The Old Mechanical Building (location kept confidential for public safety).
First Tale of Terror
At one time the old mechanical factory was thriving with people and full steam in production until an accident occurred. Around 1928, before the crash, a worker named John Phillip, distraught with his life went into the men's room, splashed a bucket of water on himself and proceeded to the electrical room where he threw himself at the power generator. Needless to say, not only did John electrocute himself, he caused a power outage and surged that freakishly caused the deaths of 4 other workmen.
The factory obviously recuperated from the tragedy and continued in operation for about 10 more years when it ceased production just prior to World War II as the owners went bankrupt. The federal government stepped in and used the factory to manufacture machine parts for tanks and ships with a government contractor. The contractor was Spellman and Franco Machinery of Cleveland, Ohio.
They were a small company with big connections and so after landing the job they rehabbed the plant to their liking. Nothing unusual about this except that once a year, without fail, 4 workmen accidentally die. No matter how many safety rules, how many safety captains, or how many safety meetings, 4 men die. This occurred every year until the government no longer needed the contractors as the war ended and America was victorious.
The property sat vacant for 3 years until it was purchased by a chemical manufacturer. The purchaser was well aware of the tragedies that had befallen the old building but he was not superstitious. The building sat vacant for 2 more years as the new purchaser, John Miller, had other projects in San Francisco he had to attend to. Once those projects were over, he began rehabbing the building, tearing out all machinery, putting up fire escapes, sprinkler systems, stairways, and even building an entire 6th floor.
John's company prospered and the factory was in full production - no deaths on site, no tragedy, and as John boldly proclaimed, no superstitions. John's grandson, Bill McGuire, took over as president of the chemical manufacturer in 1976. Bill's wife, Mary Lou, was the company accountant. Mary Lou, who loved a good tale, would bring willing listeners over to the electric room where poor old John Phillip electrocuted himself. There she would tell stories for fun and always ending each one a light joke or witful yarn.
Hello Mary Lou . . . and Goodbye
Then in 1979 something horrible happened. It was a dreary Sunday afternoon and the building was shut down. Mary Lou forgot her books at her office at the building so she drove up there to get them so she can prepare her quarterly reports. Mary Lou did not have keys but knew a door in the back that easily opened so she went in there.
As Mary Lou was walking through the dimly lit building, her own tales were being recalled into her memory. The more she remembered, the more she got frightened. Well, May Lou decided to start singing to remove those memories and think peaceful thoughts. It was very eerie for May Lou as she sang louder she would hear the echo of her voice in a surreal tone.
Her office was in the front of the building on the new 6th floor. As she ascended the stairs she became weary. By time she reached the door at the sixth floor, May Lou collapsed and fell all six flights. May Lou was dead.
The next morning, 5AM, a plant supervisor, Wilson McGee, found her. No one was else was there. He hurried out to the back of the building near a break room to locate a phone. First he called the police. Then he called Bill McGuire. The supervisor went back to the stairwell and found that May Lou was gone!
He knew she was dead because he had checked her pulse and her head was severely damaged. He ran to the other side of the building to check that stairwell in case he got the locations mixed up. NO, she wasn't there either. He ran back to the other stairwell and just a moment later the police and fire department arrived.
The supervisor was distraught. The police noticed blood on the stairs, the floor, and -- on the supervisor's hands. Wilson McGee explained that he was trying to determine whether she was still alive or not and accidentally got blood on himself.
Bill McGuire arrived and learned the horrible information. Bill, who was on an extramarital tryst for the weekend, disguised as a business trip, did not, nor could not know that Mary Lou went to the building on Sunday. So, needless to say, Wilson McGee, the plant supervisor, was arrested and later convicted of murder because of circumstantial evidence. The body was never found. He is currently serving a lifetime sentence.
The Fantom Phactory
The story does not end yet! Bill McGuire's lavish spending and poor money management forced the company, and its factory of horrors to shut down forever. The building could not be sold and fell into major disrepair. Inspectors have found it unsafe, mostly due to chemical and environmental factors.
Known as the Fantom Phactory, bums and crackheads would inhabit the building, knock out windows, do drug deals and whatever. As the building stands, the surrounding neighborhood itself became a "ghost of a town" as the economy drove people away.
The homeless would populate it during the winter but would not stay long as they claimed to hear weird sounds. "Those sounds . . . they ain't rats", one vagrant was noted as saying. Most of the claims vary as the main sounds they hear are sounds of machinery, and a women singing.