Did you know that the Sutro Baths in San Francisco are rumored to be haunted?
The amount of reported paranormal occurrences in the area suggests that the land below the abandoned bathhouse complex might be cursed.
Whether you are a seasoned paranormal investigator or a beginner ghost hunter, the Sutro Baths are definitely worth checking out. Here’s why!
Where to Find the Sutro Baths
Located on the west side of San Francisco, the Sutro Baths are situated in a small beach inlet below the Cliff House.
The Sutro Baths are a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
While visiting them is perfectly legal, we urge you to be careful.
It’s easy to lose your footing among the ruins, and there’s no telling what’s hiding in the dark tunnels below…
Address: 1004 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA
The Haunted History of the Sutro Baths in San Francisco
Built by an eccentric entrepreneur named Adolph Sutro, the Sutro Baths were once the largest swimming establishment in the world.
Sutro’s vision was to provide an inexpensive swimming facility for San Francisco’s residents, complete with slides, springboards, trapezes, and even a high dive for the public to enjoy.
The massive bathhouse covered three acres of land and could accommodate up to 10,000 people at a time.
However, despite its impressive size and facilities, the baths were not a commercial success.
The patrons who came there rarely returned for a second visit.
Something about the bathhouse made them uneasy – but nobody could ever explain what it was.
The Sutro Baths were also plagued by inexplicable construction and maintenance problems, such as the mysterious fire that broke out at the very beginning of construction.
Some locals have even speculated that the land below the Baths might be cursed.
Are the Sutro Baths in San Francisco Really Haunted?
Ghosts, ghosts, ghosts
Visitors have reported all sorts of strange occurrences in the bathhouse area – for example, seeing some of the old patrons walking around like it’s still 1896.
These spirits mostly appear at night. Thus, they could be easily mistaken for regular visitors if not for their turn-of-the-century swimming attire.
Psychic mediums who have come here to investigate these strange happenings report feeling “an unnerving force” flowing through the area.
It’s not just the ghosts of old patrons, though.
Adolph Sutro gathered relics from all over the world in a museum inside the Sutro Baths complex.
Some of these relics used to carry magical significance… Which means ghosts and spirits from different cultures are now free to roam the area.
As a result, some paranormal investigators have called the Baths “a multicultural smorgasbord of horror.”
If you do decide to investigate, watch your back!
Everything from Irish banshees to South African Tokolosh could be hiding in the dark.
The creature in the underground tunnels
The underground tunnels below Sutro Baths were an engineering marvel at the time the bathhouse was built.
The water for the pools would be pumped from the Pacific Ocean, using the tides to provide pressure.
After the Baths were abandoned, unidentifiable claw marks started appearing through the tunnel system.
At the same time, people started hearing strange noises and footsteps coming from the tunnels.
However, no ocean creature found in the San Francisco area should be walking on clawed feet… Or collecting neatly-arranged piles of bones and fur, for that matter.
Who is the mysterious creature?
So far, everyone who has tried to find out has come back empty-handed.
The remains of a satanic cult
Did you know that Anton LaVey founded the Church of Satan in the so-called Black House – not too far away from the Sutro Baths?
The Sutro Baths are rumored to be a meeting place for the Church of Satan.
Seances, rituals designed to bring forth malevolent spirits, animal sacrifice… Those were just some of the Church’s favorite activities back in the 1970s.
If you walk through the tunnels, you will stumble upon the remains of these rituals, such as drawings of pentagrams on the tunnel walls.
It is said that some members of the cult still practice dark magic in the tunnels below the Sutro Baths.
And, even if they don’t, the cult seems to have caused enough trouble on the spiritual plane already.
According to local legend, if you carry a lit candle to the very end of the tunnels, an invisible force will grab the candle and throw it in the water below.
If you’re feeling brave, you can try it for yourself – but don’t say we didn’t warn you!
The Haunt Experience
Are the Sutro Baths in San Francisco really haunted? We’ll let you decide for yourself.
If you want to explore more haunted locations in San Francisco, check out our Haunted San Francisco Ghost Tour.
Led by experienced San Francisco locals – Mary, Sebastian, and Wes – it will show you a different side of our beloved city… One that you are not likely to forget anytime soon.
Who knows, you might even get to meet a ghost or two!
Ready to discover the dark side of San Francisco?