Monday, June 1, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination San Francisco with Celia Breslin

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination San Francisco with Celia Breslin

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.

This week's stop is San Francisco, California and our special guide is Celia Breslin author of the TRANQUILLI BLOODLINE urban fantasy series.

Celia's Top 5 Spooky Places in San Francisco

I love my hometown of San Francisco.  It’s a beautiful combo of nature and architecture, has some of the nicest weather all year round (I’m including the awesome fog in that assessment!), excellent cuisine, abundant arts, and more.

For the lover of the paranormal, there are a ton of spooky spots to explore, some of which make an appearance in my vampire series, The Tranquilli Bloodline. Here are my top five picks for your road trip pleasure.   Enjoy!

1. The Armory – Located in the Mission District, this 200,000 square foot reproduction of a Moorish Castle was constructed in the early 1900s and used by the San Francisco National Guard. Today, it’s owned by an adult entertainment company. Tours are available for all five floors of this historic building (including the production studios).  My favorite floor by far is the wonderfully creepy basement:  a vast, cavernous space with visible remnants of its days as an armory (indoor rifle range!). Mission creek runs through the basement floor in the exposed concrete, adding to the spooky vibe.

2. Alcatraz Island – Also known as “The Rock,” Alcatraz sits in the San Francisco Bay, and is home to a large seabird population, the West Coast’s oldest functional lighthouse, and, of course, the infamous maximum, high-security prison, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. You can guess the spookiest part, right? They say ghost of ex-cons haunt the prison. Take a nighttime tour and let them shut you in a one of the 9ft by 5ft cells…if you dare.  ::shiver::

3.  Sutro Baths, Ocean Beach – Once upon a time (1896), this bathhouse was the world’s largest, indoor swimming facility. Located near Ocean Beach and below Cliff House, Sutro Baths burned to the ground in 1966 (arson). Today, you can hike around the ruins then venture into the spookiest spot of all: the cave. For the best spine tingling experience, try it at night, when the fog swirls and the wind whips and wails, and the waves crash over the beach. Some say if you light a candle and leave it in the tunnel, a ghost will pick it up and fling it into the ocean…

4.  Stow Lake, Golden Gate Park – Modeled after NYC’s Central Park, Golden Gate Park is a gorgeous expanse of greenery in San Francisco. It’s also the most visited park in the U.S. Located west of the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden, Stow Lake is a great spot for picnics and a boat ride. If you venture there at nighttime, beware of the lake’s resident ghost, the White Lady. Barefoot and dressed in a white dress, rumor has it she lost her baby in the lake then drowned herself in the early 1900s. There’s also a statue near the lake of a woman and two small children. They say it moves when the White Lady is on the prowl.

5. Mission Dolores Cemetery – What’s spookier than a cemetery? Mission Dolores Cemetery is the oldest burial ground in San Francisco and the resting place of city founders, criminals, and thousands of First Californians (the Ohlone). It’s also one of the locations in Hitchcock’s 1958 classic film, “Vertigo.” You’ll find the cemetery next to the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores. Tour both, but don’t be surprised if the hairs on your nape stand at attention as you wander through the cemetery gardens, among the ancient tombstones and silent sentinel statues. Spooky energy, even on a sunny day…

Happy Spooky Travels!

Thank you Celia for giving us such a haunting tour of San Francisco!  

To learn more about Celia Breslin and her books, please visit her website.  You can add her Tranquilli Bloodline vampire series here on Goodreads.

Haven Tranquilli Bloodline by Celia Breslin

Have you visited San Francisco?  Ever experience anything of the supernatural kind in and around San Francisco?

What did you think of Celia's picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Boston, MA with Nancy Holzner.  Next week we'll be traveling to Clifton Heights, NY with Kevin Lucia.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!


  1. Hi E.J.,
    Thanks for having me over today to talk about spooky places in SF! :-)