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Marin's Haunted History

Marin is home to several spooky stories. Share some of your ghost stories in our comments.

Falkirk Mansion

The construction of the Falkirk Mansion was completed in 1888 and was overseen by Ella Nichols Park, who died in the house 18 years later. Many believe that Park still haunts the house today, and many report hearing strange noises and seeing her spirit walking down the staircase. While still alive, Park donated land to the First Presbyterian Church and cared for solider recuperating from battle. Many who’ve seen her spirit say that she seemed to be watching over the mansion.

Lichtenberg Estate

Located in the Dominican neighborhood of San Rafael, this 10-acre parcel was built by William Lichtenberg, a rice planter who was appointed to the German Consul in San Francisco in the 1800s. He moved with his family to San Rafael for the warmer climate. His daughter, Charlotte died in the house due to tuberculosis. Many say that windows in the house will slide up on their own when people are present.

Foster Hall, Marin Academy

Many people believe that Foster Hall, located in the heart of the Marin Academy campus in San Rafael, is haunted by a woman and her small son. When the 141-year-old house was being remodeled in 1972, a teacher told newspapers that he saw a young woman sitting at a dressing table and combing her hair in the main office. People also reported hearing odd noises, which some said were the young boy crying.

Boyd Gate House

This Victorian in San Rafael was built in 1879, by Ira Cook, the head of a gold prospecting family, who died in a fall on the estate. His son also died there, of tuberculosis. John F. Boyd received the house as a wedding present after he married Cook's granddaughter, Louise, in 1883. The Boyds had three children, but two died in the house at a young age. Several other people met their end in the house after the city took it over in 1905, including caretaker Esther Allen, and several family members of the following caretakers. Now home to the Marin History Museum, many have reported hearing a woman singing or talking in the house, and seeing the children.

Read the Marin Independent Journal's article on the recent paranormal investigations at the Boyd house.

Fairfax Ghost Train

A legend of a ghost train that appears on stormy nights in on abandoned right-of-way of the Marin Shore Railroad over White Hill stems from a 1928 Northwestern Pacific Railroad publication. The story says that White Hill used to be the home of railroad workers and an engineer named Mahoney lived in their camp with his beautiful daughter. His daughter died in childbirth and many say the ghost train’s driver is Mahoney trying to hunt down his daughter’s unfaithful lover.

Resources were provided by the Anne T. Kent California Room of the Marin County Library.

William Bertram November 01, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Marin has a very rich history of hauntings and ghostly activity from Gerstle Park to the strange and large, invisible creatures that roam the hills from Dutchman's Rock above Alpine lake through Carson falls and through the many hills back and around Kent Lake. At 1820 SFD in Fairfax, and for the nearly 30 years I lived there, we had several Spirits and Entities that lived with us. Mostly flicking hair, moving things, the odd smell of old fragrance, and occasionally 'cuddling' (the most disturbing occurrence) as well as the occasional breaking of glass or China when any part of the original building was damaged by accident. It was built in 1859 and has a creek running beneath the building which creates a type of vortex that attracts spirits like a magnet I'm told. Lastly, it also had a central room in the upstairs that SEVERELY inhibited both physical and emotional pain from being experienced in the body. Spirits in a Vortex are not unlike 'People' I guess...
Anthony November 01, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Once I saw the 3rd picture I knew this was a joke. Seriously..I am a photographer and that is a regular sun glare. You can tell by the lighting right below it.
William Bertram November 02, 2012 at 06:17 AM
Um yeah...after 30 years of investigation into 'Normal' and alleged 'Paranormal' photography, and also knowing lens flares as a second language, please share your insights further. I am not claiming anything. But having seen nearly every 'Ghost' photograph in existence, I consider this one quite anomalous indeed, as do many I have shared it with.

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