The ghost of Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park can be found in the center of San Francisco. The park is even larger than New York’s Central Park. It was founded in 1870 and is a much loved getaway for locals and tourists. The park offers many attractions such as a museum, a Japanese tea garden and a beautiful botanical garden. You can also rent a small boat and enjoy a ride on Stow Lake. But, once the sun goes down, you’d better stay away. 

The history of Golden Gate Park

In the 1860’s, San Francisco was in need of a spacious public park. This public park had to be modeled on New York’s Central Park. But there was one problem: San Francisco’s dry climate. An irrigation system is what was needed for a park similar to Central Park. That’s the reason why  Frederick Law Olmsted proposed a plan for a park using only native plant species in 1865.

Stow Lake Pagoda, Golden Gate Park - Daderot via commons.wikimedia Public Domain
Stow Lake Pagoda – Daderot via commons.wikimedia Public Domain

His proposal, however, was rejected. It was William Hammond Hall, a field engineer, who developed an integrated flood control system for the area in 1870. Now all kinds of plant species could live here! Golden Gate Park is configured as a rectangle, like Central Park, and it’s the third most-visited city park in the USA.

Stow Lake

As said before, the park offers many attractions. One of these attractions is Stow Lake. Rowboats and pedal boats can be rented at the boathouse. Stow Lake was the first artificial lake in the park as is the Huntington Falls (see cover photo). It’s a great place to spend a family day out. But, make sure you leave the lake when the sun goes down. Because there is a chance you’ll be facing The Lady of Stow Lake.

Stow Lake stone bridge, Golden Gate Park - Fastily via commons.wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Stow Lake stone bridge – Fastily via commons.wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0

The Lady of Stow Lake

Stow Lake is surrounded by a stubborn ghost story. Around 1900, the first story about The Lady of Stow Lake was published. The story hasn’t changed much through the years and is still told today. The story goes like this. A long time ago, a young woman visited the lake with her toddler. In a brief moment of inattention, the young child disappeared.

The young woman was distraught and she searched the whole park for it. Eventually, she found her child, floating face down, in Stow Lake. In a blind panic, she jumped into the water to save her child, but neither of them ever reached the shore. They both drowned in the lake.

Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park - commons.wikimedia public domain
Renting a boat on Stow Lake – Daderot via commons.wikimedia Public Domain

Beware of the ghost of Stow Lake

Many have seen a female ghost in the Stow Lake area. She’s frantically searching the shore of the lake. She has been described in the same way for over a hundred years. She has dark, long hair and sheś wearing a pale white dress. Her hair and clothes are dripping with water. Rumor has it that if you say “white lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times in a row, that she’ll appear to you. She will ask: “have you seen my baby?” If you answer with “yes”, she will haunt you for the rest of your life, but if your answer is “no”, she’ll kill you.

Do you want to read more ghost stories about places in the USA? Click here

Cover photo: King of Hearts via commons.wikimedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Sources: wikipedia,
Location: Latitude 37.769722, Longitude 122.476944

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