Ethereal Planes, Tragedy, and Creepy Kids
People come to San Diego for the mix of cultures and the unbelievably great weather, but they don’t expect the sea of darkness that hides just underneath the surface. Ever since joining the United States in 1850, San Diego has been a city of paradox. All at once, it feels like a sleepy beach town, and a bustling metropolitan city. It represents a clash of cultures, and yet somehow feels like its own cohesive destination. It’s a sunny vacation spot and a dark hotbed of the supernatural. San Diego’s Gaslamp District, in particular, holds the key to the city’s rich and complicated history.
Discover the pioneers of San Diego, and their big personalities, who built the city into what it is today, and how those unfortunate souls still influence it in their own way. Find out how people survived, and how others met their tragic end, during California’s earliest days.
One of the stops on the tour is outside a bustling restaurant in a fantastic location. But this charming place hides a hideous past. The building was built as a repair shop for carriages, and later cars. The horses that used to come here were moved around and occasionally exercised by a revolving group of young boys, mostly because they were cheap and eager. One day a young lad of around ten or eleven was exercising a skittish horse when a crash outside the garage, which caused it to bolt!
The boy was thrown from the horse and trampled under its metal-clad hooves. The boy sustained gruesome injuries to his young face, but his internal wounds were the fatal ones. The garage had to shut for a while until public outrage subsided.
Years later, automobiles littered the garage floor in various states of repair, the staff reported seeing a young boy throughout the day out of the corner of their eyes. No one found anyone, but the manager was worried someone was in there that shouldn’t be and returned at night to double-check the place. All looked good until he was leaving, when he saw a young boy in the corner of the garage facing the wall, as he looked through the dark, he started to hear the boy sob.
The manager would never forget what happened when he went to see if the boy was ok. Join us on the tour to find out the boys’ ghastly story.
Why is San Diego’s Old Town so haunted?
San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has a long and sordid history. The area’s unique location has created a distinctive combination of cultures that cannot be replicated anywhere else. With so many clashes of opinion, you are bound to see some violence and turmoil. While San Diego’s history has largely been peaceful, death meets us all, some quicker than nature would intend.
The psychic pain of death is everywhere, and that pain manifests through both benevolent and malevolent spirits. While some of these spirits are peaceful enough, others prey on the vulnerability of the living to terrify and torment.
The tour will pass by the former city hall, where a mayor barricaded himself into the building so he could be sworn in as mayor despite an angry mob outside claiming he was unfit for office. A few years later, the city outgrew the building. After the police and the jail had all moved out of the building, it was converted into apartments. One family that rented an apartment discovered a mysterious windowless room hidden behind a wall. The room itself appeared innocuous, but after its discovery, strange things started to happen. Come and hear about the family who found this room and how it led to their grisly end.
No matter what draws you to listen to stories of the supernatural, our Gaslamp District ghost tour will give you a unique and compelling experience that will leave you immersed in the deep and fascinating history of this area and thinking about the characters who haunt it long after you leave.
Our San Diego Ghost Tour takes you through 8-12 different sites around the Gaslamp Quarter, each stop ratcheting up the tension more and more. Meet your experienced tour guide outside the Balboa Theatre in Horton Plaza Park. Please arrive at least 15 minutes before your tour’s scheduled departure time. The standard tour takes about an hour and takes you through several landmark locations in the Gaslamp area. If you select the extended tour, you will get another 30 minutes of chilling history and ghostly encounters!
All Ghost Tours meet outside the Balboa Theatre in Horton Plaza Park at 868 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101. Tours are held rain or shine. Please note that we do not go inside the buildings, and we also do not meet inside. However, you are more than welcome to tour the public locations at your leisure after the tour has ended.
The one mile standard tour should take about an hour. If you choose the extended tour, you will take another 30 minutes to explore an additional 0.5 miles and more haunted locations!
Tour times may vary, click on ‘book now’ for all available times. Please arrive at the meeting location fifteen minutes before the tour begins, and make sure you leave plenty of time to find parking or to get to the location. Our tours are held regardless of weather conditions unless severe storms are announced.
Parking is available at nearby parking garages and lots. Please check your tour time and meeting location in advance so that you may arrive on time. We recommend arriving early to find parking and to ensure that you are not late.
Adult tickets are $19; children under 12 are $12. The extended tour costs an additional $5 per person.
You must attend the tour for the date and time of your purchase. Ghost tours are held rain or shine. Rescheduling may be done upon prior approval, and is subject to a rescheduling fee.
Free parking is available at nearby lots. Please check your tour time and meeting location in advance so that you may arrive on time. We recommend arriving early to find parking and to ensure that you are not late.
4 Reasons you have to take this tour!
A fun way to see the history of San Diego
San Diego has a long and complex history, from the pre-colonial times, the San Diego river separated the traditional lands of two factions of the Kumeyaay tribe of native Americans. The first Spanish colonial settlers founded a mission here in 1796.
The San Diego Ghosts tour dives into the history since San Diego, and California joined the United States. The rapid buildup of the city and its modern history is fascinating. Our tour will start with the difficult early steps of the Gaslight District. Founded by William Heath Davis, a real estate speculator who had a vision of a new downtown closer to the port’s trade.
However, his vision did not last, and he died with his original town of eight prefabricated ‘saltbox’ houses standing abandoned. His idea, though resurfaced later, and the carriers of his torch, Alonzo Horton and his wife built a house they later moved twice before it ended up in the gaslight district, where it stands today as the oldest house around, and a museum of the area’s history. It is most definitely haunted.
A family that lived in the house lost a child to Yellow fever, to this day, a ghostly sick child infects the Museum staff occasionally with rapid and brutal vomiting associated with Yellow fever, but only those staff who have touched the diseased apparition!
The idea of a Ghost tour is not appealing to you!?
Ghosts appear more often to those who believe, whose minds are open to such things. The power of the minds of those more open to the supernatural has been studied for a long time. And while the science of the mind has made leaps and jumps, we still know very little of the power of the most complex object in the known universe, the grey lump that resides between our ears.
Several Universities have published serious academic articles exploring the brain’s ability to affect the material world in ways we don’t understand…yet.
That’s a roundabout way of saying there’s a lot we don’t know about the universe and our abilities within it. So, the ghosts of the past may have ways of reaching into our lives, and while we should all be wary, we best not close our minds to it completely.
And if we fail to convince you with our evidence of minds from the past affecting the world today. We leave you with, at the very least, a riveting history lesson brought to life with affecting stories from the past.
You’ve got limited time in the city
The Golden hour, just before sundown in San Diego is a marvel to behold, the setting sun over the Pacific Ocean creates eerie moments that might make a believer of anyone. After the sunsets, there is a pause before the cities nightlife truly wakes up. Call it the post-dinner lull. This is the perfect time to take the San Diego Ghosts tour and really get the best from your time in ‘The finest city in America.’
Our standard tour takes around 1 hour and covers a carefully curated selection of locations to bring you a cross-section of eras and fascinating moments in the city’s history.
Our guides are not only knowledgeable about their home city, but the tour is entertaining and full of the stories of San Diego brought to life by spooky tales that you will remember for years to come.
Like the Prohibition lounge on Fifth Avenue, today, it’s a lively bar with a secret entrance that we will happily show you. But in a previous life, the bar’s stylish tiled arches saw more dead bodies than any other room in the city. It was for a period in the mid 19th Century the city morgue. The bartenders remain mute about the hauntings they have seen.
Looking for family friendly activities in San Diego
Our tour covers the grizzly history of San Diego, but rest assured, our aim is not to terrify. We have had tour-goers claim to have felt a supernatural presence during our daily events, but we have welcomed countless young ghost hunters and never had a report of nightmares.
We work hard to make sure our tours are family-friendly and work hard to keep them that way. Our start times are bedtime friendly for all but the youngest travelers, and few often see locals at the San Diego Ghosts start point, looking to learn a bit more about their home city. We hope to see you soon.