Ghosts of the Westin St. Francis: Haunted Hotel in San Francisco

Ghosts of the Westin St. Francis: Haunted Hotel in San Francisco

The Westin St. Francis Hotel, San Francisco

The Westin St. Francis is one of the most renowned hotels in San Francisco. It proudly looks over the bustling tourist hub that is Union Square, and has remained at the city’s epicenter since its construction in 1904.

Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square.
The forboding Westin St. Francis Hotel looking over San Francisco’s Union Square.

Although the hotel is much beloved by locals and sought-after to spend time during a stay for many visitors, it also has a dark side. The Westin St. Francis has been the scene of some rather unfortunate events, some of which are thought to have produced hauntings.

Inside the haunted Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, California.
The hotel’s sophisticated, yet spooky interior.

San Francisco’s Haunted Hotel

One of the most notorious stories of the hotel dates back to 1921. At this time, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and his friends, who had been staying at the infamous hotel, decided to hold a party spanning across three suites. Arbuckle, being one of the highest-paid and well-known comedic actors of the time, ensured a star-studded guest list. One of the attendees to this party was an up and coming Hollywood actress, Virginia Rappe. Unfortunately, for Rappe, this was to be her last party.

Haunted hotel in San Francisco, California.
Looking up at one of the most haunted hotels in California.

Rappe was later rushed to hospital by her friends, only to pass away the very next day. After this, Arbuckle was accused of raping and crushing Rappe in a bathroom inside of Room 1219. Although Arbuckle was later declared innocent, his career had suffered and many still maintained that he had murdered Rappe, especially since her injuries suggested she may have been crushed.

Haunted Room 1219 in the Westin St. Francis Hotel.
Outside of Room 1219, said to be the most haunted room in this hotel.

Years later another film star, Al Jolson, was to die in the same room Rappe met her fate. Jolson allegedly had a heart attack while playing poker with friends.

Clock in the lobby of the St. Francis Hotel of San Francisco.
The grand, historic clock that watches over this haunted hotel’s lobby.

These tragic events have led many to believe that Room 1219 is indeed haunted. Countless guests have reported to sight the apparition of Virginia Rappe, both in the hotel’s hallways and this room. She is usually described as appearing stressed over something and she is believed to be looking for help or possibly revenge. Al Jolson has also reportedly been sighted within this suite. It seems he may be re-living his final game of poker, often seen sitting over a card table with his gaze fixated on what his hand holds.

Most haunted room at the hotel.
Exploring the hotel’s most haunted suite, Room 1219.

These aren’t the only restless souls thought to exist at the St. Francis Hotel. Another woman is said to roam the 12th floor. She is believed to have been a past long-term resident of the hotel and considered to be a friendly ghost.

Haunted floor on the Westin St. Francis Hotel.
The haunted hallways of the hotel’s 12th floor.

Visiting the Haunted Westin St. Francis Hotel

The Westin St. Francis Hotel is open year-round and is a popular and iconic landmark within San Francisco. Stays at the hotel can be booked online ahead of time. If you are just looking to visit the hotel, you will find many historical artifacts in the lobby, as well as an array of stores and eateries.

Looking for the ghosts of San Francisco's haunted hotel.
Looking for this notorious hotel’s ghosts!

If you are interested in other haunted hotels in San Francisco, I recommend checking out the Queen Ann Hotel.

Thanks for reading!


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About Amy

Amy is a world traveller and explorer of creepy locations. She has visited some of the most famously haunted places around the world in search of evidence of the paranormal. Follow Amy's Journey:

Comments (6)

  • jen krajewski

    Posted by jen krajewski on November 23, 2019

    I’m curious as to why you dont post up any videos from the US. I was looking forward to seeing a few and u never put any up. there are a few places in buffalo ny that you would LOVE. any chance you can come here? ghost hunters came to investigate and found ALOT if activity. I’m just starting out hunting myself. any tips for beginners? love you guys!!! keep it up!!


      Posted by Amy on November 23, 2019

      Hi Jen! Thanks for your comment. I actually lived in the US for three years and it was the place where I had my first paranormal experience. That set me down the path of exploring and learning more about the paranormal. I loved traveling to haunted places and taking photographs of them, but hadn’t conceived the idea of Amy’s Crypt yet, that came later. A lot of these places I still like to share here, on my website, even though I only possess photos of them. I do hope to come back to the States soon though, so hang tight! There will be plenty of filming this time around and I would absolutely love to check out Buffalo! Hope this makes sense! As for advice for beginners, just get out there and start. That is the best way to learn in my opinion. Thanks again!

  • dirk feldspar

    Posted by dirk feldspar on December 3, 2019

    Amy Please be careful lil Darlin…some BAD stuff lurking out there!


      Posted by Amy on December 4, 2019

      Thanks for the warning, Dirk.

  • Clinton

    Posted by Clinton on January 3, 2023

    I’d love to visit the places and have adventure. Are they dangerous?


      Posted by Amy on January 3, 2023

      Some places can be, but this one is a public hotel, so this one is safe.

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