Photo Credit: Galileo55
I’ve mentioned before how much I adore San Francisco as my favorite weekend getaway from Los Angeles. But, even better? A haunted San Francisco. The fall weather, shadowy fog, and the city’s unique charms set the stage perfectly one of the city’s favorite celebrations: Halloween.
If you’re looking for a genuine haunted experience, look no further than the former home to Al Capone: Alcatraz. There have been thousands of reports of spooky behavior on this Island for many years with mysterious clanging, screaming and sobbing. If you’re looking for a super spooky experience, try the nighttime tour which stars out like any other Alcatraz adventure. The only difference is a visit to the hospital ward. It’s only open from 8:00-8:30pm, and even your audio tour doesn’t include this abandoned area. If you can handle the nerves, stay on the island until the last ferry departs (9:25pm) and experience the island like many haven’t.
Ghost, goblins and ghouls, oh my! The Ghost Hunt tour is the perfect Halloween adventure. The tour takes place in Pacific Heights, a peaceful residential district, with a one-mile loop with classic Victorian architecture. Experience thrilling ghost, eerie artifacts, and a fearful chill (well, that might just be the shadowy fog rolling in!) The tour assembles in the courtyard of the Healing Arts Building (1801 Bush Street) at 7pm across from the Queen Anne Hotel. It may be crowded so come early, and if you don’t get a spot never fear; this tour departs six-nights a week year round – rain or shine.
If haunted houses are more of your thing, check out the Pirates of Emerson in Fremont which has been featured on Discovery Channel’s top 13 haunted houses. This Halloween adventure is is unlike traditional haunted houses and features six attractions including a pirate ship and village! Enjoy the Bilge Rat Maze, a open-air maze of chain-link fence that you have to navigate through while strobe lights pulsate, or the pitch-black “yellavator.”
The Bay Area’s official haunted mansion is a creaky old Victorian dwelling in San Jose: the Winchester Mystery House. Sarah Winchester, a widow and heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune met an early demise and is rumored to haunt this well-known tourist attraction. With unlimited resources and unwavering belief, the heiress started building in 1884, and her crews works continuously until her death 38 years later. For Halloween, a special 65 minute flashlight tour of the mansion offering guests the chance to be scared silly. The atmosphere changes from an architectural tour to ghost-story hour with only the moonlight, flashlight beans to guide you through the maze of stairways. Trick-or-Treating in the gardens after makes this a perfect evening of spooky fun. Buy tickets in advance as they go quickly!