Haunted Places Near La Jolla

For whatever reason, we as a society love to be spooked. In particular, we love ghost stories. It goes beyond the frightful element — ghost stories become a sort of local folklore, a part of the tapestry that is the story of a place. And there’s no better time to learn about some local hauntings than Halloween. If you’re visiting La Jolla this fall, you can get yourself into the Halloween spirit by checking out some of these historic, haunted locations throughout the community or nearby.

The Whaley House

In Old Town San Diego, you’ll find The Whaley House, now a museum that offers visitors a view of San Diego from times past. But this house is more than simply a relic from the mid-19th century and a specimen of Greek Revival architecture. It’s also famously haunted. Before the house was built, the property was the location of gallows where criminals were often hung. It also was the location of the notorious suicide of Violet Whaley, a daughter of the original family of the house. Guests have claimed to have seen a man standing in the parlor who may have been the ghost of Thomas Whaley himself, as well as the ghost of his wife in the garden. Other sightings have been that of a long-haired girl in the dining room, and even apparitions of animals past.


Herringbone in La Jolla is primarily known for its delicious coastal cuisine and beautiful al fresco dining. However, the celebrity chef behind the restaurant, Brian Malarkey, also claims the old warehouse which houses Herringbone is haunted. He’s not alone in this. His managing partner, James Brennan, and even the contractors that were hired to remodel the location claimed to have seen ghostly shadows. Who is the ghost? They believe it could be previous owner C. Arnholt Smith, aka “Mr. San Diego.” When he died in 1996, his wife claimed that his spirit continued to haunt the property. Today, Chef Malarkey claims they make cocktails for Mr. San Diego just in case ghosts find themselves thirsty.

Windansea Beach

Several famous surfers have passed through Windansea Beach, and some have left an imprint there in more ways than one. Particularly, locals believe that the beach may still be home to the spirits of Bob Simmons, the “father of the modern surfboard.” More than a famous surfer, Simmons was known for his redesign of the surfboard that quickly caught on with surfers of the future. He died surfing at Windansea Beach, though it was three years before his body was ever found. Chris O’Rourke, one of the best surfers in California in his day, was also known to have his ashes spread over the beach when he died of Hodgkin’s disease at a young age. These spirits are benevolent rather than spooky. Some surfers claim that they can hear O’Rourke cheering them on and Simmons has been spotted paddling out to the reef.

La Jolla is full of history, both living and ghostly. Want to get your spook on this Halloween season? Book your stay at the historic Bed & Breakfast Inn in La Jolla, and remember that when you book directly we’ll price match your room and even throw in a 5% discount.

#LaJollaFolklore #lajolla

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