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Step into Spooky History With Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours!

Published by Cathy Hendrie

 Carolyn Howard

PassPort to San Diego

This was the first time I have ever been on a ghost tour, so I really didn’t know what to expect. We met at the Hacienda Hotel in Old Town San Diego at 7 p.m., just before sunset. The purple ghost bus was not hard to miss. Our group had 12 people, most of them visitors to San Diego. We were greeted by our “Ghost Host” Dante, who was a wonderful guide. He was very animated and encouraged questions and photographs to be taken.

Our first stop was just next door at the Whaley House. We stood outside as Dante told us the story of the Whaley family and the many deaths that had occurred at this house.

We then returned to our “Coffin On Wheels” and took a short drive to Sherman Heights, where we got out to view the Villa Montezuma. What an exquisite mansion! It was nearly dark by this time. Dante provided the history on this house, from Jesse Shepard — who the house was built for — to the last resident, Mrs. Yaeger, who suffered from mental illness and was found dead in the tower. As we were standing outside, a black cat ran through the middle of our group and down the sidewalk toward our bus.

From there, we went downtown to the San Diego’s Gaslamp District. On the bus ride, Dante was showing photos, telling stories and narrating San Diego’s past. We got out at the Horton Grand Hotel and went inside. Across the street was the William Heath Davis House. This is the oldest house in the Gaslamp District and is now a museum. As we stood in the courtyard, once again, we saw a black cat on the sidewalk! Spooky! We went inside the house and were given ghost detectors, which were used to pick up on energy (spirits), within the house.

On our way back to Old Town, Dante shared some history on another haunted hotel, the Hotel Del Coronado.

Our last stop was back in Old Town at the El Campo Santo Cemetery, which was on the same property as the Whaley House. Dante gave more history about Thomas Whaley and brought his story full circle as to why so many deaths had occurred in his home.

I found the Haunted San Diego Ghost Tour to be entertaining and informative for both visitors and locals alike. The tour takes between 2- 2 1/2 hours.

Tours are at  7 p.m. year-round and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. May through October. Tickets are $35 per person. Call (619) 225-6170 or visit Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours online. Enjoy $2 off a tour here.

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