Wisdom Speaks: Doreen Valiente

"Invocation of the Moon Goddess"

Diana, queen of night,

In all your beauty bright,

Shine on us here,

And with your silver beam

Unlock the gates of dream;

Rise bright and clear.

On earth and sky and sea,

Your magic mystery

Its spell shall cast,

Wherever leaf may grow,

Wherever tide may flow,

‘Till all be past.

O secret queen of power,

At this enchanted hour

We ask your boon.

May fortune’s favour fall

Upon true witches all,

O Lady Moon!

From Witchcraft For Tomorrow, ©Doreen Valiente, 1978, St. Martin’s Press, Inc., NY, NY


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Fact of the Week: The Whaley House

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Whaley House—located in San Diego, California—has received both local and national attention as a haunted site. According to Life Magazine and the Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted, Whaley House is the most haunted house in the United States. Featured in numerous TV shows, books, and publications, the house does appear to have a long history of paranormal occurrences—dating back to the late 1850’s, shortly after the Whaley family moved in.

The Whaley House was designed by Thomas Whaley himself—a New York businessman who came to California with the gold rush. First, a granary (later to become a courtroom!) was built on the site. In 1857, the two-story house was built, using bricks from Whaley’s own brickyard. The Whaley property would ultimately have many uses; in addition to the family home, it would house Thomas Whaley’s general store, the County Court House, the city’s first commercial theater, a ballroom, and much more. But it was the elegant Whaley home that would become the site of most of the paranormal occurrences.

Not long after moving into the house, the Whaleys reported hearing “heavy footsteps” moving around the house. Thomas Whaley concluded that the footsteps belonged to the ghost of “Yankee Jim” Robinson; Whaley had witnessed Yankee Jim’s hanging on the site before the house was built. Whaley’s youngest daughter Corinne Lillian was also convinced that Yankee Jim’s spirit was haunting their home. He had not been the only person hanged on the Whaley site—and his death would not be the last.

Seven members of the Whaley family would ultimately die in the house, three of them tragically. In 1858, Baby Thomas Whaley Jr. perished; he had been suffering from scarlet fever. In 1885, one of the Whaley daughters, Violet Eloise, committed suicide—by shooting herself in the chest with her father’s 32-caliber gun. She had been suffering from depression, having been abandoned by a con-man husband 3 years before. Marion Reynolds, great-granddaughter of Thomas and Anna Whaley, also died tragically in the home. Anna, along with three of her other children, passed away in the house as well.

There is one report, dating back to the early 1900’s, of a guest in the Whaley home feeling unnerved by “the phantom walking noise, and the strange way the windows unlatched and flew up”. And, from the time the Whaley House opened as a museum in 1960, visitors and staff have reported numerous paranormal incidents—such as apparitions, warm or cold spots, sensations of being touched, objects moving “unaccountably”, and “anomalies” appearing in photographs. Various members of the Whaley family, including Violet, Baby Thomas, and Marion, have been seen.

Even Thomas Whaley, who did not die in the house, has been frequently sighted—usually standing on the upper landing in a “frock coat and pantaloons”. His wife Anna has also been seen, most often in the garden or downstairs rooms; in 1964, “her floating, drifting spirit” appeared to TV personality Regis Philbin. People have also reported seeing or sensing the presence of a small, swarthy woman in a long skirt, lingering in the courtroom—and a young girl in the Whaley House dining room.

In addition to having a reputation for paranormal occurrences, the Whaley House is also a California State Historic Landmark, and is located in the Old Town area of San Diego. The Whaley House Museum continues to host visitors from around the world, who can tour the beautifully restored family home, as well as an 1860’s general store, theater, and courthouse. Private and Ghost Hunting tours are available as well.

To learn more about the Whaley House, visit:



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