The Haunted History of San Francisco’s San Remo Hotel

Stepping into the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco feels like stepping into an old-fashioned Victorian home…if your Victorian home also happens to be haunted by at least five ghosts.

With its quaint design and charming character, the San Remo Hotel is a beautiful place to spend a weekend away.

However, a casual trip to one of the hotel’s shared bathrooms could easily turn into a paranormal experience, as many guests have had unexplainable experiences and seen apparitions.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Where is the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco?

The San Remo Hotel, named after a picturesque Italian town on the Gulf of Genoa, is tucked away between San Francisco’s North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Telegraph and Russian Hills border it on the East and West. Moreover, you can even catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge from San Remo’s Penthouse Suite.

Where to find it: 2237 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

Is the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco Haunted?

Funded by the legendary Italian-American banker AP Giannini, the San Remo was built after the Great Earthquake of 1906 to house workers rebuilding the city, and has served as a boarding house and hotel ever since. Over the years, it’s been home to a fair number of ghosts, including of known former residents.

From the hallways lined with historical photos, to the lack of modern amenities like phones and TVs, the hotel is full of Old World charm…and paranormal activity.

1. The Painted Lady

Guests of the San Remo hotel often report hearing someone knocking on their door. However, when they open the door, no one is there.

The mysterious knocker is rumored to be the Painted Lady: a ghost of a retired San Francisco madame who ran a brothel in town, and died in the San Remo in 1978.

The Painted Lady has also been known to move objects, create cold spots, and even whisper to guests inside their rooms. As one visitor reports:

“During the first night, while my girlfriend was asleep, I woke her up numerous times stating that the painting of the women adjacent from the bed was moving. While I glimpsed away from the painting I would see the women in the painting turn her head towards me. This happened numerous times during the night and every time when I looked back at the painting it would go back to “normal”.”

The Painted Lady seems to be particularly focused on Room 33, where the madame lived. So, if you are up for a little ghost hunting, this is a room to request!

2. The Little Girl in the Bonnet

The ghost of a young girl has been spotted trying to enter Room 42 on multiple occasions. She has been described as between 12-15 with dark hair, wearing a pale dress and bonnet. In addition to this, other guests have reported hearing a male voice calling out to her from behind the door.

Who is the girl? No one knows.

People suspect that the male voice belongs to a man who committed suicide inside the room in 1970 by shooting himself in the head. Could the little girl be the daughter he left behind?

3. The Murderer

A double murder is occurred in the restaurant of the San Remo Hotel in 1911.

During a wedding reception, a former lover of the bride showed up and began fighting with the guests.

In the midst of the fight, he pulled out a gun and shot two innocent men seated at a table nearby.

These days, witnesses regularly report seeing a short man with dark, slicked-back hair watching the patrons of the restaurant from the shadows. Planning his next murder, perhaps?

The Wild SF Experience

So, is the San Remo Hotel in San Francisco haunted? We will let you decide for yourself.

If a hands-on experience hunting ghosts with modern equipment is up to your alley, you should check out our Paranormal Investigation Tour, which has exclusive access to the San Remo Hotel.

This is the only way to enter the San Remo Hotel as a non-guest, where you’ll have the chance to and hunt real ghosts with authentic tools.

Ready to discover the paranormal side of SF?

Book a tour now.