Haunted Places in The Bay Area

Golden Gate Park

There’s a police officer ghost that roams Golden Gate Park. People will get pulled over and get speeding tickets by this guy, but when they go to file it through the courts they’ll find out that the officer listed doesn’t exist. He’s been dead for 10 years. Anyway, the story goes that if a cop in the park is trailing you, you need to go outside of the park first before you pull over. And once you do, the ghost cop will disappear.

And in the Strawberry Hill/Stowe Lake area, it has been said that in the 1920’s or 30’s a woman became pregnant & hide the pregnancy from her family. She disposed of the child and killed her self in the reservoir. At night if you’re at Stowe Lake you may see her walking around Strawberry Hill looking for her baby.

1. Currently at rest and serving as a museum at the Alameda Naval Base, the eighth USS Hornet was commissioned in 1943 in the heat of World War II. On-ship dangers - and the highest suicide rate in the Navy -  claimed 300 lives on the Hornet in its 27 years of active service. Visitors and crew at the now-museum report mysterious moving objects, ghosts of sailors wandering the ship, and other paranormal activity.

The Presidio Officer's Club, which underwent a historic renovation a few years ago, is just one of many spots in the Presidio that supposedly houses ghosts. A lady in a black dress has reportedly been seen in the officer's club and a Muni driver once reported picking up a gentleman in military dress at the Presidio — only to look in his rearview mirror and see the man had vanished. Many ghost investigators believe that renovations kick up spirit activity so the ghouls of the Presidio Officer's Club may be enjoying a revival. 

There are many mysteries surrounding San Jose's Winchester Mystery House. Switchback staircases descending seven steps before rising eleven, windows with 13 panes, and secret passageways. The biggest mystery of all: Does the eccentric woman who built the home over a century ago, Mrs. Sarah Winchester, still roam its halls? 

Numerous people from former prison guards to visitors have reported hearing inexplicable cries and other noises at Alcatraz. Others have reported being struck by a sudden chill. It is, after all, Alcatraz.

The city of Colma, at the northern end of the San Francisco peninsula, has more dead than living. Most of the land is dedicated to cemeteries, like the one shown above. Colma's the place to go if you're looking for a ghost.

Camp Bothin

The camp used to be an old tuberculosis Hospital and an Indian residence before it was made into a girl scout camp. It is said that at night you can hear and see the ghost of a nurse pushing her cart down the hallways and patients who died there moaning and groaning. It is also been said that Indian spirits have made appearances.

Dominican University

There is a ghost dubbed ‘blue boy’ who supposedly drowned in a bathtub. Some students say they have seen wet footprints near the site of haunting.

The Columbarium (Loraine Ct. @ Geary)
The very awesome Neptune Society Columbarium is home to many deceased San Franciscans’ ashes, including those of a young girl named Viola von Staden who died a year after the Great Quake of ‘06. In the years since, many a night watchman has reported seeing “Little Viola” wandering the Columbarium, sometimes making small talk and then disappearing.

Fireside Motel, Mill Valley Once a speakeasy, the Fireside has had a long history of strange activity, leading to a seance. It is believed that all disturbances within the motel are attributed to Miwok Indians that were buried underneath the site and have been disturbed. Unaccountable sounds have been reported since the mid-1950’s when two skeletons were first discovered under the floorboards.

Lyford House John Thomas Reed, who founded the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, had a mistress named Rosie Verrall. Guests have awoken to her or seen her in passing long after her death in 1964.

 

  • Fireside Motel

    Mill Valley, California

    Once a speakeasy, the Fireside has had a long history of strange activity, leading to a seance. It is believed that all disturbances within the motel are attributed to Miwok Indians that were buried underneath the site and have been disturbed. Unaccountable sounds have been reported since the mid-1950's when ...The ghost of a woman named Ella Nichols Park is seen looking out the windows. A boy with bushy hair has also been reported in the garden.

  • Lyford House

    Belvedere Tiburon, California

     

    John Thomas Reed, who founded the Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary, had a mistress named Rosie Verrall. Guests have awoken to her or seen her in passing long after her death in 1964. 

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    Falkirk Cultural Center

    San Rafael, California

    The ghost of a woman named Ella Nichols Park is seen looking out the windows. A boy with bushy hair has also been reported in the garden. 

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    Boccardo John / Sally Stanford’s Valhalla Inn

    Sausalito, California

    Before it became Boccardo John, Sally Stanford's Valhalla Inn was made famous by an appearance in Orson Welles' The Lady from Shanghai. It's said that Sally Stanford is seen outside of her former inn, as well as several other women (dressed out of date). 

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  • Marin Headlands Hostel / Marin Headlands

    Sausalito, California

     

    The land here was originally that of the Miwoks; however, by 1907, the land belonged to the U.S. military seeing as the grounds were a perfect point to thwart a surprise attack. Now a hostel for visitors, some of the spots here are said to be pure evil. One man reported to ghostvillage.com his account of being in the presence of one of the possibly many vicious entities in this area. As he described, he felt incredible chest pain, severe dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Other visitors have described the feeling of not being alone, seeing strange figures, and hearing odd voices....

  • Angel Island

    Belvedere Tiburon, California

     

    Angel Island is referred to as the “Ellis Island” of the west; immigrants wanting to head into the mainland were detained here until they were cleared to go through. Unfortunately, that process was devastating to some. Some people were shamed, humiliated, starved, and the horrific encounters would be documented (being carved into the walls in Chinese). Some people died before making it through either by disease, or in some cases, suicide. One girl who hung herself is said to have a presence that can be felt by anyone. Some people have been attacked by an invisible assailant or have seen the wandering souls of deceased immigrants.

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    The Golden Gate Bridge

    San Francisco, California

     

    This is the number one suicide location in the United States, with an average of 25 deaths per year (more than a thousand since construction). While the ghostly jumpers might still be there, another lessen known entity has been spotted in this vincinity. In 1853, the SS Tennessee sank in the area; since then, some people crew members on other boats have reported passing the Tennessee without seeing it on their radars.

  • Bothin Youth Center

    Fairfax, California

    This land once held a Native American reservation, then a hospital building for tuberculosis patients. It is now a Girl Scouts camp. Reports say that the ghost of a nurse has been seen pushing a cart in the hallways. Native American apparitions and screams and moans have been witnessed as ...

  • Alcatraz

    San Francisco, California

    The former maximum-security prison set on an island is now a musuem and tourist attraction. Visitors and tour guides alike have reported unexplained screams, slamming cell doors, banjo music and footsteps. The site has been investigated by both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Labs.

  • Presidio Officers Club

    San Francisco, California

    Ghost hunters have said they saw, and captured on film, the apparition of an aristocratic woman in a flowing black dress gliding across the dance floor. The ghost was spotted during the daytime.

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  • The Neptune Society San Francisco Columbarium

    San Francisco, California

     

    Once part of the Odd Fellows Cemetery, the Columbarium has been the site of some eerie happenings. A visitor once felt the sensation of a hand on her back, but no one was there. Afterward, a white handprint remained on her blouse.

  • San Francisco Art Institute

    San Francisco, California

     

    This was built over the site of a cememtery and people have reported seeing a gray figure in the bathroom. (Submitted by Chris Berglund)

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    Golden Gate Park

    San Francisco, California

     

    A ghost cop is said to haunt Golden Gate Park, even giving people speeding tickets. When they go to pay the ticket, the court will say it doesn't exist. Reports say once you are outside the park grounds, the ghost cop disappears.

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  • Stow Lake Ghost

    San Francisco, California

     

    This story has been around for over a century. In Golden Gate park, a lady was walking her baby in a stroller. As she sat on a bench to rest, she didn't notice that the stroller had rolled into the lake. She asked everyone she saw if they had seen ...

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    Queen Anne Hotel

    San Francisco, California

     

    Alleged to be haunted by Mary Lake, the headmistress of the girls school that originally occupied the location. She is predominately felt in the room that bears her name, room 410. People claim to feel her presence and hear tapping and other noises associated with her haunting.

  • USS Hornet

  • Alameda, California

     

    This retired aircraft carrier, historic landmark, and museum is said to be the most haunted warship in the world. It has been used as a setting on many movies and has been featured on several TV shows, including MTV's Fear, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Scariest Places on Earth. 

Have you ever experienced something you think may be paranormal in nature? Share your experiences below in our comments section.