Queen Anne Hotel, San Francisco

Built in 1980, the Queen Anne Hotel was originally one of the most exclusive girls’ boarding schools in the San Francisco area. The headmistress of the school, Miss Mary Lake, allegedly had an affair with James “Slippery Jim” Fair, the Senator who funded the building of the beautiful Victorian mansion. Mary Lake denied the rumors, but it didn’t do her much good. A local newspaper published an article titled “Cupid and Mr. Fair,” and the nasty rumors of the affair continued circulating until Mary’s death.

Since her death, the Queen Anne Hotel has had many owners, from brothel owners to church caretakers, to mysterious secret societies. With such a curious history, it is no surprise the hotel could be haunted – but by whom?

Read more about the Queen Anne Hotel at Wild SF Walking Tours: Is the Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco Really Haunted?

Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden

Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden is a Buddhist temple located in Bang Saen city, Chonburi province, Thailand. A popular tourist attraction, it is meant to describe and depict Naraka (Buddhist hell) [wiki]. Follow the links below to see more images of the Garden and to read about some visitors’ experiences.

Photos above from The No Chill: Wang Saen Suk Buddhist Hell Garden in Thailand

Photos above from The Bohemian Blog: Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden — A Glimpse of the Buddhist Underworld

Photos above from Pattaya Unplugged: Wang Saen Suk – Hell On Earth in Thailand

Photo above from Mark Goes There Travel Tales: Wang Saen Suk Hell Garden (Chonburi, Thailand)

Irish Mummies

I recently learned that Dublin, Ireland, has some interesting mummies that can be visited. I knew about bog bodies that were discovered around the island, but I didn’t know that Dublin holds creepy bodies from ages past.

One is of a cat and rat that were trapped in an organ pipe in the 1860s at Christ Church Cathedral.

The placard reads:
Possibly our most famous residents, our cat and rat were trapped in an organ pipe in the 1860s and became mummified. They were made famous by James Joyce, when he writes in Finnegan’s Wake, “… as stuck as that cat and mouse in that tube of the Christchurch organ …”

Another is a collection of noble families that were found when their coffins naturally broke open over time under St. Michan’s Church.

Bram Stoker is thought to have visited the vaults in the crypt below St. Michan’s and possibly to have found inspiration there for at least a few of the scenes in his classic Dracula.

Sources:
Cat and Rat – Oddities of Christ Church Cathedral
St. Michan Mummies – St. Michan’s Church

Hotel Vancouver’s Lady in Red

“The Hotel Vancouver is haunted by a benevolent and elegantly dressed ‘Lady in Red.’ She’s often spotted on the 14th floor, and is also seen in the ground floor lobby near the guest elevator doors. She sometimes passes through elevator doors on those floors and glides along the hallways. Most intriguing is that the 1st and 14th floors are the only ones with elevator doors that lead to a dummy elevator shaft. The ghost has been seen passing through those disused, locked doors.

“The Lady in Red is also encountered in some of the guest rooms. Once, a Japanese family that checked into a room on the 14th floor called the front desk to ask whether their room had been double-booked. They described seeing the Lady in Red in the room, which had caused their confusion.”

14th floor at the Hotel Vancouver

Read the full story as well as other ghost stories from Vancouver, Canada, at Ghosts of Vancouver.

The Faceless Lady of Belvelly Castle, Cork, Ireland

“Belvelly Castle sits prominently on the shore of Great Island in Cork Harbour. It is said that in the seventeenth century Margaret Hodnett lived there. Mirrors were a status symbol with the wealthy at that time and Margaret was known for her love of these to remind her of her renowned beauty. She had an on-off relationship with a local lord called Clon Rockenby who asked for her hand in marriage many times but was refused.

“Eventually, Rockenby decided that the humiliation was enough and raised a small army and went to the castle to take her by force. He thought the Hodnetts, used to a luxurious life, would not withstand a siege.

“However, they surprised him by holding out for a full year before surrendering. When he entered the castle Rockenby was shocked to see the state of Margaret, skeletal and starved, a shadow of her former self, her beauty gone. Out of rage, Rockenby smashed her favourite mirror to pieces, as he did so one of the Hodnetts killed him with a sword.

“After these events Margaret descended into insanity, she was said to have sought out mirrors constantly to check if her beauty had returned. It never did. She died in old age at the castle. Her troubled ghost appears as a lady in white, sometimes with a veiled face and sometimes with no face at all. Those who have seen her say that she looks at a spot on the wall, then rubs it as if looking at her reflection.

“Apparently, one stone on the castle’s wall has been rubbed smooth over the years, perhaps the spot where her mirror used to hang. Belvelly has largely been unoccupied since the nineteenth century but is currently being renovated.”

From The Five MOST TERRIFYING Ghost Stories in Ireland

Five Hotels Haunted by Celebrity Ghosts

I recently returned from a trip to my favourite city, San Francisco. I particularly love the hippy neighborhood the Haight. I like to spend time there with the spirits of Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix. I was interested to then see this video about hotels haunted by celebrity ghosts, among them the hotel in Los Angeles where Joplin lost her life to a drug overdose.