Old Town Guide — Halloween Edition
Old Town San Diego — with its storied history and historic attractions — is home to a host of haunted attractions that come alive during the Halloween season. From eerie cemeteries to spine-tingling ghost tours, there’s something for every thrill-seeker and lover of the paranormal. Join us as we explore some of Old Town San Diego’s top haunted attractions that are sure to send shivers down your spine this October.
While not a traditional haunted attraction, Old Town San Diego’s Día de los Muertos Festival is a mesmerizing celebration of life and death that sets the perfect tone for the Halloween season. During this event, the streets come alive with vibrant decorations, colorful altars, and joyful music as families honor their departed loved ones. Witness captivating performances, elaborate face-painting, and an enchanting procession. It’s a cultural immersion that offers a unique perspective on the connection between the living and the departed.
The Whaley House, often dubbed the “most haunted house in America,” is an iconic San Diego landmark that has intrigued paranormal enthusiasts for decades. Located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, this 19th-century mansion is said to be haunted by the spirits of the Whaley family and other restless souls. Take a guided tour to explore the house’s dark history, eerie occurrences, and tales of ghostly encounters. The Whaley House Museum offers an atmospheric journey into San Diego’s haunted past.
If you’re looking for a singularly spine-tingling experience, consider this exceptionally eerie experience. Ghosts & Gravestones offers an interactive evening tour that takes you to some of San Diego’s most haunted locations, including the aforementioned Whaley House, as well as the El Campo Santo Cemetery below. A costumed guide will regale you with chilling stories of murder, mystery, and ghostly apparitions. With dimly lit streets and historic settings, it’s an atmospheric journey into the supernatural side of San Diego.
Speaking of El Campo, this historic Old Town Cemetery is a solemn and historic burial ground that adds to the area’s eerie ambiance. The cemetery is the final resting place of countless early San Diegans, including some who met untimely or tragic ends. As you explore the gravestones and read the inscriptions, you might feel the weight of history and hear whispers from the past. It’s a place where the line between the living and the dead blurs, creating an eerie sense of presence that creates the ideal atmosphere for the season.
When visiting Old Town Cemetery, don’t miss stepping into the historic world of the prohibition-era “roaring twenties” at the adjacent Oculto 477 speakeasy. Named in honor of the 477 “residents” at the graveyard next door, this clandestine bar adds a touch of mystery to your October adventure. The dimly lit atmospheric setting sets the stage for whispered secrets, hidden passages, and craft cocktails. You may even have to confess a sin to the man of the cloth at the door as your “password” to gain entry. No matter what, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time, where the spirits of the past might just join you for a drink.
As October progresses, the spirit of Halloween comes alive with an array of seasonal attractions across the city. Belmont Park is hosting their annual Fall Fest, offering haunted rides, pumpkin decorating, and a pumpkin plunge. SeaWorld San Diego transforms into a spooky wonderland with a pair of Halloween-themed events (Halloween Spooktacular and Howl-O-Scream) and activities for all ages. Balboa Park‘s Haunted Trail leads brave souls on a chilling journey through twisted groves and mysterious landscapes. These Halloween events add an extra layer of enchantment to San Diego’s October festivities, ensuring that the spirit of Halloween is very much alive in this coastal paradise.
October in San Diego is a time when the veil between the living and the dead seems to grow thin, inviting visitors to explore the city’s rich history and embrace the eerie and the unknown. But here’s what’s NOT scary: a stay at Humphreys Half Moon Inn! We’re located just minutes from Old Town, so we’re close to all of the ghoulish goings-on. We also offer competitive rates, attentive service and thoughtful, guest-first amenities. Check out our Special Offers page for all the latest San Diego travel deals, and reserve your stay today!