San Francisco Art Institute Museum

San Francisco Art Institute Museum thought to be haunted by the troublesome spirits attached to an old CEMETERY. The San Francisco Art Institute, located at 800 Chestnut Street in Russian Hill, is in one of the most haunted parts of the city. The institute opened in 1927, and stories of weird happenings, especially in the bell tower, circulated immediately. In the tower, phantom footsteps were heard, lights went on and off, and doors opened and closed by themselves.

In 1968, a renovation project was started and the haunting activity increased, once again associated with the bell tower, which was being enlarged as a storage facility. People involved with the project suffered mysterious accidents, personal difficulties, and illness. At night, the sounds of breaking chairs could be heard, though no actual broken chairs were ever found. A discovery was made that an old cemetery next to the institute had been covered over by construction. Perhaps ghosts of the dead were disturbed.

Haunting activity continues, though it is not as dramatic as during the renovation.



  • Richards, Rand, ed. Haunted San Francisco: Ghost Stories from the City’s Past. San Francisco: Heritage House Publishers, 2004.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits– Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007


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