The Whaley House
Sybil Leek and Hans Holzer investigated the house, Leek perceived that
Whaley was still angry over this injustice. Though his enemies and rivals
were long gone, he was still guarding his house against further insults.
She also picked up that he was upset about another house being placed
onto the Whaley property in an effort to save it from destruction during
freeway construction. This house, the Derby-Pendleton house, is also
the site of hauntings. It was open to the public as an antique store
until recently, but it has now reverted to private ownership. The Whaley
gardens are still accessible through the garden of the Derby-Pendleton
house, a fact that apparently does not comfort
While in trance, Sybil Leek also connected with an unexpected spirit: a Russian who had died in the San Diego area while hunting sea otters, once plentiful here. Very few people knew that Russians did visit San Diego during a period when the Spanish were not actively occupying the area. As a native San Diegan, I was unaware of any Russian activity here until I read Hans Holzers account of the Whaley House seance in his book "Ghosts of the Golden West."
his bad experiences with the previous tenant of the courtroom annex,
Whaley persisted in renting out the area, most notably to the Tanner
theatrical troupe. The former courtroom was used as a theater, with
actors replacing the dour civic fathers in the rooms up above. Tanner
himself died in San Diego and is buried down the street at the Campo
Whaley House collection sports two pianos, both of which have been involved
with haunted events. One of them belonged to the famous singer Jenny
Lind, who was much beloved in the last century. The other was featured
in the movie "Gone with the Wind." Mrs. Whaley, who loved music, is
said to have stood by psychic Michael J. Kouri and whisper her "request"
into his ears. When he finished playing on one piano, he went to the
other and was greeted by her again, and asked to play the same song:
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." It is interesting that Mrs. Whaley is
associated with the haunting of an object that was not in the house
during her lifetime. Can spirits slowly adapt to new conditions? Apparently
Anna Whaley is more flexible than her husband.