While the actual visit took place awhile ago, I watched with some humor as the 'Most Haunted' crew from the U.K. tried in vain to coax out the hauntings of Whaley House.
If you missed it, Most Haunted crew descended upon Whaley House over a two day period of time in 2005. The best they got was a couple of raps in the upstairs master bedroom (what is currently interpreted as the "Theater"). There was one fairly resounding rap in the room at one point but nothing evidential.
The 'historian' of the group was quite displeased on camera, as he had heard Whaley House was one of America's most haunted sites and neither he nor any of the "Most Haunted" television program crew had experienced anything like what they were accustomed to in the U.K.
A couple of interesting things did happen, one involving spirit medium Derek Akorah. Mr. Akorah has been under the microscope of late as he was accused by one of the show's parapsychologists (who, btw is a real parapsychologist) of having used information he knew or was passed prior to tapings in his apparent communications. I don't know Mr. Akorah personally, so I can't say one way or the other. He did leave Most Haunted when the story broke, and is now doing his own show on Living TV in the U.K. which airs here in the States on Discovery Channel. Long story short, from watching his him work and with a bit of similar background, I really believe Mr. Akorah is more of a sensitive than a showman, although I may be proved wrong.
Akorah did pick up on a woman with a first name of "N" .. he kept getting this from his guide, named Sam, over and over. He misinterpreted it I believe, as I think this was Anna Whaley he was picking up.
I am reasonably convinced that, perhaps aside from Yankee Jim Robinson, who was likely responsible for the loud bang if it was phenomenal at all, no Whaley was present or made themselves known to either of the mediums nor anyone else on the Most Haunted crew.
At the end of the program. another medium named David Wells said, in no uncertain terms that, due to what he called 'questionable prior investigations of reported hauntings' and 'the lack of clear evidence uncovered by the Most Haunted team' that Whaley House was likely far more folklore than fact. This is one of the ONLY times such a claim has been made in the Most Haunted series, and I intend to challenge the producers on the point.
Regular readers will recall that I personally ran an investigation (to which Wells is I am sure not referring as I'm positive he had no knowledge of it) for over 8 years in Whaley House, collecting data about the phenomena working with the then curator, June Reading. Our findings, which were as well-researched as was possible and of a generally higher quality than most so-called 'investigations', pointed directly at specific recurring phenomena.
Problem was, they didn't show on demand. No supposedly 'haunted' site does. You're lucky if you experience anything frankly, even in highly active sites. During those years, we cataloged some phenomena that has never been publicly reported. It is not well-known, and we used that fact as a control measure.
When people had the same experience over a period of months or years with phenomena we were careful not to disclose to the public, (efore the days of the Internet and instant communications) we had some greater confidence in the validity of the apparent experience.
One such phenomenon occurred to the Most Haunted crew in the Whaley House. Because they had no knowledge of this control data, they had no way of knowing they had stumbled onto it. I can say with a well-earned smirk here today that if nothing else they proved that imperfect background research and impatience (so characteristic of most ghost hunting unfortunately) conspired to give them a quite uninteresting and incorrect interpretation of the place.
Through my lens, what happened to them made perfect sense. Had they spent more time, acquainted themselves a bit more with the surroundings and used reasonable tools instead of seances and so-called 'call outs', they might have actually recorded some interesting things.
But then again, it should be noted that Anna Whaley was of French descent, and she had no use for the British in life. It is certainly possible she decided they were no more interesting now.
June Reading used to say...as I am sure you have heard her say this yourself, that a person could get the best nights sleep of their life inside the Whaley House. And that was back when Old Town wasn't swarming with drunks and late night ghost hunters prowling the grounds.
While it is indeed possible to experience paranormal activity in the house, the most obvious perceptable activity is few and far between. It doesn't happen every day...not in a way perceptable to us mere mortals, anyhow. It seems to be so subtle that we are apt to miss or misinterpret what we think is happening.
It is truly a 'blink and you miss it' type of thing in the house. And no, the Whaley's will NOT be summoned. They 'show up' when they darn well feel like it. Not when we tell them to. We have no control over them.
Oh, and people tend to forget, especially these folks doing tv shows...that literally DOZENS of people lived in the Whaley house. And we don't really know how many people died there or would have a permanent attachment. Just because a sensitive gets the name 'N' doesn't mean that he is wrong because it's not in sync with a Whaley family members name. There were lots of tenants, housekeepers etc. And not all the tenants who lived there experienced anything paranormal during their residency. I know one of these familys strongly doubt the whole 'haunted' thing. That doesn't mean it isn't active...just that nothing perceptible to them occured.
Other families were very uncomfortable there. But because Whaley built the house for his family, they get all the billng. I feel several spirits in the house are misidentified. These psychic TV hosts do have the ability to pre-research the history so if they only get or look for 'Whaley' energy I doubt their ability.
Last Edited by Evelyn P on Apr 14, 2006 7:09 PM
I guess I need to put my 2 cents in on this as well. There were several things that I found very interesting. I have done a lot of research on the Whaley's and their house, both as a medium and in researching the real history.
One commonly told story is that the house was built on a gallows and that Yankee Jim was hung on the property before the house was built. I noticed the Most Haunted Crew spent a lot of time on this including doing a seance in the archway of the parlor. According to the San Diego Historical Society the courthouse and also hanging place of Yankee Jim was at the Old Town Plaza. This makes perfect sense since it was the center of town. Back then people gathered for hangings. Why would they go down the street? Derek was right that Yankee Jim had 2 accomplishes. They went to San Quentin for a year where as he hung. He was accused of stealing a small boat. I have never had a conversation with Yankee Jim but Thomas Whaley has mentioned having regrets about his death. Thomas Whaley did attend the hanging, and Philip Crosthwaite was the deputy sheriff who helped to arrest and hang Yankee Jim. I find it interesting that Whaley House is on the cross street of Harney. William Harney was one of Yankee Jim's partners in supposedly stealing the boat. My current theory is that Yankee Jim is haunting Thomas Whaley not the house itself or the property. Thomas Whaley has expressed deep regret and he feels he could have prevented Yankee Jim's death. When Thomas was alive he did tell people that he thought his house was haunted by Yankee Jim. You do not have to have died at the location to be there in spirit. Thomas Whaley died at 933 State Street. They just imploded the Hotel San Diego today. Thomas Whaley's house was approximately where the hotel parking lot was located.
If you have read my prior channeled posts from the Whaley's you will find that they take issue with the dining room, the theatre, and the general store. I found it interesting when Derek entered the dining room he was given a vision of the furniture being removed. SOHO has plans to put back an outside kitchen that was actually there for a time, but Anna fought with Thomas about having the kitchen inside and really wants that to remain today. None of the furnishings in the dining room belongs to the Whaley's. It was decorated as a kitchen when the prior caretakers ran the house. All of the contents of the room were removed with the change of caretaker.
The experiences in the theatre were quite interesting. It used to be the master bedroom and a sitting area. The area behind the stage where all the noises were coming from was where the bedroom was. This was pointed out by Richard Felix. The other psychic David received only one message if I am remembering correctly. That message was "Why don't you leave my husband and me alone". Yvette expressed the same "feeling" of not being welcome in the theatre. The Whaley's have seen many psychics and researchers come and go. These people do not provide assistance, they are looking to examine phenomena. It took a long time for the Whaley's to trust me and this is because I have tried to assist them. Anna spoke to me in 1993 about a black dress. PhenonInvestigator can tell you this was documented by June Reading and is in his research. He can also tell you that we spoke with Thomas Whaley quite recently about his issues. There was a very heavy smell of Cuban cigar smoke and no one was around smoking or otherwise. They are not here for our amusement they are here to get assistance with unfinished business and perhaps to help us with our future. It is strange to me in these days of high tech that glass on the table and rapping noises are "Most Haunted's" way of communicating with the spirits in the house. This harks back to the early 1900's. I guess it looks cool on camera so they use it. The theatre was only there for a few weeks. The head of the Tanner Troup is buried in El Campo Santo Cemetery. He died of a heart attack and in this case the show did not go on.
No one picked up on the court papers being taken from the house in 1871. This has been a big issue for Thomas Whaley both alive and dead. With the help of a docent at the house we did manage to get some papers from San Quentin. You will find them in what is set up as the General Store. Perhaps this issue has subsided for Thomas. I found it interesting that when Derek was in the General Store area he picked up on a rotund man who was selling goods. This would not have been Thomas. Thomas was not over weight, he did have the General Store in the house for a few months but moved it to the Plaza due to lack of business.
Derek did pick up the little girl spirit. She has not identified herself to me and she did not identify herself to Derek. I have asked her for her name and she said she is not allowed to talk to strangers. She always seems to be alone so I do not think she is tied to Anna.
So I agree with the other 2 posts that the Whaley's do not come out on demand nor should they. They are stoic and proud people. They should not be treated like a circus act. Perhaps if the "Most Haunted" television show had wanted to help them they would have been more receptive.
Thanks, Bonnie Vent San Diego Paranormal Research Project www.sdparanormal.com
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