After dark, San Francisco Chinatown transforms into a spirited, mystic enclave full of chilling experiences and ghostly stories, all of which are tucked inside its spooky alleyways. If you don’t believe in the supernatural, there’s a good chance you will after taking one of Chinatown’s popular ghost tours led by the community’s leading historians.
Don’t let its name fool you. The tour guides aren’t paranormal experts; they aren’t psychics. These tour guides are Chinatown historians that let the neighborhood’s mystical folklore and unearthly history do all the talking during these 90-minute walking tours.
Two weeks ago on a Saturday, I ventured on one of these ghost tours led by Chinatown local and personality Cynthia Yee. Yee, 65, led her tour group into dark, dank alleyways that possess unique, ghostly stories.
One of the alleyways, Hang Ah Alley, told a spooky story of a woman named Anna Wong who died from heartbreak in her apartment after her husband died in battle during World War II. Her spirit still lurks in the alleyway at night. Some people from the group noticed little white spots that floated around Wong’s apartment building. Many believe that Wong is still alive in spirit in this alleyway, Yee said.
Another alleyway worth noting is the infamously known “Cat” Alleyway. Dozens of stray cats can be seen roaming inside this alley in the dark of the night. No one know who they belong to, Yee said. It is believed that these cats are actually reincarnations of the dozens of victims who were murdered in this alleyway over a century ago, Yee said.
The ghost tour shed more light on the mystery of Chinatown’s mystical alleyways during the night. These tours are offered every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.. You can reserve a tour at their official website.