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Museum origins

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1 post
Jun 18, 2005
9:48 AM
Hi everyone, I'm new to the board. Been a fan of the Whaley house as long as can remember. Been reading up on the Whaley house website but it seems there are some negative persons on there and then through that one found this one. I may comment on the other one eventually but right now some strange types there who are a little nasty. This one doesn't seem to anywhere near as active but everyone does seem to be nice! I am interested in PhenomInvestigator. He/she seems to go way back in the museums history and I would like to hear more stories about the specifics on Regis Philbin, Hans Holzer, June Reading, the lady who used to be in charge. What happened to her? I think PhenomInvestigator since 'he' (?) used to work with June would be a rare wealth of info. He said she was real picky about lots of things. On the other board there was a little disagreement about those journals or papers and I think that the best way to solve it is to ask Phenom. Since Bonnie has been contacted by the Whaleys to help out with getting their house the way they like it, and surely there is some kind of clues in the old letters and such. Since no one seems to know who is in charge of those letters maybe Phenom knows? There doesn't seem to be any issue on this board about that so maybe 'he' doesn't know theres a problem. Phenom can you help?
39 posts
Jun 18, 2005
10:44 AM
Hi Luzyladdie,

I did send him an e-mail off list regarding Thomas Whaley's Journals. He had seen them and read them when he worked with June Reading. He no longer lives in San Diego and has no connections with the house or the former caretakers.

June Reading passed away in 1998.

I have gone through all the normal channels with the county to determine where these documents might be. The County is aware of their existence but they were never recorded. Everyone seems to agree that they were stored at the Whaley House until the change of caretakers in 2000/2001. I have heard 2 stories: "We think the former caretakers gave the papers back to the Whaley decendants" and "The papers were removed from the house prior to the new caretakers taking over".

There was a very ugly lawsuit in 2000. It was the County vs Historic Shrine Foundation. The HSF had saved the house originally. This group was formed solely for the purpose of saving and preserving the Whaley House. The current caretakers submitted a proposal to the County to take over the house. The proposal was approved. After 40 years of taking care of this house HSF was dismissed. Needless to say they were devastated. This quickly turned to anger and they sued the County for the contents of the house. The end result was if the item belonged to a Whaley it stayed with the house. If not, it was the property of HSF. These papers would clearly fall into the category of Whaley property. I recently had a county attorney check the final documents on the lawsuit and the Whaley documents were not listed. Since the point of the lawsuit was to determine ownership of every item in the house I find this strange. Even though the Whaley papers were not recorded with the County when donated by the family in 1960 they should have been recorded after the lawsuit.

I have tried to find Whaley decendants to no avail. I did manage to find a decendant of Anna Whaley. He is trying to get access to the family bible which has his family history of births and deaths. Last time I spoke to him he had not received a response to his request.

The HSF is no longer in existence and the last person known to have been in charge cannot be located. The last known phone # for this person has been disconnected.

So here we stand today with a giant mystery.

I have not given up. If anyone has any information that would be useful please feel free to post it here or e-mail me at: info@sdparanormal.com

Thanks so much,
Bonnie Vent
San Diego Paranormal Research Project

Last Edited by sdparanormal on Jun 18, 2005 4:18 PM
2 posts
Jun 18, 2005
12:35 PM
Dear Bonnie,
Thanks for the info. Thats too bad that Phenom doesn't live in San Diego anymore. I hope he posts more information. Thats too bad about the papers. I wonder if Phenom was there when they did the big investigation with Hans Holzer that I hear so much about. I wish there was a first person first hand witness acount of that event. I have seen different versions of what went on here and there in books. They are similar and a little confusing and seems like when you play the game of whispering a sentence to one person and having it exchanged in a big circle of people, when it gets back to the original person it has changed either its tone or whole meaning completely. I would be interested in what experiences that Phenom and June had in the Whaley house. Thanks.
52 posts
Jun 29, 2005
8:09 PM
Hi Luz,

I saw your post on the other board that I was vague. Let me be perfectly clear. According to a channeled message done in April 2005 the only thing they LIKED was the Music Room. They do not like the rest of the plans, period!!

For Thomas most of the plans so far have exaggerated his failures. For Anna it is not her taste and she did not like businesses in the house when living there. It was due to lack of money that they rented out space to tenants.

People now walk in areas that were private until 2001. The former caretakers limited the hours of operation out of respect for the house and the Whaley's. Their concern was the house would not be able to hold up under a lot of foot traffic. I now see this same concern coming up again after opening the house up for extended night time hours.

It is great for the tourists and selling tickets but it does not accurately reflect the way the house was when they lived there.

I hope I have made myself very clear on this point.

Per the Official Whaley House website:

Cut and paste into your browser

Go to 8/1857 for details on the General Store
Go to 12/2/1868 for details on the Theatre

I hope this sheds some light on why Thomas might be a little upset. The plans continue to move forward without concern for the Whaley's wishes which is why they said in the channeling to the people who run the house "please stop telling people this is our wish or taste, it is not".

I would expect putting a gallows in the backyard will cause some issues. There was a gallows that was actually used on the property before the house was built. Yankee Jim was hung somewhere on the property in 1852. Apparently the gallows that was there due to the Court House was never used. Once again very misleading. People will see it there and presume it was used. Thomas was present at Yankee Jim's hanging and has expressed some deep regrets about it.

Thomas told me once that his house is "the house of regret". That about sums it up.

Bonnie Vent
San Diego Paranormal Research Project
7 posts
Jul 03, 2005
6:26 PM
I am pleased that my comments have caused interest in this fascinating site. As Bonnie says, I no longer live in SD but I do visit there about twice or more a year. I have not been actually in the Whaley House for many years. I had planned to do so on my last trip, but did not have time.

As to the Holzer investigation, he pre-dates mine by a few years. He visited the house twice according to June Reading with a highly respected English medium of the time. She apparently accurately related much of what came to be Holzer's writings on the Whaley House.

The Regis Philbin debacle, and it can only be called that, happened on one Halloween night in the 1960's if I recall right. He had a film crew there, he was with his then wife, it was quite a circus according to June. What spooked him and sent them all running out of the house was, I believe, not any abnormal phenomena, but instead a reflection in one of the windows, likely from a passing car.

The Whaley papers did exist. I personally transcribed some of them. They are fascinating works of history and art. I recall that June was particularly concerned about one female member of the Whaley family; she had been quite secretive about the documents, although by all accounts of what I saw there was no reason to do so. There is little that one would consider embarassing in them, except that they do reveal the daily workings of a Western 19th century family in San Diego. If they are in the hands of the Whaley family that might or might not be a good thing. It all depends on the descendants understanding of their historical importance.
2 posts
Jul 29, 2005
6:17 PM
Phenom- you should make it a priority to visit the Whaley House next time you are here. You will be shocked, (and possibly horrified.)

On a side note about June Reading...
I used to go to the Whaley House every weekend when I was in elementary and middle school, and I was well acquainted with June Reading. She was an amazing woman, who had such a passion for this wonderful, historic house.

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