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The Ghost Of Mary Lake At The Queen Anne Hotel


My ghost encounters started when I was 3 or 4 years old. I was at my great-grandmothers house sometime around Christmas. I woke up one morning, looked out the hallway to see a huge gray-white mist hovering in the doorway. I started yelling for my mom and dad, they woke up and comforted me. I didn't really think much of it until about ten years after. I brought it up to my mom again, and she confessed to me that her and  my aunt had seen the same thing in the same exact place when they were just a couple years older than I was when I first saw it. Hearing that story confirmed my belief in ghosts. My mom told me that the supernatural was drawn to me at an earlier age than that, because there were always certain smells in my bedroom when I was even younger. In one house, a lady's perfume was smelled near my crib. In another house, the smell of chocolate cake in my room. 

Naturally, having experienced things like this, and having my experiences confirmed, I started exploring different locations that are known to be haunted. My girlfriend and I found a hotel in San Francisco that's not only haunted, but a man by the name of Jim Fassbinder actually hosts a "ghost walk" that starts in the hotel and tours around 6-8 blocks surrounding the hotel.  

After having such a great time on the ghost walk, we actually decided to plan a trip back to the hotel to stay the night. The hotel used to be a girls school in the early 1900's. The woman who was in charge of the schools name was Mary Lake, and her old office was turned into one of the suites, and according to previous guests, had the most paranormal activity. 

We booked a night in the Mary Lake suite. Things started out slow, mostly because I think we were waiting for something strange to happen. The ghost tour went through the hotel, and since we had rented the Mary Lake suite for the night, we were sure to let Jim and the tour group know they were welcome to come and check the room out. Especially since we weren't able to do so on our first two tours. 

Nothing had out of the ordinary happened that night, with the exception of laughing and talking around 3-4am, which could have been other guests in the hotel. It was incredibly hard to sleep with the feeling that someone or something is around you. We felt as if something was around us the entire time, but it defiantly wasn't threatening or evil feeling. From what we heard, Mary Lake was a very nice, caring woman. That was the vibe throughout the hotel. Mary Lake has been known to unpack the clothes of certain guests, and even tuck them in for bed. 

The next morning is when strange started happening. My girlfriend and I went out for breakfast. Throughout our stay, my girlfriend did not like using the elevator. It was pretty small and kind of rickety, so she opted for four flights of stairs to get to our room instead of the quick trip on the elevator. After eating, we came back to the hotel. Even though she preferred the stairs, I'd always ask about the elevator anyway. We walked in the doors of the hotel, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman about 5'-5'3" go into the elevator. Since I saw someone go in, I didn't even try and get my girlfriend to ride the elevator. My girlfriend didn't see whoever it was that went into the elevator, so this time, she suggested taking it up to our floor. I agreed and we went to the elevator. As soon as I pushed the button, the doors immediately opened and the elevator was on the ground floor. Stunned, I walked in and didn't say a word until we got back inside the room. If someone went into that elevator, it wouldn't have been on the ground floor like it was. There was absolutely nobody in the lobby besides us. Totally strange...

We thought that was pretty cool, but not as cool as what was about to happen next. We packed up our bags, and while my girlfriend was in the bathroom finishing getting ready and doing her hair, I took my camera out to our floor to see if I could capture any apparitions or orbs on film. After shooting some pictures, I returned to our room and walked to the bed to grab my camera bag. While putting my camera away, the hotel room door opens and slams. My back was to it, so I didn't see it happen, but my girlfriend was facing it and saw the whole thing. Completely tripped out, we both went to the door. We tried everything we possibly could to debunk this. No matter what, the knob had to be turned to open the door. And no matter how easily we set the door against the latch, the auto-close pressure hinge at the top would push the door closed every time, even if we put the latch right against the door frame and let it go. It would close every time. It was not physically possible for the door to open on it's own, because it would defiantly close on it's own. 

After tripping out about that for about a half hour, we decided it was time to leave. We checked and double checked that we had all of our belongings. Satisfied, with our arms full of bags, we headed for the door. We had all of our suitcases and bags in our arms and hands, so we just let the door swing closed, and it was almost all the way open. No joke, the door swings closed and, and gets stuck on the latch. My girlfriend and I looked at each other in awe. We both agreed that Mary Lake didn't want us to forget something, so we went back in. Come to find out, my girlfriend had left her favorite blanket on the bed. We are both certain that was the reason Mary Lake held the door for us. We both thanked her out loud for the amazing time we had those two days, and especially thanked her for not letting us forget that blanket!  

Anyone in the San Francisco bay area should stop by the Queen Anne hotel. The ghost tour departs nightly at 7:00pm, and meets in the lobby of the Queen Anne Hotel. Hope you all enjoyed my experience.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, SFheffe, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

HGVC (1 posts)
10 years ago (2012-07-27)
I stayed a few nights at the Queen Anne in 2010. I did not stay in the Mary Lake suite. I stayed in a room just up the main stairs, to the left (u-turn) close to the end of the hallway. I would guess that my room was just above the breakfast room near the front desk. My king bed had three pillows - one hard, one medium and one soft. Every night I slept on the soft pillow as this is what I require to be comfortable. My last night there I get into bed and see that my soft pillow had fallen on the floor. I must have bumped it off when I got up that morning. I was pissed and expressed my disappointment outloud about how I was upset it was on the floor (I have a habit of talking out loud even if it is just myself around). So I tried the hard pillow and then pushed it aside and vocally said how it was so hard and uncomfortable. I had to settle for the less comfortable medium pillow and managed to get to sleep. I woke up the next morning and started to pack to get ready to leave for the airport. I was gathering my things and went over to the ironing board across the room (that I left lazily left open the whole stay lol). On top of it, the hard pillow is placed perfectly in the middle of the ironing board. It almost looked like someone measured and placed it in the exact spot. I know I did not place it there. Even if for some reason I threw it across the room in the middle of the night it would not land perfectly placed in the middle of the ironing board. My door was deadbolted and I was traveling alone. I think Mary heard my complaints and made sure I did not switch to that pillow in the middle of the night by mistake. I was a little weirded out, but had to get going to the airport to catch my flight.
DARKNESS (3 stories) (2022 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-12)
SFheffe: As previously mentioned it is great to read a experience like this, sounds as though you had a fantastic time there and got your fair share of strange events aswell. 😊 I agree with what taz890 has mentioned regarding the lady that walked into the lift, was this Mary Lake? Great account.

Thanks for sharing.

taz890 (12 stories) (1380 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-12)
wonderful post thanks for sharing 😊
Agree with vanessanda it is nice to read a post on here that is not trying to scare the living hell out of the reader, but a helpful spirit post instead.
Plus have to say that I liked the fact that even though you saw a lady walk into the lift you did not say it WAS mary lake you saw, leaving the reader to wonder could it have been...
And the ending is sweet Too not letting the door close until you had all your things
Thanks for sharing again
Vanessanda (3 stories) (226 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-12)
It's nice to also get some positive experiences on this site. I look forward to reading more from you. This is a favourite for me.
UntilDark (1 stories) (24 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-11)
I will surely stop by this hotel the next time I visit San Francisco. Mary seems like a wonderful person. ❤
spooked_girl (1 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-11)
awww... I want to meet her 😊 😊 😊 I want to go to that ghost tour and on the same room you were in.
Moongrim (2 stories) (871 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-10)
Nice Story... Something to look forward to the next time I take a business trip to San Francisco!

"The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco."- Mark Twain
HappySpirit (187 posts)
11 years ago (2011-12-10)
What a great story. I'm usually not inspired to go visit historical ghost haunts but this sounds wonderful. I think the fact that Mary is such a nice person helps!

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