Forlorn ghost known to haunt Stow Lake searching for lost child
NOPA VELO bikers catch glimpse of ghost across the lake Sunday morning
For more than 100 years visitors to Golden Gate Park have spotted a ghostly apparition hovering around Stow Lake. Sunday morning a group of cyclists observed the woman-in-white during a ride through the park. Rick Helf, one of the organizers of the NOPA VELO cycling troupe, said they decided to circle Stow Lake off JFK Drive at about 10:30 in the morning when the sighting occurred.
Once we were half-way around the lake, someone shouted, 'There's the ghost, across the water near the pagoda.' We all stopped and sure enough a woman in a white flowing gown was pushing through the reeds like she was looking for something. We all heard a distinctive, eerie wailing as if someone was in deep distress or mourning. We knew the lake was supposed to be haunted, but we had no idea we'd actually see the ghost!Helf said his group called out to the eerie woman who kept wailing and gesturing. They also saw tourists with small children approach the pagoda only to make a quick retreat once they saw the distraught ethereal presence. One child ran up the hillside for safety. After another ten minutes the ghost disappeared into the shadows.
The NOPA VELO cyclists spun out for Ocean Beach and munched on Twix bars in the sunshine to calm their nerves. Even Lenore McDonald was spooked, although she has a reputation among the group for disguising herself as a scary Patty Hearst and a chilling Maria von Trapp. The other cyclists -- including a new rider named simply Wolverine -- returned to the North Panhandle but purposefully avoided the lake. John Rogers, a cyclist who played Halloween tunes on his customized Rock the Bike ride, said no one wanted to re-visit The Ghost of Stow Lake. "It's distressing enough to play Thriller one more time."