The Haunting of Whaley House, a 2012 The Asylum horror flick, follows Penny, a tour guide at the eponymous historical Haunted House in San Diego, California. Penny doesn't believe in ghosts, but is disturbed at the number of tourists who wind up going into fits while touring the house. Her supervisor, played by veteran horror actress Lynn Lowry, warns Penny to never damage the house, to never enter the house at night, and to never call out the spirits. Thus, of course, Penny lets her friends into the house at night, lets them call out the ghosts, and then they break things. Horror ensues.
This film exhibits the following tropes:
- Black Guy Dies First: Averted. Ray dies second, after calling out the ghosts. Keith is the third to last person to die.
- California Doubling: The actual Whaley house is in Sandiego, but the film was shot at the Bembridge House in Long Beach. The producers considered using the actual Whaley house, but issues of small quarters and travel distance nixed the idea.
- Cell Phones Are Useless: Zig-Zagged. This trope is downplayed/subverted when a part of the teens' 911 call goes through and justified because supernatural forces in the house prevent the phones from working.
- Closed Circle: The doors lock and attempting to break the windows with a chair leads to the chair-wielder getting impaled by said chair.
- Death by Falling Over: Giselle, via the stairs.
- Downer Ending: None of the teens survive, and Penny is implied to be stuck haunting the house.
- Foreshadowing: In one scene, the teens hang out at a graveyard and all of them will die before the film ends.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Bobo somehow manages to turn and fully impale himself on a water pump. To add insult to injury, he falls on the pump handle and the pump begins to pump out his blood.
- I See Dead People: The tourist at the beginning of the film and Keith Drummond are both sensitive to the presence of ghosts. Keith even holds conversations with them.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: Santiago attempted this trope in the movie and in real life, although in both cases, it just resulted in a much longer and slower death. In the movie, it's claimed that he was tall enough that he was able to catch himself on his tiptoes before the rope went taut. In real life, he was pushed off a wagon and was able to catch back onto it with his feet for a time to relieve the pressure.
- Police are Useless: The teens manage part of a 911 call and hope for rescue from that quarter. Two officers arrive. One is killed by the ghost of Anna Whaley and the other is shot by a possessed Vanessa.
- Schmuck Bait: Penny's supervisor gives her three rules about the house. Of course, Penny and her friends break these rules. However, because the house manages to kill people who didn't set foot inside, so its unclear if these rules are just superstitions.
- Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The Whaley house is indeed reputed to be haunted, and most of the history described during the movie is correct. However, far fewer deaths occur on the grounds than the movie alleges.
- Who Wears Short Shorts?: Vanessa does.