Top 5 Haunted Places In San Diego

Ali Sullivan

Top 5 Most Haunted Places in San Diego 

Explore the eerie side of San Diego with our list of the top 5 most haunted places in the city. From ghostly hotels to historic sites, these spine-tingling locations will surely send shivers down your spine.

halloween in san diego

San Diego, a city known for its sunny beaches and thriving community, also hides within its historic streets a chilling secret – a haunted past that lingers in some of its most iconic locations.

As the sun sets over this coastal gem, it reveals a different side of San Diego – one where restless spirits roam the hallways of age-old buildings and stories of supernatural encounters echo through time. 

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a curious explorer, join us on a supernatural tour of San Diego’s most haunted places. From ghostly ships to mysterious mansions, these tales of the unexplained will leave you both intrigued and haunted by the history that haunts the city’s streets after dark. 

Brace yourself for a captivating journey into the eerie and unexplained as we delve into the top five haunted places in San Diego that make the city a haven for those who seek encounters with the otherworldly.

Hotel del Coronado

The Hotel del Coronado, affectionately known as “The Del,” is not only an iconic beachfront resort in San Diego but also a place steeped in history and ghostly legends. One of the most famous ghostly inhabitants of Del is said to be Kate Morgan, a mysterious and tragic figure. In 1892, Kate checked into the hotel under an alias and waited for days, eventually taking her own life with a gunshot.


Her ghost is said to roam the hotel, particularly in Room 3327, where she stayed. Guests have reported flickering lights, cold spots, and the eerie feeling of being watched in this room.


The hotel’s vintage charm and old-world elegance add to its haunted ambiance, with numerous reports of ghostly apparitions, unexplained noises, and inexplicable occurrences. Some say that The Del’s grandeur and timeless beauty have trapped the spirits of the past within its walls. 


Hotel de Coronado top 5 haunted places in san diego

Whaley House

The Whaley House, located in Old Town San Diego, is known as one of the most haunted places in the city, and for good reason. This historic house, built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley, has a dark and eerie history that has fueled tales of paranormal activity for generations.


In the 1850s, the house served as not only the Whaley family’s residence but also as the county courthouse, where numerous criminal trials and executions took place. One of the most infamous incidents involved the hanging of “Yankee Jim” Robinson, whose execution occurred on the very spot where the house now stands. It’s believed that his restless spirit, along with others who suffered in the house, continues to haunt the premises.


Visitors to the Whaley House have reported a wide range of eerie occurrences, from ghostly apparitions and mysterious footsteps to inexplicable cold spots and disembodied voices. Even paranormal investigators have documented unusual phenomena, further cementing the house’s reputation as a supernatural hotspot.

Star of India

The Star of India, a historic sailing ship docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, is known to be one of the most haunted places in the city. This vessel carries a history dating back to 1863, when it was constructed on the Isle of Man. While the ship has experienced its fair share of storms and adventures at sea, it’s the paranormal encounters within its wooden walls that have intrigued visitors. 


Many claim to have seen shadowy figures wandering the decks, heard disembodied voices and felt chilling cold spots throughout the ship. Some believe that the spirits of past crew members, who may have perished under mysterious circumstances during the ship’s long history, continue to reside aboard the Star of India, adding to its mystique.


The ship’s history includes instances of deaths, accidents, and illnesses during its voyages, making it a prime candidate for paranormal activity. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer, visiting the Star of India will surely send shivers down your spine. 


star of india top 5 haunted places in san diego

La Playa Hotel

The La Playa Hotel, nestled in the heart of San Diego’s picturesque Point Loma neighborhood, is shrouded in history and rumored to be one of the most haunted places in the city. Its rich past, dating back to the late 19th century, has given rise to numerous ghostly tales and chilling encounters.


In 1892, the renowned yacht builder and businessman Albert Spalding suffered a sudden and fatal heart attack within the hotel. His untimely death is said to have left an indelible mark on the La Playa, as his spirit is believed to linger within its walls.


Guests and staff have reported various supernatural occurrences over the years, such as unexplained footsteps echoing through empty hallways, eerie apparitions, and strange sounds emanating from vacant rooms. Some claim to have felt a cold, ghostly presence, while others describe hearing faint whispers and disembodied voices.

Villa Montezuma

The Villa Montezuma, an enchanting Victorian mansion in the heart of San Diego’s historic Sherman Heights neighborhood, holds a mystical aura and the reputation of being one of the city’s most haunted locations. Built in the late 19th century, the villa was once the home of Jesse Shepard, a renowned musician, spiritualist, and man of eclectic taste.


The haunting legends surrounding the Villa Montezuma are closely tied to Shepard’s spiritualist practices. He was known to conduct séances and host gatherings where he claimed to communicate with the spirit world.


Visitors and staff have reported experiencing strange phenomena, including unexplained footsteps, flickering lights, and objects moving on their own. Some have even claimed to witness the spectral figure of Jesse Shepard himself, playing his piano or wandering the halls.

Bonus 1

El Campo Santo Cemetery: This cemetery in Old Town San Diego is the final resting place for many early residents. Some visitors have reported eerie encounters and ghostly apparitions among the gravestones.

Bonus 2

Balboa Park Haunted Trail

International Traveler’s House (ITH) Halloween Party

After getting scared out of your mind at one of the aforementioned, join us back at ITH’s Halloween Party where we will have entertainment, food, as well as a costume contest! 

If you’re ready to embark on your own ghost-hunting adventure, why not make your stay in San Diego even more unforgettable? Book a fun and budget-friendly stay at one of the three ITH hostels in the city and enjoy the stories, legends, and mysteries that await in America’s Finest City. 

Who knows what you might discover in the dead of night? Click here for even more activities and things to do in San Diego!