Although I am scared of the supernatural because of past encounters, I secretly loved the adrenaline at such circumstances. Halloween weekend was not helping my craving for some spookiness with all the talks about ghost stories, the house decorations, and so I signed up for the San Francisco Ghost Hunt Tour that starts in Queen Anne’s Hotel to satisfy my hunger for some adventure.
Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco started out as a school for girls created by a wealthy man who wants his daughters educated during the Gold Rush. Miss Mary Lake was hired as the principle of the school, and she deeply cared for the girls there. Unfortunately, happiness ended soon after when the school failed to survive, just one year shy from its 10 year anniversary. The house was turned into a gathering location for a secret society before it was donated to be used as a church for Christians. Miss Mary Lake passed away soon after she was sent back to the east coast, yet she choose to come back to now Queen Anne Hotel, perhaps she longs for the happy years she enjoyed while teaching here. Many of the furniture in the hotel now are around 100 years old, and was used in the house from the school to the church era. (A hot spot for antique fans!) I also noticed that since the building is very old, all the lights flickers every time when some electricity/or heater motor is turned on, as if the house is alive and breathing…..
Travelers have reported sightings of Miss Mary Lake in the hotel, from the lobby to the corridors of the second and fourth floor, to the mysterious yet beautiful room 410, where it use to be Mary’s office. The most common reports in room 410 was that the travelers, who were exhausted from a day of hiking and walking around the city, comes back, falls asleep on bed, and would find themselves awaken the next day carefully yet tightly tucked under the blanket up to their neck.
The ghost tour, that started out in the lobby of the hotel, gave us an opportunity to walk around the hotel and into room 410, and try to see if we can find Miss Mary Lake. The tour guide, Jim, let us borrowed his EMF detectors ( they use those in the ghost shows to see if you can find energy activities). As we walked up the third floor, one of our younger tour member puts an EMF detector near a hotel room door, and the detector spiked even though there was no electric appliances around!! (The boy also yelled “There’s something in there!!!!” I immediately told him please don’t yell because what would the people in that room think if they hear people yelling outside about a ghost may be in their room 😄 hehehe)
As we are in room 410, perhaps the large crowd was too much for Miss Mary Lake, we did not see a full body apparition. However, as we stayed in the room longer, we noticed the chair at the end of the bed has a crease on it (and was getting more apparent), just like someone is sitting on it….hmmm.
The rest of the ghost tour consisted of 2 hours walking around the streets of San Francisco in the chilly, dark night. The tour guide, who did all the research and developed the tour himself, will show you the beautiful mansions, tell you bits of history about the city that you will not find in the textbooks, and perhaps even see some ghosts and strange phenomenon. (We saw a key turned by itself….o_O, and apparently a tourist at another night got hit by nuts couple times when she was being rude and sarcastic during the tour). I only warn that there is a slight uphill during the walk, and please dress warmly!
So, next time when you are visiting San Francisco, consider a night or two at the glamorous, historical Queen Anne Hotel (Around $140 ~ $200 a night). You will intrigued by the beautiful decorations of the hotel, the delicious & warm cookies they serve in the lobby at night, and perhaps a warm & friendly welcoming greeting from the ghost of Miss Mary Lakers who likes to tuck in the guests into bed properly in room 410…
Queen Anne Hotel – http://queenanne-px.trvlclick.com/
San Francisco Ghost Hunt Tour (Every night at 7pm in the lobby of Queen Anne Hotel except Tuesdays) – http://www.sfghosthunt.com/fatcow.com/Welcome.html