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The most haunted places in San Francisco

They're creepy and they're spooky and they're all in San Francisco! Learn about some of our most haunted sites just in time for Halloween! Of course, many of these hauntings and ghost stories are just rumors so we highly encourage you to make the visit to San Francisco this October to do some ghost hunting of your own to confirm or deny them!


From the many famous (or infamous) inmates that called Alcatraz home to the things that happened inside its walls, Alcatraz has been known to give tourists and locals the chills. Visitors have heard voices, clanging doors, and footsteps behind them as well as felt unnaturally cold in the Dining Hall. Others have reported feelings of dread as they see and smell “The Thing.” See if you can lure out a spirit on a night tour of The Rock!

The Curran Theater

In 1933, a robbery occurred and a ticket taker, Hewlett Tarr, was shot and killed. Tarr seems to have stayed in the theater and guests have reported seeing him in the lobby. Others have spotted the ghost of a little girl who is believed to have been killed across the street.

San Francisco City Hall

City Hall

Unfortunately, San Francisco’s City Hall was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire and the rebuilt 1915 version has seen its share of tragedy and hauntings. In 1978, Dan White assassinated Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk after a dispute. Since then, security officers have heard strange noises and seen paranormal activity when the Hall appears empty.

Want to hear more of the thrilling tales? Take the free ghost walk at City Hall tour with San Francisco City Guides (though donations are recommended) and learn about the cemetery that was once there, the remains left behind, and otherworldly sightings!

The San Francisco Art Institute

Built in 1900 near Russian Hill and North Beach, the institute might have invoked the wrath of upset spirits as it’s said to be built atop an old graveyard. Inside, you might hear screams, approaching footsteps, or perhaps even see an apparition. Construction workers working on the tower have had their equipment moved or broken, lights turned off on them, and even screamed at to get out.

The Presidio

A National Cemetery, historic buildings, and an old army base set the stage for this haunted site in San Francisco! Today, the Letterman Digital Arts Center is one hotspot of activity with cold spots and spooky sounds – perhaps remnants of its old army hospital days? Others have seen ghostly figures and army men who still perform their routine duties on the grounds.

Golden Gate Park

If you’re visiting Golden Gate Park at night, you might come across two spirits. The first resides at Stow Lake with the “White Lady.” More than a hundred years ago, a mother was walking around the park with her baby in a stroller. She sat down and began a conversation with another woman. After a while she realized the stroller was missing and frantically asked if anyone knew where her baby was. It dawned on her that the stroller was in the lake and she went in after it. Take a walk around Stow Lake at night and she might come out of the lake to ask if you’ve seen her baby.

There have also been reports of people receiving a ticket from a police officer in Golden Gate Park to find out the issuing officer hasn’t been on duty for many, many years. He likes to ticket people for traffic violations but he can’t seem to follow you out of the park!

San Francisco Columbarium

The Columbarium

The hand that grabs you in the Columbarium isn’t that of your partner but it could be that of the spirit of a young girl who’s buried there. The Neptune Society Columbarium was originally part of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, with cremated remains dating back to the late 1800s, and is now a registered city landmark. 

The Queen Anne Hotel

Built in the 1890s as The Mary Lake School for Girls, this Victorian mansion is haunted today by one of San Francisco’s friendliest ghosts! Mary Lake, the headmistress, was distraught when the school closed due to a lack of resources and funding and it seems she’s never truly left her position. Most occurrences are in Lake’s room, room 410, where she might unpack clothing, pick up items that have fallen, and even occasionally tuck in guests when they aren’t properly under the covers.

Sutro Baths site in San Francisco

Sutro Baths

Once the world’s largest indoor swimming pool establishment, back in 1896, complete with slides, diving boards, and restaurants, the Sutro Baths was a top destination for San Franciscans and visitors. Now, after burning down in 1966, the baths accommodate more ethereal guests. If you’re brave enough, you could enter the ruins at the tunnels at the bottom of the cliffs and leave a lit candle. A ghost will toss the candle back out into the ocean. The question is, is it the young girl who was swept out to sea and drowned or is the ghost of and older gentleman who likes to whistle as he roams about the ruins?

Can’t get enough of San Francisco’s haunted past? Learn more about it on the San Francisco Ghost Hunt Walking Tour!

After a night of ghost hunting, enjoy a reprieve from restless spirits as you get your rest in one of our lovely rooms at our historic (but not haunted) Victorian mansion!

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