Between Jones and Powell,
San Francisco, California
In San Francisco's Nob Hill, between Jones and Powell on California Street, roams the ghost of a teenage girl named Flora Sommerton. In 1876, at age eighteen, her parents at a formal dance announced her betrothal to an older man. She fled from the scene and was supposedly never seen again. Some stories state she fled on her wedding day instead of the date of the announcement. Her parents were rumored to put up the huge sum of $250,000 for her return, but this sadly only led to con artists, trying to swindle the family.
Supposedly, several years later (some stories say fifty in 1926) her body was found in Butte, Montana. She was apparently working as a housekeeper under the name Mrs. Butler. The room she was found in was filled with newspaper articles reporting her disappearance and even stranger at the time of her death, she was wearing the same 19th century white ball gown complete with thousands of tiny crystal beads that she had fled San Francisco in. The family had her body brought back to San Francisco and buried in the family plot.
Now a days, many people have seen the ghostly figure of a young girl walking up and down California Street where she lived. She does not appear to interact with anyone and seems oblivious to the people and things around her. Flora is always wearing the flowing, white gown, though.
- Anonymous on 2018-12-09 said:
- I believe this is a completely fictitious story written by author James Reynolds in his 1955 book "Ghosts in American Houses." The story is called "Buried in Crystal."
- sherry goldsmith of petaluma, California on 2014-03-26 said:
- The last name wasn't Summerton. I believe it was Stanford-Brown or Stanton-Brown if this helps at all. I'm very familiar with this story:and her ghost walks up and down the street but if you call out "Hi Flora" She will wave back at you. Weird, I know.
- Caitlind Alexander of Northern, CA on 2013-04-10 said:
- In doing research for a book I'm writing, it appears this story is completely made up. There is no Flora Summerton (or Sommerton) listed in any census in 1860 or 1870. Those censuses listed all household members. The only Summerton in San Francisco was a George Summerton, with his wife Matilda in 1880. He did not live on Nob Hill and his occupation was "Miller". Darn, I wanted there to be some truth in this one. I wonder where the story originated.
- John Chasse of Portland, Maine on 2013-03-07 said:
- Flora Sommertons story has won a place with me- but did she really exist ? Are there any photos of her and family - and where was she buried- and was she buried in that ball gown ?
- floridagirl88 on 2010-12-23 said:
- I was walking along California Street. I suddenly felt this weird feeling, like somebody was watching me. I looked around and saw this girl in a wedding dress. She was alone. I thought it was weird. Then I realized I could see through her. It freaked me out. She seemed to be looking for something. I think this was Flora.
- The Field Guide to North American Hauntings (1998) by Blackman, W. Haden, p: 157 - 158
- Ghost Hunter's Guide to the San Francisco Bay Area (2005) by Dwyer, Jeff, p: 69 - 70
- Weird California (2006) by Greg Bishop, Joe Oesterle, Mike Marinacci, p: 222
- Haunted Places: The National Directory (2002) by Hauck, Dennis, p: 73
- Mysterious California (1988) by Marinacci, Mike, p: 41
- Haunted San Francisco (2004) by Richards, Rand, p: 171 - 173
- Ghost Stories of California (2000) by Smith, Barbara, p: 46 - 48
- Ghosts of San Francisco (2007) by Vercillo, Kathryn, p: 77 - 78
Last Edited: 2006-06-10