Report: Things Get Spooky While Ghost Hunting at The William Heath Davis House in San Diego
Being a paranormal buff, I've been on a lot of ghost hunting expeditions. Each time I managed to capture one or two cool things that were unexplained, but usually it's a lot of walking around and listening to stories. Not this time.
The William Heath Davis House hit our radar a few weeks ago when my significant other, Debi, noted that a ghost hunting event had been planned. Of course we bought tickets, and the countdown to zero hour was on. One thing that immediately grabbed our attention was that this was actually proposed to be more of a hunt and less of a tour. The usual ghost tours kind of suck as you're not allowed to really investigate anything. Not here and not with The San Diego Ghost Hunters. The team spearheaded by Maritza Skandunas and her cohorts Colleen Rose, Julie Haney, and Sandee Wilhoit take their investigating seriously and aren't afraid of throwing you directly on the front lines of the paranormal. More on that in a moment. First let's take a look at the house itself.
When it comes to haunted locations in San Diego, a few places immediately spring to mind, specifically The Whaley House, which is reported to be one of the most haunted homes in America. Having toured and been there, I can tell you first-hand... in terms of paranormal phenomenon it doesn't have ANYTHING on the William Heath Davis House.
As per the SDGH:
William Heath Davis was the first man who attempted to build what we know today as downtown San Diego. In 1850 he began his New Town by the bay, by purchasing a shipment of pre-cut wooden houses from Portland, Maine. They were shipped around Cape Horn to San Diego Bay.
In 1867 Alonzo E. Horton and his wife, Sarah, traveled to San Diego with the plan of succeeding where Davis had failed. Horton purchased 960 acres of land and a one-half interest in the Davis house. He and Sarah lived in the house while his mansion was being built. Horton opened a real estate office in San Francisco and began selling his new land. Thanks to his shrewd business skills and timing, he was able to begin the first real estate boom in San Diego.
The Davis is the only house left standing in San Diego where Horton resided.
The Davis house has been located on 3 lots during its lifetime:
The house has been rumored to be haunted for years because of the many colorful characters who have resided in the house. Not only was the house a residence to many, it was also a hospital for about ten years where many deaths from consumption and tetanus have been recorded. The house was also an officers' quarters prior to the Civil War and was reported to have a WWI German spy in hiding who used the house for his purposes. He was later captured and researchers have made contact with his angry spirit.
Upon entering the house for the first time, we were immediately greeted by the investigative team and treated to a short history lesson along with some pretty compelling stuff which they captured over the years, including images of apparitions and some truly Class A EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). After about fifteen minutes members of our group were handed EMF (electro magetic field) readers, and the hunt commenced.
The entire time we were there, we were encouraged to take as many photos as possible. First on our agenda was a session with an Ovilus. For those unacquainted with the device, it basically allows a spirit, if present, to speak through it using a database of words it has stored in its memory. Now that may sound kind of hokey, but when you witness direct communication with this thing in which it is giving answers to questions being asked, it may change your mind. During our session it actually pinpointed that Debi and myself were in the entertainment industry. No one there, including the team members, knew that. Make of that what you will.
From there the team took us around to various rooms of the house that had some form of historical significance pertaining to what we were all doing there. In the parlor room we engaged in a dousing rod session, a practice which makes it possible for spirits to communicate by moving the rods in a user's hands. It was during this session that we caught our first EVP which definitely wasn't human.
In the following MP3 you can clearly hear a cat meowing. Click here for EVP. What's interesting about this is that it was DEAD SILENT in the room. And hey, I'm a cat person. If I would have heard this, I would have immediately been like, "Wow! Where's the kitty?" No one heard this until the recording was reviewed a short time after.