Home Archives Woman in White at the Whaley House

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Witness: B. Kelley
Location: San Diego, California
Date of Encounter: 1992

My boyfriend and I were intrigued with spooky tales of the Whaley House in San Diego. Supposedly it was haunted, just as much as the Queen Mary in Long Beach. One weekend for fun we drove to San Diego and stayed at a B and B which was quite near the house.

It was around 4 PM and the house was soon to be closing. We took a quick tour and I must admit we were a bit disappointed, it didn't seem scary or spooky at all. We walked back into the rear garden area of the house along a bricked sidewalk. In the innermost corner of the backyard garden there was a woman standing oddly, sideways, in white costume. At first glance I assumed she was on a smoke break, she had white haze surrounding her. As we walked very near her, my boyfriend said, "Hello" in a very pleasant, loud voice. She didn't respond at all. How rude, I thought and planned on shooting her a dirty look. The moment she looked at me, I distinctly remember having a wave of sadness and empathy wash over me. It suddenly seemed as if she couldn't speak to us — her eyes conveyed this enormous amount of sadness. I immediately felt contrite for having considered giving her a dirty look and smiled at her as I hurried past to catch up with my boyfriend. You have to understand the pathway was shaped as an "L" or perhaps more like a "V" and she was in the corner of the garden. We took another few steps, just out of her earshot and I whispered that it was weird how she stood there staring at us. "Yeah, she's probably a ghost," my boyfriend said kiddingly. We turned around to walk back down the path where we had just passed her. Nobody was in the garden. There is no way anyone could have walked away in the time it took us to turn our backs. We could see the path leading from the garden and there was nobody walking away. I think the human mind tries to rationalize things when we can't understand — we couldn't wrap our heads around it. We ran back to the Whaley House and asked the curator, June Reading, if any employees dressed in period clothes. She said, "No, why?" We told her what had just happened and she was very calm and matter-of-fact about telling us that she had many such encounters in the house and it didn't ruffle her at all. I was in shock — I just couldn't believe what I had seen. Later we played the scene over and over and it just never had a good explanation. We also noted later that she didn't have anything in her hands that could explain the smoke billowing around her. She was not smoking. She was a lady dressed all in white, with white haze surrounding her. She was standing sideways in the inner corner of the garden and she was very, very sad. She looked right at me, I'll never forget it — not as long as I live. I know ghost stories are hard to believe, I just wish you could've been there. 

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