Haunted San Francisco
San Francisco, California is one of the most fascinating
and fun cities in the world. Besides its beautiful mountains and West Coast beaches, one of the reasons for its constant attraction to visitors is its amazing history. The Gold Rush is not the only history that San Francisco harbors.
Herb Caen, one of San Francisco’s most treasured residents, was a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle for many years until his death in 1997. One of his most endearing observations was what he said about San Franciscans who die and go to heaven. When they first pass through the Gates of Heaven, they look around and say, “It’s nice, but it’s not San Francisco.” There must be a lot of truth to that statement, because many of the City’s dearly departed have refused to leave San Francisco.
There are several haunted locations in the City by the Bay. The most haunted spot in the City is without a doubt, Alcatraz. The island, affectionately known as The Rock, is most famous for the prison that was there between 1933 and 1962. No prisoner was ever executed on Alcatraz, but a lot of people died there. Some were murdered, some died of natural causes, and one inmate died of supernatural causes. The spirits of these unfortunate souls still roam the hallways of the prison to this day. One of the tour guides on Alcatraz spent the night on the island alone, a display of bravery that is very seldom seen. Not only did he see ghosts, which was expected, but all night long, he heard cell doors opening and closing!
Civic Center is also known to house a few ghosts of its own, particularly in City Hall. The beautiful golden dome covers many unearthly secrets.
Several of the hotels in San Francisco have guests who may check out, but they never leave. The Fairmont Hotel is haunted in 3 locations, and the Nob Hill Inn has more ghosts than it has rooms! All of these ghosts have a wonderful sense of humor, and enjoy playing practical jokes on the living guests. The St. Francis Hotel has a few of its own permanent “residents.” One is the infamous Fatty Arbuckle, and another is Al Jolson, who died in the hotel.
If you keep your eye on the street near the corner of California and Taylor Streets, you may be one of the lucky ones who sees a bride floating down the street, looking for the man who left her at the alter of Grace Cathedral. When she realized that he was not coming to the wedding, she ran out into traffic to end her misery. However, like some women, she is still searching for the man of her dreams.
Who can blame these spirits for returning to San Francisco after they were supposed to have left the earth? If I get a choice when the time comes, I’ll stay too.
The Vampire Tour of San Francisco