Notorious San Francisco: Pat Montandon's Curse
Pat Montandon was the hostess with the mostest until she was cursed at her 1000 Lombard Street home, right before the eyes of San Francisco society and visitors including Ted Kennedy. She wrote about it in The Intruders. Published in 1975, the book is former TV hostess Montandon's account of a hex violently levied at this Lombard Street apartment house at the foot of the crookedest street by a tarot card reader "quivering with rage" because Montandon neglected to serve him a drink at one of her celebrated parties. What follows, its publishers said, was "a terrifying confrontation with the supernatural." Certain facts are known. At least three deaths, including a suicide, occurred at the house in the late 1960s. Also among the dead was Montandon's secretary Mary Louise Ward, who died in a fire here under unusual circumstances. Montandon also attributed a string of personal setbacks to the curse. Allegedly the house was given a clean bill of health following an exorcism. Montandon moved out anyway. She continued to be a true San Francisco celebrity who: sued TV Guide over a typo that referred to her as a call girl, was very briefly married to Melvin Belli, conducted round table rap sessions at her society luncheons, presided over house blessings, wrote a column for the Examiner, and published books. In stark contrast to her 1000 Lombard residence, Montandon dubbed her later home at 1591 Shrader Street "The Enchanted Cottage." When a Monterey Cypress at the end of the driveway of The Enchanted Cottage had to come down after a 1997 windstorm, Montandon commissioned sculptor Jack Mealy to carve a huge angel into its trunk. The statue was named "Angel of Hope" by Montandon, who has since sold The Enchanted Cottage and published a book, "Celebrities and their Angels." Pat is the inspiration for the character Prue Giroux, aka Pam Fontainbleu, in Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City.

Copyright 2001 Hank Donat home