Manrow House

When J.P. Manrow built his home on Russian Hill in San Francisco in 1851, he had no idea that it would house more than his family. Unfriendly spirits moved right in with him. Manrow, a civil engineer who made a fortune in California real estate, expected to live the high life. Instead, he found himself at the mercy of invisible pranksters. Troubling things happened from the family’s first day in the house. Something kept stealing objects and hiding them or moving them around. And there were unexplained rapping sounds coming from within the walls. The sounds disturbed and frightened the family at all hours of the day and night. Mrs. Manrow seemed to be the favorite target. She would come home from shopping, set her purchases down, turn away for a moment—and they would be gone. Later, she would find them in a strange place in the house. Once the family was rudely surprised by salt in the sugar bowl instead of sugar. The family soon tired of the tricks and weird noises, but the intrusions would not stop. They went on for years.

By 1856 Manrow was at his wit’s end. He told a few friends about his ghostly problems. The men thought it would be a good idea to investigate. They decided to hold an amateur séance at Manrow’s home with their wives present. No one knew how to organize or control a séance, and the group got far more than they bargained for. The table levitated. Objects were tossed about the room. Everyone was pinched and had their hair pulled. The doorbell rang by itself. Most frightening of all was the appearance of a demonic-looking apparition outside the house. The horrible figure stared at them through a window.

A local newspaper dubbed Manrow’s home the “House of Demons,” giving a colorful description of it : "If all the fiends in hell had combined their features into one master-piece of ugliness and revolting hideousness of countenance, they could not have produced a face so full of horrors. It was blacker than the blackest midnight that ever frowned in starless gloom over the storm-swept ocean."

If this wasn’t terrifying enough, the group decided to hold two more séances. Once they attempted to ask “good” spirits to come and push out the bad spirits. All they did was stir up more violent poltergeist activity. After three séances they gave up. The Manrow family just put up with all the ghostly activity for the rest of their time in the house.

The Manrow House no longer exists, having been replaced by an apartment tower. No explanation for the haunting was ever found, so the question remains: why would a brand new house be occupied by any ghosts or spirits, let alone unfriendly ones? Strangely, this sort of negative haunting happens over and over again, in both old and brand new houses today. Sometimes the ghosts or spirits seem attached to the place, and sometimes they seem attached to specific people.

Source :
Mysteries, Legends and Unexplained Phenomena : “Ghosts and Haunted Places” by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Pic Source :,+San+Francisco,+CA,+USA&gl=id&ei=6AcFTLHkENCprAftzfndAg&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CBQQ8gEwAA

Manrow House Manrow House Reviewed by Tripzibit on June 02, 2010 Rating: 5

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