This article will be taking a look at the urban legend of the Ghost of Stow Lake from Golden Gate Park in San Francisco…
A Terrifying Encounter
In early January, 1908, a man was upheld by local police for ‘speeding’ near the Golden Gate Park. Once apprehended, he explained to the law officers that he was speeding because he had just had a frightening encounter with ‘something’ otherworldly.
He went on to explain that he was in the process of leaving the park, when a woman appeared from nowhere and blocked his exit. Apparently, she had a strange ‘shine’ to her.
She was dressed in an all white gown and her bare feet slightly levitated off the ground.
This was the first ever recorded sighting of the Ghost of Stow Lake.
The Pioneer Mother Statue
The Pioneer Mother (also referred to as Pioneer Woman and Children) statue that now sits in Golden Gate Park was sculpted and cast in bronze in 1914.
It was finally moved into the park in 1940.
Over the years the statue has been through various stages of neglect, leading to it’s appearance becoming slightly disturbing.
It has a greenish hue to it’s body and half of her face has turned white – much like a ‘phantom’ mask.
But are these strange colorings really down to natural processes?
Many people believe that these strange bronze markings have something to do with the paranormal stories linked to this monument…
The Urban Legend
This legend seems to have been floating around San Francisco for well over a century now…
Apparently, Stow Lake is haunted, and that people venturing near there in the dead of night have come across a woman looking for her child.
In the early 1900’s, an unnamed woman took her children for a walk around Stow Lake – they were full of energy and she decided to see if she could tire them out.
After a while, her legs began to ache, and she told the children to have a little play when she sat down for a few minutes on a nearby bench with the baby.
Before long another woman joined her on the bench, and they began having a conversation.
As they spoke, the woman kept an eye on her kids playing by the lake…but forgot about her baby in the pram, parked next to her by the bench.
The pram gradually rolled off into the lake, and her baby drowned.
When she finished chatting, she realized that the pram had disappeared into the water, and ran into the lake frantically searching for her baby.
Her children stood watching her, terrified, on the lake bank.
She eventually disappeared into the depths of the lake, and was never seen again.
The Ghost of Stow Lake
Over the years, there have been numerous reports from people who claim to have encountered the Ghost of Stow Lake.
They all claim to have come face to face with barefooted woman in white looking for her lost baby – always at night.
The spirit is always in a terrified state, frantically searching for her lost child, which has already perished in the lake.
The Pioneer Mother statue is also linked to the legend – many people believe that the spirit of this unfortunate mother resides in the statue. If you approach the statue at night, you may get a glimpse of the statue’s head moving, as if it is scanning the area…searching for something…
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the legend of the Ghost of Stow Lake, please leave them in the comment section below.