clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

San Francisco's Dirty Secret: Your Home Might Have Been a Cemetery

New, 4 comments

[Via Fern Hill Walking Tours]

As Poltergeist taught us, any building erected on a former cemetery is doomed to be haunted by restless spirits. San Francisco was once chockfull of cemeteries until a collection of greedy developers, ambitious mayors, and mysophobics combined to oust them all. In 1900 cemeteries were banned in the City and by 1937 all were removed. Or so the story goes; there are still grave sites found at Mission Dolores and The Presidio. And oddly Thomas Starr King has a tomb at the corner of Franklin and O'Farrell.

Using this handy map, now you can find out if that "bump in the night" is perhaps Emperor Norton back from the dead. While most former cemeteries today are only haunted golfers (Lincoln Park Golf Course) and hipsters (Dolores Park), it's bad news for denizens of Laurel Heights, Anza Vista, and the USF dormitories.

As Emmitt Watson, the caretaker of The San Francisco Columbarium said, you can die in San Francisco, but you can't be buried there. However, a loophole in the 1900 law allows for cremated remains to be interned within the city. We've written before about real estate for the dead at the Columbarium, but wait, there's more! Grace Cathedral, The Episcopal Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, All Saints' Episcopal, and St. Gregory's of Nyssa all have repositories for purchase. - Victor Obeck
· San Francisco Historical Cemeteries [Google Maps]
· Landmark 209 [NoeHill]
· Condos... of the Dead [Curbed SF]
· Cemeteries [San Francisco History]