Saturday, April 5, 2014

San Francisco’s Ghost of Stow Lake

Stow Lake 
This lake is located in Golden Gate Park. This park has the distinction of being the most visited park in the U.S. It was modeled after New York City’s Central Park and covers 1,017 acres.

The attractions at the park include: the DeYoung Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, The Conservatory of Flowers, The Beach Chalet, Spreckels Park, and some resident ghosts.

The most famous ghost story or legend connected to the park is the story surrounding Stow Lake. This story has been told for over 100 years. It was first mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 6, 1908.

In this story, it was reported that a mysterious figure was seen blocking a car on its way out of the park. Police later pulled over the driver, Arthur Pigeon, for speeding. He was frightened and noticeably panicked.

Later he told the Chronicle:

It was a thin, tall figure in white. It had long, fair hair and was barefooted.”

Pigeon noted he did not see a face and that it frightened him to the point that he was anxious to getaway from the park.

This ghost is said to be the mother of three children. She lost one of them at the park. One version states she was boating on Stow Lake in the late 1800s when her toddler accidentally fell in the water. The young mother desperate jumped in to rescue the baby--both drowned. *

Over the years many witnesses have reported seeing this woman late at night searching for her baby around Stow Lake. She is described the same way each time.

She is seen wearing a “dirty white dress,” soaking wet with long hair. She is most often seen wandering the lake’s edge looking anxiously into the water. Her ghost is also seen on Strawberry Hill, which overlooks the lake.

* Another version from the 1930s has a young teen pregnant and unwed wanting to hide this fact from her family. It is said she disposed of her baby in the lake and then committed suicide.

Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill

A Statue that Moves

Photo by Chris Stewart
Taken before repairs
were done.
An unusual phenomenon connected to this haunting is a statue called, Pioneer Women and Children. This statue is near the lake and the old log cabin that houses the California Women’s Pioneer Association.

When the ghost is active at the lake witnesses, report this statue moves as well. Another trigger is when people stand near it late at night. The figure then comes to life and changes positions. Its' face changes shape, and sometimes it has no arms or head.

Legend Trippers

Another legend connected to the Golden Gate Park is that if several cars drive near the lake at night, they will all stall at the same time.

Teens chant: "White Lady," three times, it is said this will make the ghost appear. Then the spirit will ask, “Have you seen my baby?”

If the witness replies, “Yes,” the ghost will haunt them. If they respond, “No,” it is said the While Lady will kill them.

1 comment:

Leona Joan said...

Fascinating! 😎