7 Surprisingly Creepy Places in San Francisco

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Halloween is coming, motherfuckers! This beautiful holiday celebrates the inherent weirdness of it all and to help you get in the mood, I’ve compiled a list of locations in San Francisco you might not be aware are super duper creepy. Like, “Scooby Gang gotta check it out” kind of creepy.


Spanish Monastery Stones
Strybing Arboretum, Golden Gate Park

William Randolph Hearst was an impetuous man with a lot of money. The kind of man who would a bring 12th century Spanish monastery to San Francisco. That’s right, an entire monastery. Well, wouldn’t you know it, a fire destroyed the plans to recreate the damn thing and now all the stones have been haphazardly scattered around GG Park. Something about the combination of ghost monks and corporate vengeance make this particularly unnerving for me.


The Wreck of the King Philip
Ocean Beach

Look at that thing. It’s like the gaping maw of a terrible sea monster looming out of the sand. The fact that it only shows up at low tide occasionally makes it even more creepy. Supposedly no one on the crew died during the original shipwreck in 1878 but they were on the way to save a different captain who died “mysteriously” and I’m not ok with that. Plus, one of the earliest recordings of seeing the wreck at low tide happened when another ship wrecked at the same spot. Ghost sailors. Just saying.

The House of Days
Pier 17

There’s a moment in the beginning of Atlas Shrugged when the protagonist realizes why the looming calendar in the city is so unsettling when he remembers the phrase, “your days are numbered”. The House of Days (that name though) is a visual diary that captures an image of the sky every day. A) I don’t like the ominous sense of impending doom and B) who is monitoring this diary for aliens and C) is it recording the sky or is the sky shifting because of it recording? No, I am not fucking paranoid.

Bourn Mansion
2550 Webster Street

A 19th Century mansion that became a crazy celebrity party house in the 70s. Eventually include only an eccentric shut-in with cats. Fast forward to today, when it is abandoned post-squatters. I dare you to tell me that shit ain’t haunted. Those staircases, those giant fireplaces, even the front of the house looks like a face with three eyes. Let’s lock a bunch of teenagers in it overnight and see what happens in the morning.

Land’s End Octagon House
Point Lobos Marine Exchange Lookout Station

San Francisco has quite the hard-on for oddly shaped buildings. There’s probably some mystical reason it needed to be 8-sided but this one-time lookout point is now very much empty and surrounded by trees that were purposely planted around to…hide it? I think it looks like a meeting place for a mass-murdering cult. If you look at that old photograph, it was actually just as ominous-looking when in use in 1927.

Arch of Colonial Trees
Golden Gate Park


Trees aren’t inherently creepy, no matter how much M. Night wants them to be. These 13 trees, however, were planted in the 1800s by a group of women (AMHS-style witches?) with soil from famous Revolutionary war battlegrounds – soil that was literally soaked in blood. They supposedly used a silver trowel that belonged to Martha Washington and the center tree representing Pennsylvania was replaced by a Hemlock in 2012. The tree isn’t poisonous like the plant but I am not taking any chances.

Buena Vista Park Tombstones
Buena Vista Park


So you know how there’s lots of dead bodies hiding under the city? Like the tombstones on the Lincoln Park golf range or the Marine Hospital’s cemetery that got hidden under a dump and then a parking lot. The city has not been great at hiding the evidence of where corpses used to be and don’t kid yourself thinking that they managed to get every single body out, especially when they were lazy enough to leave behind all those damn grave markers. In fact, they left so many of them that they got broken up and used in other places like in the Aquatic Park and the Wave Organ. But probably the most damning and possibly curse-ridden use was lining the sidewalks of Buena Vista Park as drain gutters, so that the symbolic markers of someone’s displaced eternal resting site could hold slush for centuries. Oh yeah, I’m sure there’s no bad ju-ju involved there.

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Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

Candace Cui - Actual Unicorn

At age 2, I was getting run over by a bike in an alley in China. At age 8, I was avoiding man-o-wars on Tybee Island. At age 14, I was overdrinking sweet tea while running through the woods barefoot. At age 20, I was learning Art History and how to drop it low. At age 25, I was making fun of drum circles at Dolores. At every age, I am charming the fuck out of you. Just wait, it'll happen.