Paranormal Yakker with your host Stan Mallow

Click on Sandee Wilhoit photo below to view video Interview



Season 1 Episode 23

Sandee Wilhoit. Historian, lead tour guide at the haunted Davis-Horton House in San Diego.
Sandee Wilhoit is a historian, lead tour guide, and resident ghost lady at the haunted Gaslamp Museum and Davis-Horton House in San Diego, California. In her interview with Stan Mallow, the Paranormal Yakker, Sandee explains the importance and historical significance of The Davis-Horton House, the oldest house in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. In her capacity as resident ghost lady at the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House, Sandee talks about the many ghosts she has seen over the years, and the conversations she had with them. She also talks about the strange paranormal activity she and others, both fellow workers and visitors, have experienced. Sandee even reveals her connection to ghosts and the spirit world as a young girl.
Along with her colleague, Jamie Laird, Sandee Wilhoit organizes paranormal investigations at the museum. Those investigations, many of which resulted in not just orbs but full-body spirits photographed are detailed for Stan. Further, Sandee talks about which psychic phenomena and paranormal activity she witnessed that stands out most. In addition to talking about the Gaslamp Museum and the Davis-Horton House, Sandee talks about historical tours of the Gaslamp Quarter and the importance of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. Its mission being to preserve the architecture, culture, and history for future generations.

Transcript of video Interview

Interview
Intro music.
Stan Mallow
Hi everyone. I'm Stan Mallow. Welcome to Paranormal Yakker. my guest on today's show, who I'll be yakking with, is Sandee Wilhoit, historian, lead tour guide and resident ghost lady at the Gaslamp Museum and Davis-Horton House in San Diego, California. Sandee Wilhoit, welcome to Paranormal Yakker.
Sandee Wilhoit
Thank you, Stan, I'm happy to be here.
Stan Mallow
The Davis-Horton House is the oldest house in San Diego, historic Gaslamp Quarter, which is on the National Registry of Historic Places. What is the historical significance of the Gaslamp Quarter, and perhaps more specifically, the Davis-Horton House itself?
Sandee Wilhoit
Well, the Gaslamp District downtown is actually the historical part of modern San Diego. And by modern, I mean it was founded in 1850. And that's relatively modern because there had been Spanish explorers who just kind of stopped, said "Ew, this place is awful and kept going." But, we'll claim it for Spain anyway. But, after the Mexican American War, when this was a territory and then a state, in fact, it became the state in 1850. Then that's when, what we consider the modern period, started. The Davis-Horton House is important because it was the only home in which Alonzo Horton, the founder of modern San Diego, lived. He had five mansions, but they were all razed. And our little house is still going strong. It was brought here by the original person that came and wanted to found a city. And that was William Heath Davis. His wife, Maria De Jesus Estudillo, had family here in our old town district, which is about five miles away. So I'm sure most people know, that at that time, San Francisco was having the gold rush, and so they needed housing to house all those 49ers, the miners. So what he did was purchase 10 little prefab houses from Portland, Maine. This was a pretty common thing to do. They were bringing them to San Francisco where he lived, so that they could provide housing. However, since these houses were made in Portland, Maine, they had to go all the way around Cape Horn, all the way up to San Francisco. So by the time they got there, it was too little too late. But, he was ever resourceful. He said, turn around and go back down to San Diego. And out of the 10 little houses, our museum is the only one that has survived. It was also the first county hospital. And it was home for some officers for Army of the Pacific that were here then. I know that's a lot to swallow, but it's got a long history.
Stan Mallow
No, I think it's fascinating. This is a history lesson, so you're the historian. So I think it's great for you sharing that. Now, in your capacity as resident ghost lady at the Gaslamp Museum, I was wondering if you can recall how many ghosts you might've seen over the years, and by an chance, do you know who they are?
Sandee Wilhoit
Yes and yes and yes.
Stan Mallow
Oh, great.
Sandee Wilhoit
I have seen so many that I have lost count. A lot of times, because Horton did his business there, you see them just kind of walking through. And you're going, "Oh." But there are some that do come and stay pretty regularly and have been seen by other people. One of them is the one we called The Lady in Black, which wears an all black dress. Now she really likes to show herself to children, especially when I do the children's historical tours through the house. But I've seen her three times. My colleague, Jamie, has seen her. She mostly likes to stand at the top of the stairs. And when I do my paranormal investigations and a lot of times when I'm just walking through the house or just sitting at the desk, I turn on my little phone app and they just talk all the time. We're under shut down now because of the pandemic. But I went down a couple of weeks ago just to get some research materials. So I turned my little phone on, and the children, we have so many children there, and they love play with the equipment. Turn lights on and pulling stuff. And so they were all around me and yak, yak, yakking, and I think they were lonely. And then they said, "We want to go outside." And I thought, "Well, that's odd." so I said, "Well, go ahead." It's just amazing to me. But my whole feeling is that everybody that lived in that house, liked it so much, that they just never left. And, I also get the doctor that came around, Dr. Stockton, when it was a hospital. All kinds of people.
Stan Mallow
You sort of explained the next question I'm going to ask you, but maybe you can go into a little bit more detail. And that is, how did the resident ghosts of the house, make themselves known to you? And what form of communication was used to interact with them? Was it telepathic, were you just picking up? Were they saying something? Did you just see them in image or entirety? Like the Lady in Black, you saw her in her clothing. How clear, how did you communicate?
Sandee Wilhoit
Well, when I first started working there, which was in 2008, towards the end of 2008. I'm a retired high school teacher. A lot of strange little things started happening. Things were moved, we'd get there in the morning and there would be something right smack in the middle of the floor. And then we'd hear a little bit. Then finally, the executive director at that time, called me into his office. And he said, "Well, have these things always happened to you?" And I said, "Well, yes." And he said, "Well, let's see if we can't figure out what's going on." So he called in some paranormal investigators and they showed me how to use equipment. And then I got my own equipment, and boy, then everything started happening. They were so happy to talk. I used an old Ovilus pen. I have an app on my phone, which they seem to like a lot. If I don't turn it on, they'll say, "Phone." And I'll say, "Okay, okay." I turn it on. I use the divining rod, like Dr. Stockton particularly loves the diving rod. I use the K2 meter. And then my colleague, Jamie and I, just got this new gadget called an EDI. The children seem to be especially fond of, because it has different kinds of blinking lights. And sometimes they talk out loud, and that always gets your attention, let me tell you. And so, just all kinds of things. I've been able to see things. So, the first time I saw something I was with just about 14, 15 months old. And, I told my grandmother because my mother didn't like to hear about that. She'd say, "Don't talk about that." My grandmother would say, "Oh, leave her alone." See, because grandmother could do it too, but my mother couldn't. But, I sort of just never really did a lot. I get a lot of stuff in dreams too. And then I go back and look at it. But, when you're in high school, you don't want to say, "Hey, you know, I can talk to dead people." So, but then the more I'm down there, the more they start coming in. And one of the spirits even has a nickname for me now.
Stan Mallow
Up close and personal. I think that's great. Now, my next question again, you've sort of answered too, but maybe go into more detail. And that is, did any of the ghosts at the house tell you why they decided to remain on the earth plane instead of evolving into the spirit world? Was it just because, that you said, they just liked it? Is there unfinished business they had to do? Or did they go into any more detail with you?
Sandee Wilhoit
They never have. Only one time, one of them did. And I don't ask, I get the feeling, this inner feeling that I'm not supposed to talk to them about that. But in the Davis-Horton House, they have one room that's set up like a children's room. And I was just sitting up there with the Ovilus and I had other people there too. And this little girl came through and her name was Elise. And she said she was five and she fell out of a tree. But that's all she said. But nobody else ever said anything. And when I went down, not that long ago, I was talking to Dr. Stockton in the parlor. I had my app on. And I said, "Dr. Stockton, are you here?" And he said, "Here." And I said, "You know, I'm so sorry I haven't been down here in a while. We're having this pandemic." I said, "It's kind of like plague and we're all supposed to stay home." And he gives me this bored, angst answer. He goes, "I know." "[inaudible 00:11:41], Sandee, don't you think I know." So apparently they're very much aware.
Stan Mallow
I was going to talk to you about... Were you always aware of having, to be able to communicate with spirit. And you said at a young age, you did. So, for sure. But did you find when you got to the museum, that it became stronger, it manifested itself more?
Sandee Wilhoit
Oh, much more, much more. And before, I never used any equipment. So I'd have to... And it's one of those things too, that I never knew when it was going to happen. Just like I don't know when it's going to happen now. When I give my tours, I tell the people, the spirits are very capricious. You can't tell them what to do. You can say, "Do you want to talk?" Or something like that. But if they don't, they don't.
Stan Mallow
And have they always been friendly with you, with the people that are there?
Sandee Wilhoit
Yes. We only have nice spirits. And if I have the equipment on, strange things can come in. And if something comes in that doesn't sound right, I just say, "I'm not going to talk to you." And I turn the equipment off. That we only like good spirits in here. And it just seems to me to [inaudible 00:13:08] be the people that lived there or came there, were patients there, when it was a hospital. And I also get people that were in the gaslamp time there, every now and again. And then in other buildings, because we have so many historic buildings downtown, I've gotten some of the Davis-Horton House people. One of them, I said, "What are you doing here?" And I said, "You don't live here." And I knew who I was talking to. He goes, "In the neighborhood." So, that kind of answered a question that I had, and other people had too. Can they move around or are they stuck in the house? I said, "Well, apparently they can move around."
Stan Mallow
And it's obvious to me from just speaking with you and what's happening there at the house, at the museum, obviously there's an affinity between you and the spirits over there. Because they just don't manifest itself for anybody and they're doing it for you. So I think that's wonderful that that's happening.
Sandee Wilhoit
I think it's because I've worked there longer than anybody. I think they're just used to me or something. I don't know. I think of them as gee, they're friends.
Stan Mallow
Now this next question may come out of left field and if you don't want to answer it, that's okay. But it has my curiosity. You are an historian, and obviously very knowledgeable about the area and you love what you're doing and what's happening in that era that you are taking people tours on. Did you ever think, or, maybe there's something to reincarnation. Maybe you were there at a certain time in history and this is feeling very comfortable with you. And you're back with old friends that are home or not? I'm just curious.
Sandee Wilhoit
You know, I've always believed in reincarnation. And I guess, I don't know if I lived there, but I feel very comfortable there. And years and years ago, this is like in the seventies, I did a past life regression and I had a whole bunch of lives. And I know I had one in that time, but it wasn't in downtown San Diego. I just feel very comfortable there in that time. I wish I could time travel, even just for a few minutes, just to look out the window.
Stan Mallow
Well, you have this beautiful imagination, so whatever you think up, and there's validity in that too. I think that's wonderful, because you hear so many horror stories sometimes, about people with ghosts and spirits and scaring people and haunting people. But over here it's family, just not in the physical form.
Sandee Wilhoit
Yeah, yeah. I really like them. We're friends talking.
Stan Mallow
That's how I feel talking with you right now to be quite candid. Now, in addition to your tours, along with one of your colleagues, Jamie Laird, I believe you referred to Jamie earlier, bi-monthly paranormal investigations are organized at the museum. Did you ever have mediums or channelers join those investigations? And if you did, did any of them pick up on something that you were not previously aware of?
Sandee Wilhoit
No, we haven't had mediums. They did have one a long time ago. And I think it was in 2005, before I started working there. And she said, "This is one of the most haunted houses in America." And she thought it was wonderful. And it was good for her too. It wasn't like bad spirits.
Stan Mallow
But, in my investigation, every now and again, the people that are my guests, they have maybe some of their family come in, and I will have no clue what this Ovilus is talking about until somebody goes, "Oh, that was this. That was that." And I'll tell them, "Well, go ahead, talk." I urge them to participate. That's kind of the whole idea, to me, of the investigation. Let's see what you can get. We know what I can get. Do you ever think of having a seance over there?
Sandee Wilhoit
I kind of don't like the idea. It's like seances and Ouija boards, I don't think those are good. I kind of like to keep it the way it is. I know a lot of different... The TV shows and stuff want to come down, or different paranormal investigating groups want to come in. And just from a financial point, because we have been closed since March, I can't give walking tours when there aren't any tourists. So, we're thinking, well maybe on a limited basis, we should do that. But, I would need to be there. Because first and foremost, the museum. And everything in that house is an antique, it's not reproduction. And the house is set up to look the way it did when these people lived there. Some of the things are original to the house, many of them. It's like, you can't come in and flop on the furniture or something. One guy got mad one time and he says, "It's hot in here, there's no A/C." And I said, there wasn't A/C." And I said, "You can't sit on the furniture because they're antique. I don't sit on the furniture." [crosstalk].
Stan Mallow
I did some research on the house and the museum, and so many beautiful things there. And the original staircase is intact. That's amazing. The staircase-
Sandee Wilhoit
Yeah, that's the one... I'm glad you saw the staircase, because at the top of the staircase is where the Lady in Black likes to stand. And you'll like this, being from Canada. I was doing a tour for some Canadian surgical nurses. And I was standing in one room, facing them, talking. And all of a sudden, the Lady in Black, walked across behind them. And one of the women went, "What are you looking at?" I go, "Nothing." I didn't want to say, "Well, I didn't want to say anything, but, a ghost just walked behind you."
Stan Mallow
And that staircase, everything that I've seen, that's in the museum, it's really lovely. And when things become good again and people... You can take tours, that would be great to see it firsthand, in person, upfront with that.
Sandee Wilhoit
Give tours in the inside of the house too. It's part of our walking tours, we bring them in. Because there's so many little backstories to the different things in the house, like the carpets and the bath tub and the stove, things like that.
Stan Mallow
And people love backstories. And you as an historian, obviously did your research, and you could come up with it. That's why I think, in most cities now, probably the most popular things, when people visit a city, the destination is going to be the old areas, places that are haunted, et cetera. So I know with people now. I'm sure there's a lot of people out there getting ready, when these dark times are over and they're going to be traveling again, that's going to be a destination for that. And again, San Diego is really a lovely city.
Sandee Wilhoit
Oh, I hope they'll come.
Stan Mallow
Yes. Now from all the psychic phenomena and paranormal activity, you and others have experienced, is there one that stands out above all others and literally blows your mind when you think about it?
Sandee Wilhoit
Well, it was kind of funny. We figured out. Or when one of the spirits gave me my nickname. We were sitting there, and there were three of us in a row, three women. And we knew we were talking to George Deyo. So, we kind of wanted to know, "Can you see us?" One girl said, "George, what color is my hair?" The Ovilus said black. One girl in the middle said, "What color is my hair?" "Brown." "Yeah." I was the third on that said, "What color is my hair?" He said, "Cotton top." So that's what he calls me sometimes. It's an old timey name for a blonde. I like them all. I could tell you a story about each one of them that I like that stands out. George likes to be on TV. He likes to talk, [inaudible 00:22:17] say his name.
Stan Mallow
Have you or any visitors captured orbs of other paranormal phenomena on your tours?
Sandee Wilhoit
Oh Yeah, yeah. We've even gotten photographs. Not just an orb. Because you got to kind of be careful with orbs, to be able to differentiate what is it, like maybe a dust [inaudible 00:22:38] or a real orb, and we do get real orbs. It's kind of fun to watch real orbs go up that staircase. But we've got an actual photograph. As a historian too, the cool thing is, that when they give me a name, I have a resource to look them up. And not always, but there were a lot of people coming and going, especially when the house was a boarding house, but they'll say things, so that you know [inaudible 00:23:04] they were there at one time.
Stan Mallow
While the Davis-Horton House had a variety of residents over the years, and has served different purposes, from residential home to hospital. I think its latest reincarnation, serving as a museum and the headquarters of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, is probably the most noble one. Because I was reading the whole history of it, and it was great. But what you're involved with now, I think this reincarnation is great and I want to applaud you and all who have supported what you're doing, and your mission to preserve architecture, culture and history of the Gaslamp Quarter for future generations. I think that's important, because regretfully, in the last number of years, too many historical sites too much of a history all over the world, is just being destroyed, to make room for and replaced with malls, parking lots and condos.
Sandee Wilhoit
That just breaks my heart when I see that. All of us at the museum, Jamie and I and our boss, Brianna, and we are all so committed to that. And we also have a true, historical reenactors. I'm one of them, of course, called the Gaslamp Players where we go around to a lot of different entities. We go to church groups. We go to, just anybody that wants us. Jamie and I are doing one for the DAR on women' suffrage because there's a big suffrage movement in San Diego back in the day. We just go to all these different entities that want us. And again, it keeps that alive. People will tell us when we're doing our tours, "I walked around downtown or I came to dinner down here, but I never really looked at these buildings." And I tell them, "And don't just look in the door, look up." They have some amazing roof lines. The architecture in the Gaslamp is stunning if you stop and look at it. And we have a fully restored 1880, Victorian store front, where I take my people in. It's a hat shop, love hats.
Stan Mallow
I commend you for that. Now should any of my viewers want to learn more about your tours, your paranormal investigations, the Gaslight Museum and the Gaslamp Quarter-
Sandee Wilhoit
Gaslamp
Stan Mallow
... Historical Foundation. How do they go about doing that?
Sandee Wilhoit
Well, they could go on our website. We're on all the social media. In fact, on YouTube right now, I'm doing a bunch of things. I've done 15 of them. And you can go back and look at all of them, called Victorian Snippets. Where it's got kind of a tongue in cheek, then and now. We're on YouTube, on Instagram. It's on Instagram Tuesday. So they can go on our website, Gaslamp quarter historical foundation, or you can just type in Gaslamp Museum. And then it'll take you right to our home page. And it'll say, take a tour, or it'll give you like some little blurbs. You can also email me at wilhoit@gaslampfoundation.org.
Stan Mallow
Perfect. I want to make sure you get as much publicity as you can, because what you're involved with is so worthy. And I just wish more people in other areas of the country, of the world, would think the way you do, and the people that are around you, to preserve a part of history that, once it's gone, it's gone. And here, instead of reading about it in a book, they could see it up close and personal.
Sandee Wilhoit
It's so much fun. Everybody always says, "Well, I didn't know this and I didn't know that, and this is amazing." They were amazing back then, how they managed to do everything they did without the different technologies and things we have.
Stan Mallow
Yes, and if you knew back then how real estate would go up, I'm sure you'd buy up a lot of property.
Sandee Wilhoit
Listen, I live downtown, right at the edge of the Gaslamp. And boy, my real estate has gone up in the last 20 years. I'm like, "Whoa, I'm not going anywhere." I still have people trying to buy this condo. And I'm going, "It isn't for sale."
Stan Mallow
You have actually, the best weather throughout the year, from any state in the United States, San Diego. Sandee Wilhoit, I thank you for being my guest on Paranormal Yakker. I wish you much deserved success with your projects. I wish you well. You're a wonderful lady. And again, I encourage you with what you're doing and I thank you and everybody, from future generations, for what you're doing now.
Stan Mallow
Hi everyone, I'm Stan Mallow, host of Paranormal Yakker. An exciting free YouTube series that explores everything from ghosts to UFO. To view this series, just click on any of the photo thumbnails below. I would greatly appreciate it, if you subscribe to my free YouTube channel. All you have to do is click on the subscribe for free button at the top of this page. Thanks.