Richard Griswold del Castillo, Book Review Editor
Haunted San Diego: A Historic Guide To San Diego’s Favorite Haunts.
By Gail White. San Diego: Tecolote Publications, 1992. Illustrations. Maps. 117 pages. $8.95.
Reviewed by Roger W. Reeve, native San Diegan, La Jolla professional.
Are there haunted houses in San Diego? Many of us, long-time San Diegans, believe that there are. While others scoff at the idea, there are those who have had experiences that are difficult to explain.
As Gail White explains it, more than a few people have checked-out of hotels because their rooms were, . . shall we say, ‘over crowded’? Most tourists come to San Diego to visit our fantastic beaches, the Zoo, Sea World, or to take a drive south of the border for some authentic Mexican immersement. Some have visited the Hotel Del Coronado where the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and of late, President Bill Clinton have stayed, only to find someone named Kate, still in room #3502, after one hundred years! Gail White details some of the experiences of local people, and of tourists, but also points out the historical side of these places and their re-occurring happenings.
Who built the Whaley house? Who was Yankee Jim? Who was Jesse Shepard? As Ms. White points out, not all haunted places in San Diego are attractions. Some are innocent-looking places such as Harmony Grove in North County. But many people who live in the area can tell you that it loses some of it’s innocence when the “Lady in White” decides to take a late night ride. This book can offer some interesting background on some of the historic places in San Diego as well as some of the haunted places in our fair city. It can be read ‘tongue in cheek’ if you’re a bit skeptical, or it can be used as a guide book to visit the mentioned ‘attractions’. Either way it’s ‘fun’ reading!