San Diego is a beautiful city that offers visitors everything from beaches, to fine dining, great shopping, and incredible history. San Diego is also a city that has numerous haunted locations that paranormal investigators love to visit.
Known as America’s finest city, San Diego is undoubtedly a beautiful and varied city. With many unique locations to visit, such as the Gas Lamp Quarter, Balboa Park, and the U.S.S. Midway, San Diego is also home to some of the most haunted places in the country.
Put on your brave face and let’s explore the 10 most haunted places in San Diego.
1. El Campo Santo Cemetery
Early settlers of San Diego needed to construct a place to bury the dead. Thus the El Campo Santo Cemetery opened in 1849. Hundreds of people were buried in one of the most haunted places in San Diego.
As the city expanded, living residents decided that the graves could either be moved or built over. One area of the cemetery became the location for a horse-drawn streetcar. The idea sounds nice as it served a purpose; however, the line went directly over 18 graves, eventually paved over.
At one point, there was a considerable amount of paranormal activity at the cemetery. Although it has reduced dramatically, there is still some activity. People have experienced extreme cold spots in the area and cars refusing to start when parking in the cemetery parking lot.
The ghost of a former gravedigger is seen at the cemetery and a young boy who appears to be trapped and confused.
2. El Fandango
Long ago, Jose Manuel Machado moved to San Diego in 1781. Machado had three homes for his wife and 15 children. One of the homes burned to the ground.
Many things were built on the spot; currently, there is a two-story building on the site. It features office rooms, a banquet hall, and indoor and outdoor dining areas.
There is said to be one woman who haunts the restaurant. She likes to sit at one corner table when the blinds are drawn. People who have seen her state that she is wearing Victorian garb and either appear angry or sad.
People have also claimed she can float through the air as well as through walls.
At the time of updating this article, the Restaurant is closed. [Nov 19, 2020]
3. Robinson-Rose House
Judge James W. Robison built had a home built for him in 1853. The building was not only his home but also served as an office for a newspaper and a railroad over the years. Eventually, the ravages of time destroyed the home, leaving nothing.
To preserve some of the history, it was rebuilt in 1987 using old photos of the original building and records. The revamped building sits in historic Old Town and serves as the visitor center.
The Robinson-Rose House not only welcomes visitors but is the home to a host of ghostly and paranormal activity. Ghost hunters and the average visitor have heard footsteps when no one is around and witness the elevator operating without the assistance of anyone.
Some female visitors have felt their hair pulled, and lights have randomly switched on and off.
Apparition and cloudy mists have also been witnessed here!
4. Horton Grand Hotel
With the history of the buildings dating back to the late 1800s, it is only natural that it is considered one of the most haunted hotels in San Diego.
Roger Whitaker is the most famous of the ghosts that haunt the Horton Grand. How he died is up for debate. Some stories state he died of a gunshot wound in room 309. Other reports claim he died on the property long before either building was built.
Regardless of how he died, he has been seen in the hallway and room 309. Room 309 experiences several mysterious incidents, such as random hot temperatures happening with the window open or the air conditioning turned on.
Lights come on in the room on their own, the bed gets shaken, and the armoire door opens on its own. Other witnesses have seen the ghost of a former Madame where a brothel used to stand in the hotel.
The four of spades was found in the bathroom of one of the rooms after a couple had been up the previous night playing poker. They had left the cards on the table.[BOOK A ROOM]
Learn more about the haunted Horton Grand Hotel
5. Casa De Bandini
The Casa de Bandini restaurant was once the home of Juan Bandini and his family, starting in 1829. Later, the Bandini residence became the Cosmopolitan Hotel before becoming the Casa de Bandini Restaurant.
The lights in the Casa de Bandini switch off and on at will, and other lights flicker frequently. The most seen ghost reported is that of a woman. The woman wears a long dress and, at times, appears to be translucent. The woman moves through sealed doors and glides effortlessly across the balcony.
6. Old Point Loma Lighthouse
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse situated at the mouth of San Diego Bay in San Diego, California. Opening in November 1855, it is no longer in operation as a lighthouse but is open to the public as a museum. The lighthouse operated for almost 40 years before operations ceased as a better location was found.
The Old Point Loma Lighthouse is a landmark and a tourist destination today. Although many visit to learn about the area’s magnificent past, people are intrigued by the ghostly activity there.
A visit to the lighthouse is not for the faint of heart, though. Reports here include disembodied heavy footsteps coming from the upper floor, unexplainable cold spots on the entry to the spiral staircase, moaning, heavy breathing, and that constant feeling that someone is watching you.
Many believe the spirit of the famed Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lives here, waiting to transition to the other side. Others say that the lighthouse’s final lightkeeper, Captain Robert Decatur Israel returned after his death, watching over his beloved lighthouse and keeping his eye on all who venture inside.
Many believe the famed explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo haunts the lighthouse and surrounding area. The ghost of the lighthouse’s final lightkeeper, Captain Robert Decatur Israel, also stays behind to watch over his beloved lighthouse.
7. Del Mar Racetrack
The Del Mar Racetrack has a long history that dates back to the 1930s. Everyone from the Hollywood elite to business people, to lovers of horses, the races, and more have ventured to the famous racetrack.
Many of the most common activities attributed to the paranormal have occurred at Del Mar. People have experienced lights flickering, disembodied voices, and cold spots. Other people have captured shadowy figures on camera.
The fifth floor is believed by man current and former employees to be the location of many unusual happenings. Some of these include the elevator refusing to stop at that floor, hallways quickly becoming extremely cold, and some people seeing what they believe to be ghostly figures.
8. USS Midway
At one time, the U.S.S. Midway was an aircraft carrier in the navy. It was decommissioned in 1992 after seeing action in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Today she sits docked in San Diego and is a museum.
There have been claims that as many as 30 different ghosts reside on the U.S.S. Midway. People visiting the Midway have had mannequins on the ship move and appear to speak, while others have felt they were not alone when in the sickbay.
Additional visitors claim to have smelt what they believed to be old blood and stated the air felt very heavy.
9. The Whaley House, Old Town
The Whaley House is not only verified as one of the most haunted places in San Diego but was declared an authentic haunted house by the United States Department of Commerce. It served as the Whaley family home for many years. It was also a storage location for public records until they were stolen while Thomas Whaley was out of town.
Many tragic events occurred in the house or on the property. Violet Whaley committed suicide on the property, and a young girl died on the kitchen table after a clothesline hanging outside crushed her throat. Jim Robinson was hung on the property on the archway between the music room and the parlor.
The amount of paranormal activity and sightings in the house is astounding. Windows open and close at will, lights flicker, pots and pans in the kitchen move on their own, and the impressions of someone laying on the beds are visible.
People who have seen figures in windows have heard the sounds of a baby crying, which people believe is the ghost of 17-month-old Thomas Whaley, who died in the home. All the activity in the house is too extensive to list.
10. The Davis-Horton House (formerly the William Heath Davis House)
Located in downtown San Diego, the Davis-Horton House was built by Davis in 1850 as he attempted to establish “New Town,” which is now the current downtown San Diego.
The home is not only the oldest wooden building in San Diego but also one of its most historically significant.
Although many people lived in the house over the years, ironically, never did Davis himself. It wasn’t until Alonzo Horton (the founder of San Diego) purchased the property that the city started to boom.
The spirits of many of its former owners still reside here. However, a lot of the paranormal activity can be attributed to the many deaths that occurred here during the ten-year period it was used as a hospital.
One of the most active spirits is a Victorian lady who has appeared in front of guests on many occasions. There are also the apparitions of a Victorian-era couple that appear often. The woman is often seen wearing a white gown, and the gentleman a suit.
Other typical reports include lights turning on and off on their own and disembodied voices.
The museum is open for tours daily, though be warned, you may just come face to face with one of the many spirits that haunt here!