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Gems of San Diego

Home of fun and out-of-the way places in San Diego

El Campo Santo Cemetery

El Campo Santo Cemetery  

Old Town, San Diego

El Campo Santo cemetery was opened in 1849 and was in use and active through the mid-1800's. A number of important people of San Diego in that era were buried there including a retired Assemblyman, Edward Greene. Listed as one of the 8 most haunted cemeteries in the world by Hotels-Fairy, it is said to host at least two ghosts, including that of Yankee Jim Robinson, who was hung at the nearby Whaley House and is said to haunt both sites.

In 1889 a horse-drawn streetcar line was built through part of the cemetery. Because the remains of some of the dead on that edge of the cemetery were not relocated, that section of the street was never paved until in 1942. For reasons unknown to me, the dead were still never relocated. Their resting place was simply paved over! Unbelievable!

When you visit the cemetery look around a bit beyond the fence line. You will find markers in the street of where some of the dead are, still today!

There are a number of paranormal reports over the years concerning this cemetery. People who leave their cars parked in front of the cemetery (on top of the many graves) often find them hard to start when they return; Car alarms will go off randomly with no one near them. And there are stories of people visiting the cemetery and reporting that they feel an icy chill when they walk through some spots. It is also said that a misty, glowing figure can sometimes be seen along the sidewalk, just outside the cemetery wall. In still other reports, what has been described as a Hispanic or Native American can be seen floating above the ground and a woman in a white Victorian dress or costume briefly appears along the south wall [GoThere.com].


You wont need any special gear to visit the cemetery except for the trusty bottle of water. There are a number of eateries very near by but you wont want to leave to get something and go back so have your water with you and complete your visit.


El Campo Santo Cemetery
2410 San Diego Ave
San Diego, CA 92110


The cemetery is open to visitors pretty much all the time. There is a self-guided tour available if you like. You can get the free brochure at the museum office located on the premises.

Writers Comments

I have visited the El Campo Santo cemetery a number of times. It isn't far from the many excellent restaurants and shops that Old Town is famous for so combining a trip with other outings is easy. As a hobby, I have been into genealogy for years so the place drew my attention. I have not seen any of the apparitions reported but I have seen a number of car alarms go off, one after the other, with no one near them.

The real spooky part for me are the grave markers in the middle of the street! I just can't understand how the city, any city, would let this happen. Incredible.

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