China town street on the San Francisco Haunted Tour

The Best San Francisco Haunted Tours

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Have you been dying to take a San Francisco haunted tour?  (See what I did there?)

Well, I’ve got you covered!

Welcome to the foggy, dark and mysterious streets of San Francisco, where history and hauntings collide. These San Francisco haunted tours promise to take you on a spine-tingling adventure through San Francisco’s most creepy corners. 

Prepare for ghostly apparitions and creepy tales of murder. Grab your bravest buddies and take a walk into the supernatural with great guides who understand the history behind San Francisco’s scariest stories and most haunted spots.

I don’t think you need to wait until Halloween season to enjoy a nighttime stroll through San Francisco’s dark past! This is a perfect foggy, rainy San Francisco night activity!

All three of my picks have 5 star ratings and great reviews.

A haunted alley on the San Francisco Haunted Tour

My Top 3 Picks for San Francisco Haunted Tours

Here are quick summaries. Keep reading for more info about each tour!

→ My #1 Top Pick is the five star rated tour by
The Haunt San Francisco.
 Why is it the best?

The Historic & Haunted locations.

The super fun hands-on immersive experience.

The engaging storyteller guides.

Carrie on the SF Haunted Tour

→ My #2 Top Pick is the five star rated tour by
The San Francisco Vampire Tour
Why is this tour so great?

 The vampire theme is really maintained throughout the tour.

The guides are really knowledgeable of all things vampires.

  Explore the spooky cemeteries & old hotels.

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco

→ My #3 Top Pick is the five star rated tour by
The Haunted Pub Crawl
Why does everyone love this tour?

The social and interactive feature of visiting bars while touring.

The selection of pubs are known for their paranormal activities.

The guides are great storytellers and San Francisco history buffs.

Site of the historic and haunted San Francisco brothel
A haunted alleyway in San Francisco

The Best Haunted Tours In San Francisco

 Starts at 8PM and is 1.5 hours 

The Tour meets at the newspaper kiosk at the corner of Montgomery & Clay Streets by the Transamerica Pyramid at
600 Montgomery St. The tour ends in Chinatown, just 3.5 blocks from the starting point at 7 Waverly Place.

Cost – $55

Book it!

The Haunt Tour is the top of my list of haunted tours in San Francisco because they really deliver! Many thanks to The Haunt for inviting me on their tour!

There are over 600 five star reviews describing how great The Haunt tour guides are,  how much fun it is, and how interesting and exciting it is to discover San Francisco’s dark side. 

The guides share some of the scariest stories of San Francisco’s past and the historic secrets.  You’ll learn about Gold Rush cemeteries and unexplained deaths and paranormal activity.

You don’t just hear about the stories, but actually participate in the ghost hunt with professional tools. We each were given our own electromagnetic energy reader to hold as we walked the streets. There were many times when they spiked into the red zone indicating some ghost activity was likely nearby! 

The guide used an S Box to ask for answers from any ghosts that might be listening and there were several answers! It’s actually a bit spine-tingling  to hear whispers from “the other side!”

The dowsing or divining rods came out as well to help the spirits answer yes or no questions. No, joke, it really worked!

The Electromagnetic energy tool on the ghost tour in San Francisco

On the tour you’ll hear about:

~ Buried bodies and sunken ships near the Transamerica Pyramid.

~ Hidden tunnels below the city.

~ How sailors were legally kidnapped.

~ The tales of San Francisco’s lawless Barbary Coast.

~ Jackson Square’s Gold Rush District and the hauntings from the 1800’s .

~ Chinatown’s red light district stories of murders, ghosts and gang wars.

I really loved this tour. Honestly, we had a blast and the tour guide was outstanding! She knows her stuff and taught the tour about respect and honoring of the dead and recognizing that while this is all fun, it’s also about a lot of tragedy that  happened in the early days of San Francisco’s sordid past. For more info:

More Details:

The tours are “family-friendly” and aren’t too scary for kids. There are “paranormal moments” but its not too frightening. However, some of the stories of brothels, opium, and murders might not be great for young ones!

There are no restroom stops along the way. There are bars nearby, if necessary.

Because this is such a popular tour, as Halloween approaches, there will be more than one tour offered daily on the weekends. They will lead 2-4 tours on Friday and Saturday nights.  But you better book early, because they have been known to sell out.

A street in Chinatown San Francisco

Starts at 8PM and is 1.5 hours 

Meet at the corner of California St. & Taylor St. and tour ends at the Mark Hopkins Hotel at 999 California St.

Cost – $30

Book it!

If you’re into vampires and climbing some San Francisco hills, then this one is for you! San Francisco has a dark past with some vampire lore in the beautiful Nob Hill District. 

This is a family friendly tour that explores the neighborhoods of historic Grace Cathedral, the famous Fairmont and Mark Hopkins Hotels, and the infamous Pacific Union House.

An alley on the San Francisco Haunted Tour

What you’ll see:

The tour stops by the Nob Hill Cafe in the neighborhood known for its luxury hotels and beautiful mansions. The cafe was the home of a restaurant called Feeding After Dark where the famous Jack The Ripper and friends put humans on the menu!

Then on to Huntington Park which was the site of the home of the Huntington railroad tycoons. After the 1906 earthquake, and the home was destroyed, the Huntingtons donated their land to the city. Many who were left homeless after the earthquake lived in tents on the park’s property.

The home of silver dealer James Flood survived the earthquake and became the elite Pacific Union Social Club. You’ll learn about the history of how vampires caught their prey at the club.

And finally some more history about how the Hopkins family acquired the land for the famous hotel where it stands today.

More Details:

Note that Grace Cathedral closes at 6PM,  so you aren’t allowed to go inside during this tour. 

The reviews of this tour rave about how funny and informative the tour is. It’s also in a great neighborhood for seeing views and some of the city’s best architecture.

North Beach Zoetrope Building on the Haunted tour

Starts at 6:30PM and is 2.5 hours 

Meet at the corner of California St. & Taylor St. and tour ends at the Mark Hopkins Hotel at 999 California St.

Cost – $30

Book it!

What better way to learn about the ghosts of San Francisco’s past than to tour through its famous Barbary coast neighborhood. 

You may not know that the Barbary Coast of San Francisco was a red light district in the late 19th century known for its saloons, dance halls, jazz clubs, and brothels. This neighborhood was nicknamed the Barbary Coast after the coast of North Africa where pirates and slave traders raided the towns and ships.

Bars in SF had trapdoors in their floors to “Shanghai” sailors. By getting them drunk, giving them opium, and then pushing them down a trapdoor, (thus the phrase, “down the hatch!”) the sailors were kidnapped onto ships and would wake up out at sea where they had no choice but to work. Most of the ships stopped in Shanghai and sailors wouldn’t be brought back home for years! 

What you’ll get:

This tour guide will tell you tales of the Goldrush as you visit historic places like the haunted Old Ship Saloon. Have a drink while you hear about all the debauchery and crimes of the Jackson Square neighborhood. Start at the Barbarossa Lounge and visit the Devil’s Acre. Have another drink at the end of the tour at Lion’s Den Lounge and Bar in Chinatown’s center, which is haunted by ghosts to this day.

Reviews of this tour focus on how great and knowledgeable and passionate the guides are. In addition to the ghost tales, they loved learning about the gambling, crimes, ladies of the night, and the early days of San Francisco’s Chinatown. The Red Light drink is highly recommended!

Note that the price of drinks is not included!

Mural in San Francisco on the haunted tour

Quick & Easy Links

  Flights & Hotels: I recommend Expedia
  Vacation rentals: I recommend VRBO
  Car Rental: I recommend Hertz
  Tours: I recommend Viator
  Gear: Check out my Travel Stuff
  Create Your Travel Memory Books with MILK

Why is San Francisco so haunted?

A brief San Francisco history lesson will help you understand why so many ghosts are lurking around!

In the 1700’s San Francisco was still part of Mexico. The Spaniards arrived in 1769 and took the land over from the indigenous peoples, calling the city Yerba  Buena. They used Catholicism to try to convert the Native Americans. Many of the Yelamu tribe were killed during this time. 

During the Mexican American war, the city became part of the United States, and again, many lives were lost in the fighting.

And in 1849, the Gold Rush made San Francisco a hugely popular and booming city. People were after gold, silver, and a fortune. And, yup, you guessed it, there was a lot of violence, disease, and death. Reports say that nearly 100,000 Native Americans lost their lives during this period.

Then the Asian immigrant population grew, and with that came more stress, growing pains, crime, and deaths.

And, then the devastating 1906 earthquake, killing 3000 people and leaving 400,000 homeless.

But wait, there’s more! The Great Depression hit!  At this point, San Francisco needed to get back on its feet. This is the era when the Golden Gate Bridge was built, thus changing the course of San Francisco’s history into the resilient and progressive town it is today.

The tales the ghost tours tell are of San Francisco’s less desirable but very real past,  and evidently there are ghosts still around to remind us of what it was like back then!

Jackson Street in San Francisco

Some San Francisco Haunted Facts

~ Did you know that San Francisco is one of the top rated cities for vampires to be undead?

~ Who knew that Grace Cathedral has some vampires in its closet?

~ Did you know that in the 1930’s entire cemeteries of people were removed from San Francisco and re-buried outside of the city in Colma?

~ There are subterranean tunnels and passageways under the streets of San Francisco making it easy for vampires to do their thing!

~ Apparently the undead love the French Gothic architecture of Nob Hill. 

~ The foggy atmosphere of San Francisco is said to be very popular among vampires!

~ When bodies were moved to different graves, some were found with their heads cut off!

San Francisco Rainy Day Activities - Cable Car Ride
San Francisco Rainy Day Activities - Golden Gate Bridge view

Ready for your Haunted Tour of San Francisco?

In a nutshell…

In the vibrant city of San Francisco, where history and mystery intertwine, there’s a peculiar thrill that lingers in the nighttime air. Enjoy the San Francisco sunset as you wander the haunted streets.

There are eerie tales about ghostly spirits that are said to wander through San Francisco’s historic buildings. This city has a lot of secrets in its past.

Embarking on one of San Francisco’s haunted tours is like stepping into a time portal, where you can immerse yourself in chilling stories and paranormal encounters.

So, whether you’re a skeptic seeking an adrenaline rush or a believer seeking proof of the supernatural, enjoy a spirited tour about a world beyond your own.



Hi There! I’m Carrie.

Carrie Green-Zinn Bio Page

I’m a native New Englander, turned New Yorker, turned California girl! Following a dance career, working as a dance therapist, and being a school psychologist, I’m now ready to share my passion for photography and travel with you! I absolutely love seeing the world with my family and friends. I know you feel the same! Let’s go! 

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