If you would like to learn more about the dark side of San Francisco (SF), a haunted mansion tour is a great place to start.
San Francisco is full of beautiful Victorian homes that look completely innocent from the outside but are actually filled with ghosts, poltergeists, and other spiritual entities.
In this article, we will share five of our favorite haunted San Francisco residences (and where to find them) so you can have a little ghost-hunting adventure of your own.
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Why Does San Francisco Have So Many Haunted Mansions?
San Francisco has seen more death and destruction than most cities.
It has been ravaged by fire, destroyed by one earthquake after another, and even managed to survive a plague of rats.
That kind of violence always leaves a spiritual mark on a city, and San Francisco is no exception.
Behind the exteriors of San Francisco’s beautiful Victorian mansions, the spirits of cold-blooded murderers, ruthless cult leaders, and other unsavory characters are plotting their next move.
The Dark Side of San Francisco: A Haunted Mansion Tour
1. Chambers Mansion
The Chambers Mansion is a beautiful Victorian home built in 1887 by the silver tycoon Richard Craig Chambers.
After Richard’s death, the mansion was passed down to his nieces.
The nieces hated each other, and struggled to get along… That is, until one of them, Claudia Chambers, was found cut in half inside the mansion.
The family claimed it was due to a farm implement accident, but there may be more to the story.
The Chambers family was rumored to be practitioners of black magic. That would certainly help explain the high-level of spiritual activity within the mansion.
Psychics have claimed that Claudia’s ghost still roams the premises. Visitors often report seeing flashing lights from the upstairs window.
Where to find it: 2220 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94115
2. Whittier Mansion
The historic Whittier Mansion was built in 1896 by William Franklin Whittier.
The convoluted history of the mansion makes it difficult to pinpoint what’s causing the many paranormal disturbances inside this mansion.
Rumor has it, the Whittier Mansion housed German spies during WWII, the ghosts of which still roam the premises to this day.
In addition, the basement and servants’ quarters are reportedly haunted by a strange shadow entity that sends cold chills down the visitor’s spines.
And if that wasn’t enough, a short, bald butler has been seen wandering the hallways. Plus, a few visitors have stumbled upon a ghost of an old lady sitting in a chair upstairs.
Who are all these ghosts? And why are they here? That’s up to you to discover.
Where to find it: 2090 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94109
3. Haas-Lilienthal Mansion
The Haas-Lilienthal mansion is one of the only historic mansions in San Francisco that is actually open to the public.
There’s something about this place that makes you feel like someone is watching you.
There is no shortage of stories about objects moving around, windows opening on their own, and strange sounds coming from the walls of the mansion.
A couple of employees have even seen a ghost of an older woman perched on a chair upstairs, while others have spotted a man in a chauffeur’s uniform waiting by the back stairs.
Where to find it: 2007 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
4. Haskell House
If you are a history buff, you may know of the infamous 1859 duel between California Supreme Court Justice David Terry and Senator David Brock.
The duel ended badly for the Senator. The Senator’s gun misfired, giving David Terry an opportunity to fatally wound him in the chest.
Visitors often report seeing a dark, shadowy figure in a top hat pacing around the upper floors of the Haskell House.
Could it be the ghost of Senator David Brock himself?
Where to find it: 3 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA 94123
5. Manrow House
We have saved the best for last: the Manrow House, perhaps the most fiercely haunted house in all of San Francisco.
When J.P. Manrow built this house for his family in 1851, he had no idea malevolent spirits would be moving in with them.
The hauntings began on the family’s very first day at the house.
Someone, or something, kept moving objects around, and opening and closing windows. Strange rapping noises would come from inside the walls, waking the Manrow family up at all hours of the night.
After narrowly escaping death by a flying ax (thrown at him by no one, of course), Mr. Manrow decided he had had enough. He was going to host a seance and get rid of the spirits once and for all.
However, the seance did not go according to plan.
Instead of cleansing the house from evil spirits, the participants ended up summoning a horrifying, demonic-looking figure that would simply not leave them alone.
After this incident, a local newspaper dubbed the Manrow House “The House of Demons.”
If you drop by the site of the Manrow house today, you are almost guaranteed a run-in with something paranormal. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Where to find it: 2700-2734 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109
The Haunt Experience
Traipsing around haunted mansions on your own is a lot of fun, but having someone there to introduce you to the haunting details of their past is even better.
Our Haunted San Francisco Ghost Tour is perfect for new and seasoned ghost-hunters alike.
Filled with tales of scandalous murders, ruthless cult leaders, and famed spirits, it will take you on an unforgettable journey through the streets of downtown San Francisco.
Ready to discover the dark side of SF?