5 Best Haunted Tours in San Diego

As a historic area, San Diego is rumored to have plenty of lingering ghosts. Check out these haunted tours, where you just might encounter a wayward spirit!
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Exploring the Supernatural in San Diego

Descriptions of the Dead Burried in El Campo Santo CemeteryFront of the Whaley House Early in the Morning

San Diego has always maintained a deep connection to its history. As one of the oldest cities on the West coast of the United States, there are countless buildings still standing from original settlements that you can find scattered throughout the city, especially clustered in the Gaslamp Quarter and Old Town neighborhoods.

With so much historic architecture, it is no wonder that San Diego has also garnered a reputation for frequent ghost sightings. Spirits have been spotted near local landmarks like the Whaley House, hiding among gravestones, and even in some of the local hotels like the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town and the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island. Both hotels are open for overnight stays if you want to combine your haunted tour with a haunted hotel!

The best way to experience this connection to the supernatural for yourself is to take one of the city’s many haunted tours, which feature some of the most haunted places in San Diego. Explore the area under the cover of night, learn about the history of local buildings and the legends surrounding them, and see if you’re lucky enough to spot a ghost or two.

We’ve compiled a list of the best haunted tours in San Diego for you and your family, a group of friends or really anyone interested in learning about the haunted past of San Diego. You’re sure to have a frighteningly fun time on any of these tours!

Don’t forget to grab a Go San Diego pass before your trip for scary good savings! The Go pass offers savings on admission prices for many ghost tours and other popular San Diego local attractions like the Davis-Horton House. Score additional savings if you purchase the Go pass via our website.

The Five Best San Diego Ghost Tours

If you want the best chance at catching a glimpse of a spirit, check out these haunted tours. No matter what happens, you’re sure to have a screaming good time!

Night Time at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town San Diego
Night Time at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town San Diego

1) Old Town Walking Ghost Tour

Neighborhood: Old Town San Diego

Of the many San Diego neighborhoods that still retain their connection of the past, this connection is perhaps felt most strongly in Old Town, which is full of historic buildings and notable landmarks. While the neighborhood is great to explore during the day, a visit after dark will provide and experience to remember!

As the first European settlement in California, the area has an extensive history, much of which involves the unexplainable and the paranormal.

See this for yourself on the Old Town Walking Ghost Tour, where you will feel just like a real ghost hunter. On this tour, you’ll visit some of the most haunted buildings and sites, and you’ll get to use ghost hunting equipment just like the professionals.

The tour also includes real photos of ghosts and 10 different stops. If you’re lucky, you may also spot vortex energy, which is believed to be a portal for spirits to cross between our world and the realm of the dead.

This tour also includes a stop at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, where you’ll be taken to a private room. Here, your tour guide will call on specific spirits to show themselves so you can witness them for yourself. This is a very in-depth tour that offers new spooky encounters for every visit.

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Grave Markers at the El Campo Santo Cemetery
Grave Markers at the El Campo Santo Cemetery

2) Ghosts and Gravestones Tour San Diego

Neighborhood: Old Town San Diego

Board the “trolley of the doomed” and prepare for a truly terrifying hour and a half on the Ghosts and Gravestones Tour of San Diego. This tour will take you to notable historic locations and gravesites of some of the city’s most notorious and nefarious previous residents.

This tour includes some scary content, and it’s recommended for visitors 13 and older. Great for couples, small groups and families with older children, there are few to no jump scares, and the content is primarily focused on providing a historical, educational angle.

The trolley will take you through popular haunted sites in Pioneer Park, El Campo Santo Cemetery, Grant Elementary School, and the Whaley House, one of the most haunted places in America!

The Ghosts and Gravestones tour unveils the darker, more mysterious side of San Diego, shedding light on unexplained and unnerving deaths that haunt its past as effectively as any spirit. If you’re ready to see the city in a whole new light, this tour is the perfect way to spend an evening under the full moon.

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The Historic & Possible Haunted Horton Grand Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter
The Historic & Possible Haunted Horton Grand Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter

3) Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours

If you’re looking for a family-friendly option, try the Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours.

This tour is suitable for anyone six or older, and it’s a bus tour, so you don’t have to worry about kids getting tired as they walk across the city. Instead, everyone can sit back, relax, and enjoy some spooky stories and local history.

The bus travels through multiple neighborhoods, including Old Town, Sherman Heights, and of course, the Gaslamp Quarter. It also makes a stop in the El Campo Santo Cemetery one of the oldest cemeteries in California.

Haunted San Diego Ghost Tours are available as a year-round attraction, but you’ll really feel the spirit of Halloween as you learn about paranormal activity sightings. Tour guides help to round out the atmosphere by wearing their own creepy costumes, so you can feel completely immersed for the entire two-hour tour.

If you’re looking for something more mature, try the walking tours. These feature more adult themes and stories that include true crime elements.

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Courtyard to the Davis Horton House Museum
Courtyard to the Davis Horton House Museum

4) Gaslamp District Ghost Tour

Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp District Ghost Tour is an hour long walking tour that explores five haunted locations around the Gaslamp Quarter.

The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House is a very popular historic location in San Diego, as it is one of the oldest buildings that is still standing and in good enough condition that you can walk around inside. It’s managed by the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, who have done their part to ensure the history of the house never gets forgotten. This includes the supernatural mysteries that surround the old building.

Many people have claimed to see ghosts lingering at the Davis-Horton House, which has made the Ghosts of the Gaslamp Tour a popular choice for many visitors and locals alike.

This is a walking tour that includes historic and paranormal stories about multiple buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter, starting and ending back at the Balboa Theater in Horton Plaza Park.

You will visit the Balboa Theater, the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House Museum, Prohibition Lounge, the Yuma Building, and the Casino theater what is now the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop.

This is a small group walking tour around the Gaslamp Quarter and your guide will tell you about the spooky past of what was once called the Stingaree District.

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Front of the Whaley House Early in the Morning
Front of the Whaley House Early in the Morning

5) Whaley House Ghost Tour

Neighborhood: Old Town San Diego

The Whaley House is one of the most popular tourist destinations in San Diego.

During the daytime, you can visit and learn about the building’s Greek Revival architecture from the mid-nineteenth century, as well as its extensive history as a home, granary, courtroom, and more.

At night, however, is when the ghosts come out to play. Take the Whaley House Ghost Tour to learn about the house that has been called America’s most haunted.

Ghost sightings on the Whaley property typically involve either one or more of the Whaley family members, or one of the criminals who were hanged on the property where the Whaley House was built. Other apparitions have included Yankee Jim, a man convicted of grand larceny before the construction of the house; previous tenants; and even the Whaley’s terrier, Dolly Varden.

Walking tours include the Whaley House itself as well as the surrounding grounds.

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Trolly Ride with Go Pass!
2-Day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego
Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley
Using your Go Pass, grab a 2 day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley. The trolley tour takes you through all the most popular areas of San Diego. It's a great way to start your trip and you'll learn where everything around the city is located.
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Local Tips
How much can you save by using the Go City Pass?

The Go City San Diego pass is the perfect way to explore more attractions and activities that the area has to offer, all while being cost-efficient.

With the Go City San Diego pass, you can save up to 55% off admission fees at some of the area’s most popular attractions.

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Tips to Help You Plan for Haunted Tours

Want to ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible? Here are some useful tips you should know before taking a tour.

Try Out Other Local Tours

Looking to experience the Old Town and Gaslamp area from a different angle, or just in need of a way to pass the time before your evening tour? Try a daytime tour like the The Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House, Old Town San Diego Hop-on Hop-off Narrated Tour, a Self-Guided Scooter tour in Old Town or even a trip to the nearby, world-famous San Diego Zoo for a full day authentic San Diego experience.

Don’t forget to bundle admission for multiple tours and save big when you purchase a Go San Diego pass in advance!

Stay at the Hotel Del Coronado

The Hotel Del Coronado is an excellent family-friendly hotel that’s not far from San Diego’s various ghost tours, making it the perfect place to stay. Enjoy the hotel’s many amenities including a fitness center with yoga classes, an in-room coffee maker, and free WiFi access in the rooms and lobby.

Featured Hotel
Cosmopolitan Hotel
Restaurant Sitting Area at Cosmopolitan Hotel
2 Stars2 Stars
The Cosmopolitan Hotel is a historic landmark located in downtown San Diego. Complete with vintage furniture & timely details, the hotel has a haunting charm.
Prices Starting at $99
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Hop On & Off Narrated Trolley Tour
Hop On & Off Narrated Trolley Tour
$42 per person
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Davis-Horton House Museum
Davis-Horton House Museum
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