The Haunted Queen Anne Hotel

This is a guest post by Wendy Krueger from Visionology.

I recently went on the San Francisco Ghost Hunt, an evening tour led by Jim Fassbinder around Pacific Height’s most haunted places. A good portion of the tour is spent at the haunted Queen Anne Hotel, a Victorian Bed & Breakfast.

The building was constructed in 1890 for Senator James Fair, who made his fortune during the Gold Rush in Nevada. Because he wanted to keep his two daughters close, he paid for the construction of a boarding school.

Senator Fair hired one of the city’s finest educators, Mary Lake, to run the school.

Miss Mary Lake’s School for Girls offered upper class young women an opportunity to groom themselves for future roles in San Francisco society.

Mary took great pride in her work and cared dearly for the girls. She was known to be quite strict. Visitors needed to be approved by the school and no girl was allowed to leave without a chaperone.

Hallway Bench Queen Anne Hotel

Although the school was very successful, it shut down after nine years. It is unclear why the school closed or what happened to Mary Lake after.

The building’s next incarnation was the Cosmos Gentleman’s Club which has been a well-guarded secret in San Francisco. Little is known about this exclusive club.

After 12 years, the building was sold to the Episcopal Diocese and became the Girls Friendly Society Lodge.

In 1980, the run down building was purchased and renovations began. It took 50 preservationists to bring it back to its former glory. It officially opened in 1995 as The Queen Anne Hotel with 48 rooms decorated in Victorian era style.


Legend says that Mary Lake haunts the hotel as she is not ready to let someone else purchase the property. She is most known to haunt room 410, the Mary Lake Suite.

In her time, room 410 was her office and residence.

Mary doesn’t just contain herself to room 410. She wanders the halls and stairwells. People have reported seeing her groom herself in the hallway mirror and play the piano.

Cold spots can be found in various locations in her suite as well as the hallways.

Mary is known as a friendly ghost. Like her concern for the girls at her school, she is worried about the comfort of her guests.

She has been known to mysteriously unpack bags, add blankets to beds, replace fallen pillows and even tuck covers in around guests.

One guest arrived at the hotel very late and was so tired that he just went to sleep on the bed. When he woke, he found to his surprise that he had been covered with a blanket and it was tucked in all around him.

After our initial tour of the hotel and room 410 (which we were lucky to find unbooked), we were allowed to roam the floors and take photos.

You will see in the pictures below that several white streaks and orbs (orbs are believed by many to be ghosts or spirits in the form of balls of light) were picked up as well as some green looking blob under the bench in the Mary Lake Suite.

That was the spookiest thing to me.

Before we left, I asked the hotel concierge if he ever had any experiences with Mary. He told me the elevator runs by itself at night with no human guests getting in or out.

The next time you are in San Francisco book room 410 at the Queen Anne Hotel if you dare!


About the Author: Wendy Krueger is the founder of Visionology where she writes about unconventional inspiration in achieving your goals and dreams.

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