Your Guide To All Things Haunted In San Diego
San Diego, a city renowned for its picturesque beaches, vibrant culture, and year-round sunshine, is also home to a darker, spine-tingling side. As one of the most historic cities in the United States, San Diego’s past is riddled with tales of ghostly apparitions, eerie encounters, and chilling mysteries. With Halloween just around the corner, what better time to explore the haunted history that lurks beneath the sunny surface? We’re even getting into the spirit at Island Palms, with spooky movie screenings poolside, creepy cocktail specials, and macabre menu items at Blue Wave Bar & Grill — plus plenty of other freaky-fun festivities. Get ready for a treat (and maybe a few tricks) as we delve into all things spooky and supernatural in San Diego below!
Guided Ghost Tours (various locations)
If you’re looking for a singularly spine-tingling experience, consider a San Diego ghost tour. Ghosts & Gravestones offers an interactive evening tour that takes you to some of San Diego’s most haunted locations, including the El Campo Santo Cemetery and Whaley House. Haunted San Diego Tours offers a spooky indoor/outdoor spin through several paranormal locations on foot. And San Diego Ghost Tours is a locals’ favorite that promises an unforgettably unsettling experience.
San Diego Ghost Tours: 2754 Calhoun St, San Diego, 92110, San Diego, CA (4.2 miles)
Ghosts & Gravestones: 4008 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110 (4.4 miles)
Haunted San Diego Tours: 2415 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110 (4.8 miles)
Oculto 477 (5 miles)
Don’t miss stepping into the historic world of the prohibition-era “roaring twenties” at the world’s first cemetery-adjacent speakeasy, Oculto 477. Named in honor of the 477 “residents” at El Campo Santo Cemetery, this clandestine bar adds a touch of mystery to your October adventures. 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.
2414 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
The Whaley House Museum (5 miles)
The Whaley House, often dubbed the “most haunted house in America,” is an iconic San Diego landmark that has intrigued ghost hunters 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.
2476 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
Haunted Trail and eXperiment Maze at Balboa Park (5.6 miles)
Named one of the 10 best-haunted attractions in the country by CNN, Balboa Park’s Halloween Haunts offerings are not to be missed. The tranquil grounds of the beloved park will change from peaceful to petrifying thanks to a pair of blood-chilling attractions. The Haunted Trail offers thrillseekers a mile-long twisted trail through the misty old-growth trees, each step packed with the potential for panic. And the eXperiment Maze offers a 3,500-square-foot labyrinth of fear with scares around every corner.
Balboa Dr & Juniper Rd, San Diego, CA 92101
SeaWorld’s Spooktacular and Howl-O-Scream Events (5.7 miles)
SeaWorld is hosting not just one, but two seasonal spookfests this Halloween. The “treats by day” Halloween Spooktacular is a family-friendly event where kids can come to trick-or-treat, show off their costumes, and visit their favorite animal friends. The other side of the coin is the “frights by night” Howl-O-Scream celebration, where the SeaWorld you know and love will be transformed into a seriously sinister experience, complete with creepy creatures and haunted horrors. Visit if you dare!
500 SeaWorld Dr, San Diego, CA 92109
San Diego Zombie Crawl (6.3 miles)
The Gaslamp Quarter is San Diego’s center for nightlife 362 days of the year. The other three? The graveyard’s liveliest denizens take over and turn the downtown neighborhood into a Necropolis of the undead. Zombie Crawl participants are invited to deck themselves out in their finest rags and rot on October 27, 28, and 31 — then lurch and lumber to more than a dozen costume parties, bar celebrations, creeped-out clubs, and haunted attractions across the neighborhood.
628 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA, 92101
HalGLOWeen at the San Diego Zoo (7.7 miles)
The San Diego Zoo is once again holding its HalGLOWeen extravaganza this year! The 2023 event will be happening Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays all month, and will feature park-wide performances, games, costumes, a live Skeleton band, bubble dance party and Dia de los Muertos mariachi music and more. Plus, keep an eye out for the Boo Crew, special spooky treats and eats, and plenty of creepy fun all month long.
2920 Zoo Dr, San Diego, CA 92101
Halloween Aglow at Birch Aquarium (13 miles)
The newest area attraction to join the Halloween fun is Birch Aquarium at Scripps. The whole facility will be coming alive during the evenings of this family event, set to feature a costume contest, live entertainment, trick-or-treating, and much more. The Giant Kelp Forest will be featuring scary skeleton divers, too! Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about undersea life from the very same team that’s working to research it all.
2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
Scream Zone in Del Mar (22 miles)
For those seeking spine-tingling thrills and chills, the Scream Zone (held annually at the Del Mar SGARE-Grounds) is the place to be every October. As the sun sets, this eerie attraction transforms into a haunted maze, complete with terrifying creatures and immersive scare zones. Test your bravery and navigate through the darkness, but beware – the Scream Zone is not for the faint of heart…so be sure to bring your sense of spooky adventure.
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014
There’s no better way to explore San Diego’s creepiest corners than with a stay at Best Western Plus Island Palms this October! Our fantastic accommodations, guest-first amenities, and rates aren’t scary in the slightest. So when you’re ready to reserve your eerie exploration of “America’s Finest City”, take a look at our Special Offers page, select the San Diego travel deal that’s right for you, and get ready for your ghoulish getaway! *As some added fun for those of you who particularly enjoy bites and spirits- be sure to check out Blue Wave’s Spooky Specials menu, happening October 27th-31st, available to the public! With specials like the “Vampire Killer” burger and “Monster Smash” cocktail- it’s a Halloween weekend treat you won’t want to miss.