reported seeing figures in Vietnam-era wardrobe walking the hallways and unexplained sounds or objects being moved.

Other reported haunts...

  • Presidio Park - 2811 Jackson St., San Diego
  • The William Heath Davis's House - 410 Island Ave., San Diego
  • Berkeley Steam Ferry Boat - 1492 North Harbor Dr., San Diego
  • Vallecito Stage Station - Julian
  • El Campo Santo Cemetery -  2410 San Diego Ave., San Diego