Make your own free website on

    California Ghosts         

Home State Directories Ghost Movies Ghost Books Links Ghost Walks

    Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco  

      Queen Anne Hotel is a stop on a San Francisco Ghost Hunt walking tour, and is haunted by the benign ghost of Miss Mary Lake. The following was sent to me: 

She was the favorite mistress of Senator James G. Fair
who came to San Francisco from Nevada after making his fortune in silver.
One of the city's original four silver barons, Fair had a great passion for
architecture which lead him to build an elegant finishing school that opened
in 1890 under the name of "The Mary Lake School For Girls".  Miss Mary
is said to have delighted in her job as Head Mistress.  She taught 100 wealthy
girls, including Senator Fair's two daughters Virginia (aka: "Birdie") and Tessie,
the finer points of etiquette and decorum.   Tessie and Birdie would later commission
construction of the original "Fairmont Hotel" on Nob Hill as a tribute to their father.   
A few years prior to the great 1906 earthquake the building was sold and the school
closed for good.    Miss Mary Lake's heart was surely broken with this news and she
is said to have disappeared without a trace.    ...But not completely.   Someone
or something has been taking extra good care of guests at the Queen Anne Hotel.
Especially on the fourth floor.   Especially in Room 410.  Which once belonged to
Miss Mary Lake...

It seems the most common reports of paranormal activity are cold spots, a misty form of a woman and taking care of the room's occupants.  This has included unpacking luggage, picking up dropped pillows, and tucking in guests during the night.  The hotel is at 1590 Sutter St (at Octavia), San Francisco, CA 94109. Phone is 800-227-3970 or 415-441-2828. The hotel has 48 rooms and suites and is available for functions.


     Snowball Mansion Inn, Knights Landing 

Snowball Mansion Inn is an upscale bed & breakfast built along a river.  In the 1870's John Snowball built it for his bride Lucy.  Lucy had a baby, but sadly the baby one night the infant suddenly died.  Lucy never recovered, and fell into a state of depression.  She lived there as a recluse until her own death.  The windows are said to rattle one by one in order across the second floor, and then the first.  She has awakened guests, and one guest saw her coming through the wall where a door to the nursery had been.  Also, old fashioned music has been heard coming from the ballroom.  The inn has three "lavishly appointed" guest rooms (one is a suite), each with their own private bath. A gourmet breakfast is served to guests in the morning.  Convenient from I 5 and 15 minutes from the Sacramento airport, the inn is at 42485 Front St. in Knights Landing.  phone: 530.735.1122.   It is about 1 1/2 hours from San Francisco. 

    The Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego

The Hotel Del Coronado sits on 33 oceanfront acres in San Diego Bay and is truly a beautiful and luxurious hotel. The ghost of Kate Morgan is said to haunt the hotel. The story goes that she was married to a gambler and they worked together to fleece card players. When Kate became pregnant she wanted to settle down, but her husband didn't. In 1892 she went to the Del Coronado to wait for him as prearranged, but he didn't show up. She was found on the beach, dead from a shot in the head. I have read and seen (on TV shows) varying accounts including her trying to self abort and then killing herself, finding her husband with another woman and shooting herself, and her husband arriving at the hotel and he shoots her. However her life ended, her spirit continues to haunt the hotel's room 3312. Problems with the phone and TV are the most prevalent manifestations. Also haunted is room 3205 in which curtains have been seen to billow when no windows are open, and "phantom noises" have been heard (I have no more details on those.) The hotel phone no. is (800)HOTEL DEL


    The Stevenson House

The Stevenson House is a museum in the Monterey State Park. It is a former boarding house which is now named in honor of its most famous boarder, Robert Louis Stevenson. In 1879 there was a typhoid epidemic in which Manuela Girardin, owner of the house, lost her husband. In early December of that year Mrs. Girirdin's two grandchildren came down with the dread disease and she steadfastly cared for them around the clock. Unfortunately, by doing so, Manuela herself caught typhoid and died on December 21st. Ironically, she died before seeing that her grandchildren recovered from their illness. During the first three weeks of December there are many ghostly manifestations reported in the nursery room. The curator has described them as: an empty rocking chair will start rocking, some visitors smell a strong scent of disinfectant (as found in sickrooms or hospitals) and a woman dressed in black has been seen by many. You can read more about the house in "Haunted Houses of California" by A. May (see my "Reviews" page). The Stevenson House is at 530 Houston St. in the Monterey State Park. It is closed on Wednesdays, and tours need to be arranged in advance. To do so, call (408)649-2836.


    The Whaley House, San Diego

The Whaley House is part of the historic Old Town section of San Diego, located at 2482 San Diego Ave. The house was built in 1857 by successful businessman Thomas Whaley. The county needed space for a courtroom, and was allowed to lease a large downstairs room for that purpose. Before the building existed, a man named Yankee Jim Robinson was found guilty of stealing a boat and was sentenced to death by hanging; the hanging took place on the site of the future courthouse. One of the tour guides reported that many times after giving her talk in the courtroom to a group of tourists, people would come to her or the curator and comment on the man they saw standing next to her. The description they gave would match Yankee Jim (and of course she gave the talk alone). Thomas Whaley, and his wife Anna, are also thought to haunt the house. Both have been seen by many visitors and staff. Some of the other manifestations in the house include: unexplained footsteps, music from an organ or music box when none are playing, a strong scent of perfume or cigar smoke, an empty rocking chair rocking, and cold spots. Frequently locked windows upstairs are opened, setting off the burglar alarms at night. The Whaley House is open as a museum from Wed-Sun. (619)298-2482.


    The Queen Mary, Long Beach

The luxury liner, The Queen Mary, set out on its maiden voyage in 1936 and continued carrying passengers asea for 30 years. It is now permanently docked in Long Beach, and is a 390 room hotel. It is host not only to paying guests, but several ghosts as well. One apparition that has been seen by many people is that of a man who is wearing overalls and has jet black hair and a beard. Another specter on board is that of a man wearing a uniform of the original crew of the ship, and each time he has been seen he is tending to some part of the ship's engines. In the kitchen, staff have seen strangers come in and then disappear, utensils vanish, and lights turn on and off by themselves. The swimming pool area can be quite eerie, where the sounds of laughter and splashing can be heard, but the water is still and no one is there. Also in the pool area, people have seen a young woman dressed in green, who walks along the upper balcony. During one tour of the pool area a group of tourists all saw a naval officer in dress whites walk by, only he was transparent! The Queen Mary is at Pier J, at the Port of Long Beach (1126 Queensway Drive). It is open daily. (213)435-3511


    The National Hotel, Jamestown

The National Hotel is in Northern California's Gold Country. It was founded in 1848, and has been continuously operated as a hotel since 1859. The ghost associated with the hotel has been given the name "Flo" by the staff though no one really has any idea who she was or why her spirit would be there. Flo seems to prefer the rooms in the front of the building and is most often in the upstairs of the hotel. On occasion she has been witnessed early in the morning by staff floating through the dining room and proceeding right through a wall! Flo is perceived as being friendly, and performs only harmless pranks. Guests are invited to write down comments in a guestbook by each room. Some entries describe lights going on and off by themselves, doors slamming and clothes being dumped out of suitcases onto the floor. The National Hotel has 9 authentically restored hotel rooms, each with a private bath. The hotel is near Dodge Ridge and Bear Valley ski resorts and Yosemite National Park. It is at 18183 Main St., Jamestown, CA (209)984-3446. Their web site is


    The Horton Grand Hotel, San Diego

The Horton Grand Hotel, a Victorian era hotel in San Diego's Gaslamp District was rebuilt in 1986, combining two former hotels. Inside you will feel you've stepped back to the Victorian Age with period decor surrounding you. The two hotels (the original Grand Hotel and the Brooklyn Kahle Saddlery Hotel) that were rebuilt into the current establishment used to be in the heart of the bawdy and rowdy section of the city, filled with brothels and gambling houses. Many gun fighters used to stay at the hotel. One of these men, Rodger Whitaker, was shot in the chest, but managed to make it back to his room. He hid in an armoire, where he died. It is said that he still haunts that room, Room 309. One local TV station went to the room to film a story on it, and the film had a bright green distortion that the crew had never seen before. The hotel has 132 rooms, 24 of which are suites. The owners have put much effort into combining restoration of a bygone era with modern amenities. The hotel is at 311 Island Ave., San Diego. Phone: (619)544-1886 or (800)542-1886


    The Groveland Hotel, Groveland

The Groveland Hotel is a two story Bed & Breakfast with 17 rooms, less than 150 miles from San Francisco and near Yosemite National Park. Among the guest events they have is a private murder mystery party. A ghost named Lyle haunts this hotel; he is the spirit of a man who died in Room 15 in the 1920's. He is harmless, and is responsible for opening doors, lights turning on and off, and unexplained phone calls. Guests have even said they've seen him. The hotel is at 18767 Main St., Groveland CA. Phone: 209-962-4000 or 1-800-273-3314


    The Santa Maria Inn, Santa Maria

The Santa Maria Inn is a 166 room hotel in the Central Coast area of California. It bills itself on its web page as "a grand hotel preserving the gracious elegance of a bygone era." An amateur ghosthunter in CA told me that during a stay there some of her group experienced furniture moving around by itself on the patio, unexplained knocks on the door, and one person "saw a mist floating over the bathroom." Part of the Inn was built in 1917 and has two resident ghosts, a captain who has been seen walking through walls, and a woman. Both reportedly knock on doors. Room rates are $89-$119. The Santa Maria Inn is at 801 S. Broadway, Santa Maria, CA. Phone: 800.462.4276

Santa Maria Inn web page


    USS Hornet Museum, Alameda

The USS Hornet is an aircraft carrier, built in 1943 and used extensively in WWII. She also was used to recover the landing astronauts of Apollo 11 and 12. The ship is now a national landmark and is on permanent display as a museum at Alameda Point on San Francisco Bay. There have been many reports of ghostly incidents and apparitions. Staff and volunteers have felt unexplained gusts of wind, heard doors slam, and have seen ghosts of WWII guards. One supervisor said he never believed in ghosts until working on the Hornet and witnessing the ghost of a military man in a khaki uniform several times. The Museum is open Mondays, and Wed.-Sun. and is also available for functions. It is at Pier 3, Alameda Point, Alameda CA 510-521-8448 It is less and 30 min. from San Francisco.

USS Hornet Museum web page