No city does Halloween quite like San Francisco. While many may check out the party scene in the Castro, go trick-or-treating in Noe Valley, or visit the pet cemetery in the Presidio, few have the courage to brave Stow Lake at night.
The famous ghost story and legend of Stow Lake has been circulating for nearly 100 years, and it goes something like this: Once upon a time at Stow Lake, in Golden Gate Park, there was a lady who was walking her baby in a stroller. After a while, this lady got tired and rested on the bench next to the lake, with the stroller right next to her. While she was sitting, another lady came to sit down next to her and they started talking. While they were conversing, the stroller rolled away unnoticed. The stroller with the baby fell in the lake. After the two women finished talking, the lady noticed her baby was gone and panicked right away. She then walked around Stow Lake and asked people, “Have you seen my baby?” She spent all day and all night asking everyone. When the night was over, the last place she checked was the lake. She went into the lake looking for her baby and ever since, she hasn’t been seen again.
It is rumored that if someone goes to Stow Lake at night, weird occurrences take place. Stories have been told that the lady comes up from the lake, or the statue in her honor comes to life, or she will come up to you and ask, “Have you seen my baby?” Other reports say if you drive there with your friends in a group of cars, all the cars will stall at the same time. Another rumor is said that, if someone says “White lady, white lady, I have your baby” three times, the lady will appear. She’ll ask you, “Have you seen my baby?” If you say yes, she’ll haunt you and if you say no, she’ll kill you.
So if you decide to walk around Stow Lake some night, beware of the White Lady. And if you walk through the street at night this All Hallows Eve and feel your hair stand on end, you might just be in the presence of one of the other ghosts of San Francisco.