Vampires Beneath Our Feet: San Francisco's Vampire Legends
When railroad barons built their mansions in San Francisco’s Nob Hill, they didn’t realize they were joining a community hundreds of years old. They found out soon enough when they discovered that vampires had long since colonized in an intricate underground network of tunnels. Some say that the vampires came out to feed, leaving newborn predators living in the bodies of Nob Hill residents. When you can find one willing to share their legends, you hear about business tycoons and political figures that came above ground to pass in human society. The Bay Area Rapid Transit System was built with the help of local vampires, and much of the reconstruction after the 1906 earthquake was thanks to assistance from this group. Not a believer? You might feel differently after spending an evening touring important vampire landmarks in the dark.
Nob Hill Cafe
According to the lore, Nob Hill Cafe wasn’t always such a pleasant stop for a bite at lunch or dinner - at least not for human tourists. A rogue group of vampires decided to save themselves the trouble of a hunt, by attracting their meals to the premises willingly. Men stepped into the restroom, only to fall through a trapdoor in the floor, much like you have seen in Sweeney Todd. They were first robbed, and then feasted upon until not a single drop of blood was left in their bodies. For many years, law enforcement puzzled over these bizarre killings, until they suddenly stopped. Of course, no one knows why they stopped, and whether they could be back.
Visitors to Huntington Park stand where the fires of 1906 raged out of control. In order to contain the devastation, many homes had to be dynamited. Vampires living underground in the area were forced out, adding to the general chaos of the situation. In the confusion, many lives were lost to furious, hungry vampires, though most attributed the deaths to the fires.
Even those that recognize the truth of vampires still think the creatures cannot step foot on hallowed ground. It’s a deadly error, as Grace Cathedral is anything but safe. It was designed as a twin to Notre Dame in Paris, but the heavy bronze doors were a later addition. During World War II, they were spirited away from their original home in Florence, Italy, by vampires, who wished to protect them from imminent Nazi invasion.
Guests of the Fairmont Hotel are sure to see all sorts of supernatural sights, as it is one of the most haunted locations in America. You have less to fear from the variety of vampires that stay at this hotel when travelling than you do from the ghosts haunting the seventh floor and the penthouse. Vampires feel a sense of connection to the Fairmont, as they were key to rebuilding the lobby after the 1906 earthquake. At the time, the building was nearly finished, but not yet complete to the point that it could withstand the tremors. The lobby was hardest hit, so many building materials were brought into the area to restore the property. Since the vampires’ network of tunnels was also quite damaged, they traded their labor on the hotel for materials to repair their underground passageways.
Important Information for those Visiting Nob Hill
Despite what you have read, vampires can come out in daylight, so be on the lookout no matter what time of day. Though myths usually tell us that vampires are afraid of the sun, in fact they are only allergic to it. Should you decide you are brave enough to see the sights of San Francisco, don’t rely on just any cross for protection. In order to effectively debilitate or kill a vampire, it must be made of ash wood, just like the original cross.
If you come upon a vampire resting in his coffin, don’t just poke him with a stake and run. The stake must go all the way through the heart and lodge in the bottom of the coffin to effectively pin him down. San Francisco is a glorious city full of history and culture – an exciting destination for travellers of all ages and interests. However, stay aware of your surroundings and don’t take unnecessary risks that would cause your trip be ruined by a bite from a hungry vampire.