The Ghost Trackers were ghost hunting in the Queen Anne Hotel recently, thanks to the graciousness of the management allowing us to dissect every inch of their beautiful hotel.
The Queen Anne Hotel located in San Francisco, California officially opened on February 15, 1890. It was originally called Miss Mary Lake's School For Girls. This school offered upper class young women an opportunity to groom themselves for their future roles in San Francisco society. Even for the day, when Victorian architecture was more the rule than the exception, the building was hailed for its originality of design and praised for its quality of construction and innovative features. The architecture was of such quality, it narrowly escaped complete devastation during the 1906 earthquake and fire. The Queen Anne was a mere three blocks from the firewall created to allow those burning buildings already on fire to completely burn to the ground and those behind the firewall to stay. The floor plan, though modified only slightly to add modern bathrooms and sprinkler systems, is remarkably like that of Miss Mary Lake's School.
Nine years after the School opened, the building was sold to the Cosmos. This exclusive Gentlemen's Club, about which little is known, was a well known but guarded secret in the city. After 12 years as a Gentlemen's Club, the building was again sold to the Episcopal Diocese and became the Girls Friendly Society Lodge.
In 1980, a private company purchased the then run down, delapidated building and began renovating it. It took 50 preservation professionals a year to renovate it. They had to strip away six coats of paint from all the woodworks and clean and re-open the many fireplace flues that had been covered over. Restoration continued until 1995 when it officially opened as The Queen Anne Hotel. Although new renovations still continue, the hotel houses 48 rooms which are all decorated in the spirit for which Miss Mary Lake had designed, comfort and elegance.
As the legend goes, Miss Mary Lake haunts the hotel as she was not ready to let someone else purchase the hotel. She is quietly wandering the halls and stairwells, making appearances regularly. She is said to be haunting her room, The Mary Lake Suite, room 410. She makes tapping noises, periodically plays the piano and can be mischievous. She pulls the hair and shirts of some of the staff and is regularly seen primping in the mirror on the second floor. Many guests have seen Miss Mary Lake and are excited that they have had the priviledge of meeting her face-to-face.
On the evening of our investigation, we discovered areas that perhaps Miss Mary Lake was even unaware. Dark, cramped areas that lead to the bowels of the hotel. Many, many hallways and doors, some of which cannot be opened. There is a tense feeling as you wind your way around four flights of beautifully wooded staircases. Cold spots become evident in a hotel that rarely has windows open in the evening as the hotel sits in the downtown district of a city that sits closely on the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
Our group heard many different sounds during the evening. We had different members of our group feeling nauseated in certain parts of the hotel and others that developed headaches. There were tapping sounds during the night in one of our members' bedroom, the sounds of footsteps outside some doors and another saying there were shadows in their rooms. Although we did not see Miss Mary Lake's ghost, we received our own physical findings of her spirit wandering throughout the hotel.
This hotel is truly a magnificent wonder. It is beautifully restored and decorated and deliciously haunted.
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