Haunted and possessed homes have been a staple of horror movies for decades, and stories for centuries. Nothing quite beats finding out that where you sleep at night may not be as safe as you think. Previous tenants and homeowners may feel entitled to return, regardless if they are still alive or not. For this week’s Nightmare Fuel, we look at one such home — The Chambers Mansion in San Francisco, CA.
According to the legend, Richard Chambers, a wealthy baron from the Midwest, moved to San Francisco around 1887. He built a mansion at 2220 Sacramento Street, where he, his wife, and two nieces moved into. By 1901, however, Richard was dead, and the home passed on to his wife and nieces. Unfortunately, the nieces didn’t get along and one of them either purchased or had a home built next door to the mansion. The niece who stayed, Claudia Chambers, met with a grisly end. There are varying accounts which range from being murdered by a deranged family member living in the attic to a farm implement sawing her in half. Since then, people have reported seeing Claudia roaming the halls and flashing lights in the upstairs windows. An additional reason for the haunting given was the family’s practicing of black magic.
All of that makes for a good ghost story, however, no records prove a Richard Chambers lived in San Francisco. There are of a Robert Chambers living in that mansion. Robert died in 1901 from appendicitis, leaving the home to his brothers and sisters, none of who had children named Claudia. Robert’s wife, Eudora, had two nieces named Harriet and Lillian, who stayed with the otherwise childless couple.
While that part of the legend somewhat matches up, there were some strange occurrences involving Eudora that bear mentioning. In 1893, she went missing for a week before being found wandering a beach near Mussel Rock. On New Year’s Eve of the same year, she attempted to commit suicide by throwing herself in front of a train, only to be thrown out of the way before it hit her. Her family and friends viewed her as mentally unstable. Three years later, she died of undisclosed reasons.
In the decades that followed, an investor converted the mansion into a bed-and-breakfast that hosted such celebrities as Robin Williams, John F Kennedy Jr., and Barbara Streisand. A later investor split the home into two adjoining townhouses. Although there are no records of Richard or Claudia living in the mansion, there is nothing disproving that part of the story either. If any records existed, it’s possible that someone destroyed them at some point.
Regardless if the stories are true or not, the legend is enough for ghost tours in the San Francisco area to include it on their route. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to determine if the home is haunted or not. If you visit the townhouses, be sure to tell Claudia hello, just in case.
Until next time, Addicts,