Legend of the Stow Lake Ghost
If you are ever near Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, then you won’t be far from a lake located here known as Stow Lake. If a woman approaches you here in the nighttime, she may well ask you “Have you seen my baby?” You might be in trouble, as answering her question can be a rather tricky one. Answering with “yes” will make her haunt you, while “no” will only anger her—as she tries to drown you in the lake.
Legend has it, that a troubled ghostly mother, tirelessly searches for her lost baby—believed to have drown in the nearby lake. This legendary ghost tale, has been talked about for years here. Some think that the lady of the lake, is bound here—as she has attached herself to a nearby statue in the area.
There are different incarnations of how the ghost of Stow Lake came to be. One story makes mention of a boating accident, as the young mother quickly jumped overboard, to save her drowning son. However, both of them would die from drowning.
Another story says, that the young teenage mother became pregnant out of wedlock and decided to hide this fact from her family. She then disposed of the baby in the lake. The other version is the mother was on a flat-bottomed boat paddling down the lake. She only took her eyes off her child for a moment, when she noticed that the child was gone. Panicked, she jumped into the lake after them only to never be found again.
Allegedly, a man was pulled over from speeding back on January 6th, 1908, after being scared to death over what he had seen. The man said he was trying to exit the park, when a mysterious figure blocked his pathway.
He then went on, to describe this figure as being a woman with a white dress who also was barefoot. There was something off about her, as she seemed to glow and his gut feeling was to leave as quickly as possible. This is believed to be the earliest encounter of the ghost of Stow Lake.
There is only one female statue here, often referred to as the Pioneer Mother. (Pioneer Woman and Children) It is believed, that perhaps this statue or possibly others, links the Stow Lake ghost to our world. This statue has aged over time and a white coloring has appeared over it. Some think that this didn’t happen naturally and that at some point, some kind of acid was thrown onto the statue.
More legends include, the statue itself being able to move during the night hours. Quite possibly, the statue is cursed becoming a vessel for the tortured soul to manifest into. Perhaps scarier than this is, the lightening of the bronze coloring—deemed to be some kind of lingering energy left behind. Maybe this might make this legend more life-like.
Now well over a century, many feel and think that Stow Lake is haunted. Numerous encounters over time, record people meeting up with the ghostly woman in white, wandering by the night lake. One encounter mentions another woman having a conversation with a woman dressed in white near the lake. When the woman turned back around, the woman with a white dress was gone.
The Golden Gate Park is quite massive in size. There is about 1,017 acres of park here. It was first administered by the San Francisco Recreation & Parks Department back in 1871. The department’s mission was to oversee the development of the Golden Gate Park. Comparably, the park is about 20% larger than Central Park, located in New York City.
The story about the ghost of Stow Lake, still lives on today.