Haunted San Francisco: The Presidio

There are many haunted spots in San Francisco — Alcatraz, the Curran Theatre, Sutro Baths — but today we're going to focus on one of portion of the City where it seems ghosts just love to congregate: The Presidio. First founded as the Spanish Imperial Outpost in 1776, this nearly 1500-acre plot of land has been a large part of military history; it served as a base for the U.S. Army from 1846 to 1994 — before becoming the haunted park we know today. 

The Presidio, as a haunted spot, came on our radar after our stepbrother told us a story of his friend who had numerous ghostly encounters while living in the Presidio, on more than one occasion she came home to find all of the bathroom drawers open, the medicine cabinet ajar, and her personal items strewn across the floor; she also encountered, on more than one occasion, the weight of someone sitting on the end of her bed. Don't believe us? That's fine. But that's just the story we heard, here are some other ghostly tales from the Presidio.

[jump] Letterman Hospital (Now the site of LucasArts)
Back in 2002, when the hospital was being demolished to make way for George Lucas's new campus, SFGate noted a few strange tales from ghost hunters: “they have found the shadowy souls of about 200 to 300 veterans rummaging around the rubble left behind at the demolished Letterman Hospital site.” Near this portion of the Presisido, they also shared ghostly tales of spotting a woman in a black flowing dress, and a Muni bus driver whose uniformed passenger disappeared “into thin air.”

The Officers Club
Speaking of a woman in a long dress, the show Ghosthunters visited the Officers Club before its recent remodel and heard a voice coming from the former smoking room and captured a video clip of a woman in full-length dress walking through the ballroom.

Public Health Services Hospital (Now the site of The Presidio Landmark Apartments)
When we first moved to San Francisco, the Public Health Services Hospital was a spooky building sitting above the large homes of Lake Street. The hospital was covered in graffiti with busted windows; it was easy to mark the spot as haunted without ever going near it.

The seven-story building first became the site of a hospital back in 1895, and the current structure was built in 1932; later on it became the home of the San Francisco branch of the Defense Language Institute, but was abandoned in 1988 and the students moved elsewhere. In 2010, it was transformed into luxury apartments. The Yelp page for the hospital shares some creepy photos of yesteryear and stories of ghostly encounters.

Housing Near Public Health Services Hospital: “Some of the workers don't wan to work inside”
The narrator of this short YouTube clip shares footage of two older Presidio homes that were refurbished during the same time as the Presidio apartments and notes how a few of the construction workers and a security guard didn't want to work inside the homes. While he doesn't go as far to say what exactly was the reason the employees found these homes creepy, he did note that no one wanted to be left inside the homes alone.

So the next time you take a stroll through the Presidio keep an eye out for the strange — you may just see something spooky.

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