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Golden Gate Bridge Ghost


This encounter happened about 1982. That's quite a while ago, but it's stuck in my memory as one of the first encounters I've had with a spirit. Luckily, they seem to appear as normal people to me, so at the time I'm not especially frightened. The place was under the north pier of the Golden Gate Bridge. There's a parking lot and an incline that leads down under the north tower. It's surrounded by granite blocks that are huge. Probably 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall. They were cut as supports for the bridge as it was being built and were never removed. When you're in your early 20's it's a romantic place to walk. There's a very small lighthouse, called the Fort Point Light, that was decommissioned when the bridge was built and you can sit there and watch the fog roll down over the city and hear the foghorn blast from under the south tower,

I was dating a man who lived in San Francisco and we were young and broke so we went to Ghirardelli Chocolates and then went for a walk under the north tower to spend a little time alone enjoy the sunset. It was almost sunset as we parked and walked down to the lighthouse. We sat on the little jetty next to it and talked until it was fully dark; probably about 8:30 because it was either September or October.

I don't know if you've been to San Francisco, but it gets very windy and cold as the sun goes down and we had only light jackets on. We decided to go back up to the car and head to a little coffee shop on 18th Ave to warm up. As we got closer to the granite blocks I noticed a man in a red flannel shirt and what looked like wool pants and work boots on sitting on top of a block smoking a pipe. What sticks in my mind is the glow from his pipe and the smell of tobacco that carried on the breeze.

I nodded to him and said hello (we were walking within about 5 feet of where he was sitting) and he said "Hello, fine evening isn't it?" I asked him if he needed a ride anywhere because the parking lot was empty except for our car and he answered very politely that he was waiting for his wife and daughter but thank you. I asked if they were driving to meet him and he laughed and said no, he'd been there for quite a while but he would see them walk up. Odd.

At about this time, it registered on me that my date was jiggling. Literally, he was hopping from one foot to another like he was in a windstorm and he was tugging frantically on my jacket sleeve. He grabbed my elbow and pushed me in front of him up to the parking lot and shoved me into the car. I was pretty irritated and couldn't figure out what his freaking problem was. It was bad enough that he hadn't said a word to the nice man but he hadn't even let me say good bye as we left.

I turned to yell at him as he backed out and peeled out of the parking lot as fast as he could but I was stopped by how pale he was. He looked as if he were about to cry! He didn't say a word until we got off the bridge and then started yelling "Who were you talking to?". It turns out he didn't see the man. He didn't hear him either. He only smelled pipe smoke and saw me talking to a granite block. He said he felt freezing air and was afraid that if we didn't leave something horrible was going to happen. He was afraid we'd disappear were his exact words.

Well, I was a little freaked out and started doing a some research on who this man might be. The Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1938 and several workers were killed while building it. My guess is that he was one of the men who died during the construction and his spirit was tied to the place. As for waiting for his wife and daughter? Maybe they still lived in San Francisco and he was waiting for them to pass and he would cross over at the same time. It doesn't sound like a bad place to wait. I never saw my date again after that night, but who can blame him? I was talking to a spirit. That would be enough for anyone to decide to find a girlfriend who didn't talk to people who weren't there. I've had a lot of encounters since then but I'm grateful that he was sweet and polite. It taught me to stop and remember that mostly they're just people and not purposefully trying to frighten you.

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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, EmmalineTexas, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-07)
Hi Biblio,

It's very nice to finally meet you. I've read your stories over the past year and they're some of my favorites! I also enjoy your thoughtful, incisive comments. Quite often, they point me in another direction or examine a point that I had missed. I love when someone can introduce you to another perspective. I'm looking forward to reading a lot more of your stories on YGS and thank you for the warm welcome and kind comments.
Bibliothecarius (9 stories) (1091 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-07)
Greetings, Emmaline.

I've been busy for the last few weeks, so I'm catching up on the stories I missed on YGS. I think it was probably for the best that the deceased fellow wanted to stay where he was. I had the same reaction as L_Melb did, but as you described your date's reaction to an unseen cold spot with which you were chatting, and his anxiety level went sky-high, you offered the deceased a ride in your date's car.

While there didn't seem to be any danger, as you were calm both during the experience and in retelling it, he was only getting the chill and watching you inviting it to follow along. I'm not surprised at his reaction at that point...

This is a beautifully evocative prose narrative; it's already in my "favorites" list. 😊

Meldel (6 stories) (39 posts)
6 years ago (2017-11-04)
A wonderful story Emmaline. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. 😊
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
6 years ago (2017-10-26)
Sushantkar - Sorry to freak you out! Makes you wonder what's out there doesn't it? Thanks so much for your comment and for liking my story. I've wondered about it for years.
Limey - Wow, that's interesting. Was it a time shift or did her friend not know she had passed? So many questions there. I'll have to go back and find that story. It sounds fascinating. Thanks for your comment!
Cloudy - Thank you so much for your comment and liking my story. I know when I go to Galveston, which had a hurricane that killed probably thousands, I sometimes feel suffocated. As if there are people everywhere, even when I'm standing all alone.
Faith - Hi neighbor! You are too sweet, so I know that you have that balance all figured out. You should be very proud of yourself. Scars aren't for sissies are they? You've got grit. Your comments are too kind and thank you for liking my story. I don't know about fan club LOL. I do the ADHD, forgot to proof, accidentally hit print shuffle. You're an editor, I'm a writer. Somehow I think we've got some parallels working here. By the way, before anyone gets upset, I write non-fiction. I really look forward to reading more of your stories. Keep them coming! Thanks again.
notjustme (19 stories) (852 posts)
6 years ago (2017-10-25)
Saved to favs. ❤ I agree with your theory on wife and daughter. What a funny/lovely/sad sorta experience. Hope to hear more soon.
Faith1990 (2 stories) (10 posts)
6 years ago (2017-10-23)
Emmaline, I just loved this story! I bet the spirit you ran into was grateful for the interaction. I imagine he might have been lonely waiting on his wife and daughter. Perhaps you gave him some much needed validation that spurred him on his way? And I think it is wonderful that you have this "other worldly" support that shows up in your life when you need it. You have to be open to it for it to happen and for that I commend you! ❤ I, too, had skin cancer removed from my face. It was in a spot that lies on the corner of the inner eye next to my nose. The scar ran the from my eyebrow down the side of my eye and nose. Freaked me out and I was concerned about the scarring. Thankfully it did lighten up. I now look at the scar with respect. So grateful a doctor inadvertently found the cancer (I went in for a different issue on another area of my face and he found the spot during the exam). So, not only did you kick cancer's backside, it led you to an affirmation of support from beyond. I hope it made you feel like a million bucks because you ARE beautiful! And, yes, please share more of your experiences! You have quite the fan club here. 😊
cloudy (7 stories) (39 posts)
6 years ago (2017-10-21)
Thank you so much for sharing this story, it was sweet and romantic (even if the date didn't work out after that experience).
Quite a few of the stories I've read recently (I like to go back and read old stories randomly or based on other members favourites) have been of encounters that might just as well have gone by unnoticed, and like Randym I wonder if we sometimes see spirits in crowds without noticing. It makes me want to take time to explore and take notice of my surroundings more, even when in very busy places.
Anyways, I also really liked your other stories and hope that you will share more with us.
sushantkar (16 stories) (533 posts)
6 years ago (2017-10-21)
Hello Emmaline, your story just chilled and freaked me out when I read your date yelling on you saying who the hell you were talking with... 😨. May be that man was died there... May be drowned or accidentally died while building the lighthouse... (co-worker or something like that) wondering still waiting for his family to come and see him.

Thanks for freking me out...

Limey (3 stories) (33 posts)
6 years ago (2017-10-21)
Hi Emmaline; a well told story. I can see the man and smell the smoke. And maybe see your date wanting to just get out of there as fast as possible. It would be interesting to speak to him now, to see how he feels as he looks back on the event from his point of view. It would be a disconcerting experience for anybody that didn't see what you saw.
Your experience is remarkably similar to one that I read here a few years back. The reader wrote (in my recollection) that she had a chance encounter on a Manhattan street with an old school friend. She even mentioned the building that her friend had emerged from. They walked along together and chatted about old times, and as they did so the writer sensed that people were looking at her strangely. They parted company with her old friend writing her phone number on a slip of paper, and suggested that she call and they might get together again. The writer did so shortly afterwards, and discovered to her horror that her old friend had died some time ago, long before the encounter.
The story intrigued me partly because tangible evidence was left behind. The piece of paper with the phone number. I asked the writer what had become of the piece of paper, and she said that she had thrown it out later when cleaning out her purse.
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-20)
Jubeele - Thank you so much for that hug! I needed that today. Really lovely of you. ❤ San Francisco is a wonderful place isn't it? Very mysterious energy once the fog rolls down from Mount Tamalpais. Now I'm craving Ghirardelli chocolates though.
AugustaM - I'm so sorry that you had your heart broken in San Francisco. I hope that things are very happy for you now. I can understand wanting to throw a rock through a speaker, definitely. I hope that man has gone on. Would be quite a reunion wouldn't it?
Sid926 - Thanks so much for your kind comments. I'm new and was really hesitant about posting the story. It's not scary and I thought some people would be dismissive of it.
Randy - Thank you so much. I do think that you've hit the nail on the head. When I had my son I was in labor for two days and very ill. A little nurse came in and checked on me constantly. She sat and stroked my hand for hours while my son was flown for emergency treatment from Tyler, Texas to Houston for blood transfusions. The next day I asked about her and she wasn't anyone on duty. They had no idea who I was talking about.

I will post another story if anyone is interested in a dark one. I once invited my then boyfriend's friends for dinner. One waltzed right in with a demon in him and it was sneering and snarling. It also stayed behind in a bedroom when the person left. Terrifying. Thank you all again. I love all of your stories on this site and can't wait to read more. ❤
RANDYM (2 stories) (266 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-20)
Hello Emmaline

What a lovely experience you had. Thank you for sharing it with us. I think it's so important to note that your encounter shows that interactions with spirits need not be scary at all and serves as a great reminder that ghosts/spirits are not some evil scary being that we should be afraid of. That is Hollywood. Spirits / ghosts are the same as us only they are no longer are confined to a 3-D body.

On another note here is something to think about.
Have you ever wondered as you go about your day and you see people going about theirs, if some of them are spirits? The man you encountered, people walking in a park or on a beach?

Next time you look into a crowd may we all remember that not all of those we see may be living on our side of the veil.

Thank you again for sharing such a wonderful experience and if you have had other encounters I would certainly look forward to reading them

Have a great day
Sid926 (2 stories) (25 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-18)
Hey emmaline, I really loved your story ❤...that's so nice that the man you saw was so kind and polite... Really nice story ❤
AugustaM (7 stories) (996 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-18)
When I was 21, I ran away to San Francisco to elope with my first boyfriend. The whole thing was both terribly romantic and absolutely heart breaking as we decided at the last minute not to go through with it. That's been a decade ago now but still to this day whenever I hear 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco,' I feel like throwing a rock at the speakers!

When you described the man... Flannel shirt, work pants, boots, pipe, old way of speaking, 25 or so... You could have been describing that boy I ran away with down to the last brush stroke. We took a walk down where you were several times while I was there. Too bad we never ran into your fellow - he might have met a kindred spirit... Though since we did not meet him, I hope it was because his wife and daughter finally arrived. ❤
Jubeele (25 stories) (886 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-18)
Emmeline, I know the spot! We were at the south tower though. I also bought some Ghirardelli chocolates. I walked partway onto the bridge and looked down at the water below. It was a looong way down...Night-time, back at the hotel, I remember looking across the bay as the fog bank slowly rolled in to blanket over the city lights. It was a mysterious and marvelous sight.

What a fascinating encounter. It's interesting that your date smelt the pipe smoke and felt the freezing cold. But I wonder why he was convinced you'd disappear? Could it be he was just projecting his fear of the unknown? You obviously didn't feel threatened at all. I think the spirit showed himself to you alone because he could sense you were a sympathetic person and would be open to a friendly encounter. Same as your meeting with the angel - such a blessing.

So I'd like to repeat what the angel said to you: "You're still beautiful". It shines from the words in your narrative. This story is going into my fav list. Here, I'm sending you a Hug.❤
L_Melb (220 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-18)
Hi Emmaline,
Thanks for answering so quickly and for the extra experience - I will never get used to how strange life is - you're the 4th person I've come across recently to have had skin cancer on the nose. Gladly, all have done well from treatment. Hope you have a good sunscreen and keep yourself covered - here in Australia, the sun is rather nasty and we're always told to be on guard.
Talk about jumping all over the place - from ghosts to skin cancer!
Thanks again! 😆
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-18)
L-Melb I'm so glad that you read and liked my story. Your comments are too kind. Yes, I think that I would have always wondered why that man was there. It was so isolated and he would have had to walk about 3 miles either direction to get off of the bridge. He seemed so old fashioned. He was like talking to someone my father's age although he looked to be about 25. I think we see a lot of things but our conscious mind writes it off. May I share a short story with you? Five years ago I had skin cancer on my nose. I had surgery and it left a very big very purple scar that ran from right between my eyes, down the bridge my nose and into my top lip. It also showed where they had to rebuilt the sides of my nose. I'm not a vain person but I got so tired of being stared at. Mostly kindly, some pitying looks but I dreaded going anywhere. One day I was very low and had to go to the grocery store. As I went in there was a man demonstrating food to my right - very close to the produce section. He was probably late 60's, had bright white hair and the most beautiful blue eyes that I had ever seen. He just had this gentle feeling emanating from him. I put my head down and tried to walk past him but he said "Excuse me, please wait". So I turned around trying to hide my face and he told me "I need to tell you the scars will fade and you are still beautiful". Well, I burst into tears like an idiot and mumbled thank you and took about 10 steps away into the produce section. I felt guilty for being so short with him and spun around to apologize. He was gone. There was no display, there was no man. There was absolutely nowhere he could have disappeared to in under 10 seconds. So, being my graceful self, I blubbed, abandoned my shopping basket and sat in my car until I could get my composure back. I was sent an angel. I will never feel alone again. I'm sure we see only a tiny part of what is real. Thanks for letting me share this story with you. ❤
L_Melb (220 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-18)
Hi Emmaline, what a lovely read!
I was wondering if your date hadn't been there, if anything else could have alerted you to having encountered something out of the ordinary?
Had you been alone, do you think you would have taken it for granted that it was simply an ordinary person you'd spoken to?
Makes you wonder what we may miss as we go through life...
Thanks, I really enjoyed reading this 😊
EmmalineTexas (10 stories) (163 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-17)
Whodat - That's hysterical. I had never quite looked at it that way. He knew something happened because he felt it. It took me about an hour to calm him down. I'll bet he still gets the shakes every time he drives across the Golden Gate Bridge! I think of the man with a pipe a lot. I hope that he met up with his family. At the time, I wondered why I couldn't really see his face very well, but I put it down to it being foggy. Life is funny. Thanks so much for your comment. ❤
Whodat (42 posts)
7 years ago (2017-10-17)
Wow what a great story. Thanks so much for sharing that one. I really enjoyed reading it. You had an amazing encounter for sure. I bet your date from that night is still telling folks to this day about that "crazy girl" he took to the bridge years ago.

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