So many tours, so little time. You can climb aboard the Trolley of Doom and traverse the hilly seaside, or choose one of the guided walking tours. Old Town San Diego is a must for the true believer, as is a stop at the notorious Whaley House. Its premises have been investigated by well-known ghost hunting teams and all have been impressed by an apparition or a sound or a book flying through the air. You can also find tours that combine true crime and murder with haunted buildings and cemeteries. Enjoy fresh scallops and an icy cold beer when you’re done with your explorations, then start again tomorrow. If you manage to sleep, that is …
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With its hilly terrain and ocean breezes, the city of San Diego stands in tribute to the United States’ relentless westward expansion of the 1800s. The influence of the Spanish settlers is reflected everywhere, from the centuries old missions to the abode architecture of Old Town. The population of 1.4 million people belies the fact the little town at the foot of Presidio Hill almost didn’t make it. As recently as 1889, San Diego was under the control of a board of Trustees due to bankruptcy and an unstable population. However, as tourism took hold and military bases were established the town solidified and grew. It hosted two World’s Fairs, first in 1915 and the second in 1935, with both in Balboa Park. Besides the military, tourism and the biotech industry are the economic mainstays of the city today.
What about the ghosts, you ask. Not everyone thinks of this bustling Southern California town as haunted. The sunny days and salty air can feel at odds with the darker side of San Diego. However, one of America’s most haunted homes, the Whaley House, is a central pillar of Old Town. Ghostly apparitions and poltergist activity has been reported both inside the home and on its grounds. The aforementioned Balboa Park is said to come alive at nightfall with unearthly sounds and frightening visions. El Campo Santo Cemetery is notorious as a place where the dead are restless and reach out toward the living, causing visitors to shriek in surprise. However, if you’re staying at a local inn you might not find refuge. Many of San Diego’s beautiful old hotels also have a reputation for being haunted. Oh well, as they say: No rest for the wicked. But plenty of chills and thrills await the ghost hunter in sunny San Diego.
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