16 Nov 2002
Many have asked me what is was like Halloween night at the Whaley House. Well, here's the scoop.
The house was lit using the lighting of the Whaley family's day. There were kerosene lanterns in each room of the house and sconces with lit candles on the walls. It satisfied the need of those looking for ghostly events as well as the true historians. I must say the smell of kerosene was quite overwhelming. All of the Whaley House docents were dressed in period costumes. One docent who was wearing a hat with a big feather plume, bent over one of the lanterns to see something a guest was showing her. The big feather caught on fire. No damage done but quite a show for a few minutes.
There was also a guest with a camcorder that got a very clear picture of a ghostly lady. He showed it to one of the docents. As she described it to me it sounded very familiar. We are hoping to get a copy of this photo. Pictures in general were hard to take since the setting was so dark. I did get some regular shots that I put into a slide show (see the link at the bottom of the page).
The line was very long. Approximately 800 tickets were sold. They had to stop selling tickets at 10:30pm even though the house was open until midnight. This was a very good fundraiser for SOHO. I would not be surprised if it happens again next year. One of the reasons for the crowd was a local radio station DJ and guest who spent all night in the house the night before Halloween. People were all buzzing Halloween night about what they had heard on the radio station. Most of the information was of the Urban Legend variety. If you heard the rolling marble story or if you read about it, the fact is it was a gumball rolled across the floor by a radio station producer to scare his guest. The truth of the matter is the Whaley House ghosts snubbed their overnight guests. No one has spent the night in the house since the famous Regis Philbin incident. I guess the Whaley House ghosts have not forgiven the media yet.
Guests on Halloween night were treated to some real ghost stories about the Whaley's and Yankee Jim in the Court House portion of the house. I did witness a ghostly event there. While the docent was talking about Yankee Jim's hanging a column of white light enveloped her. Then a black shadowy figure appeared behind her. I asked her after the talk if she was aware of his presence. Her comment was, "nothing ever happens to me." I told her she could no longer make that claim and shared the experience with her.
It was also mentioned to me there is a story going around that Halloween night the alarm went off and would not stop. Sorry, not true. The alarm does make a tone sound a few minutes after it is set. Perhaps that is what started this story. Click here to view the Whaley House Halloween slide show.
Happy Hunting my friends.