With Halloween just around the corner lots of people will be looking for haunted houses to experience. Los Angeles is filled with haunted history and I thought I’d share a few places to visit at Halloween – or anytime of the year – that will send shivers down your spine!
The Pantages Theatre is a beautiful Art Deco theatre in the heart of Hollywood. Legendary entrepreneur Howard Hughes purchased the theatre in 1949. Hughes’ office was located on the 2nd floor and was connected directly to the balcony, so he could venture out into the dark theatre and often view marathons of the same film. Legend has it that during the renovations in the early 2000’s, the ghost of Hughes was seen walking across the scaffolding and peering over the shoulder of a worker. When the worker turned around to ask what he wanted, the ghost disappeared! It looks like Hughes is still looking over his beloved theatre!
The Pantages hosts another ghost of a woman who died during a performance in 1932. According to employees of the Pantages, a singing voice can be heard through the speakers when there is no one on stage. There is speculation that the woman who died during her performance had aspirations of being a singer, and is living out her dream of performing at the Pantages in the afterlife.
The Hollywood sign has long been a landmark of possibilities and dreams of stardom. For some whose dreams are never realized, it can be a painful reminder of their failure. In 1932, aspiring actress, Peg Entwistle received disappointing news that she was cut from the film Thirteen Women. Like many others, she came to Tinseltown in pursuit of the Hollywood dream. When she found out she was cut from what she thought was her ticket to fame, she decided to cut her life short by climbing the “H” in the Hollywoodland sign and falling to her death. She wrote a short suicide note which read “I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.”. Entwistle’s body was found by a female hiker the following day. The haunting began in 1940 when the “H” in the Hollywoodland sign mysteriously fell over. Since that occurrence, there have been sightings of a female ghost outfitted in 1930’s clothing near the sight of Entwistle’s suicide. Sightings typically occur on foggy nights. The ghost appears disoriented and after the ghost disappears the aroma of gardenia (Entwistle’s perfume of choice) is undeniable!
The Comedy Store
The Sunset Strip, an unincorporated part of Los Angeles up until 1984, connects West Hollywood to Beverly Hills. Because it was unincorporated, the Strip wasn’t under the jurisdiction of the LAPD, making it the ideal place for nightclubs. For decades, The Strip was where you’d explore for a wild night on the town; it was a haven for counter-cultures. The physical location of the Comedy Store has a sordid history, making it prone to paranormal activity.
During Hollywood’s Golden Era, Ciro’s Restaurant occupied the Comedy Store. Next door to Ciro’s was a brothel that many of Hollywood’s elite visited. Infamous mafia members, like Mickey Cohen used Ciro’s to conduct business, party, and would often venture next door to the brothel next. It is widely accepted that the Comedy Store still houses peepholes and handgun stations that Cohen’s men used during the “Sunset Wars” where mafia members fought for turf in the late 40’s. It’s also believed that the basement of Ciro’s was a space used to intimidate and murder enemies of the mafia, some even believe that the bodies of the victims were buried underneath the basement. It is rumored that voices and screams of these victims can be heard in the basement. A strong force pushing the basements door has been seen by a number of employees. Another ghost you might encounter at the Comedy Store is a mysterious man in a WWII style bomber who is often seen cowering and then disappears. He is believed to be a ghost of one of Cohen’s victims.
Comedian, Sam Kinison, known for his loud delivery, supposedly upset the spirits with his sets. Strange activity kept occurring during his sets such as flickering lights or sound cutting out, and Kinison was fed up. During one set, he taunted the spirits by telling them to stop or show themselves, and instantaneously the room went black!
The most famous haunted hotel in Los Angeles is the Hollywood Roosevelt. The Hollywood Roosevelt opened in 1927 and served as a luxury hotel for the booming film industry. At the height of Marilyn Monroe’s popularity, she often stayed in a poolside suite at the Roosevelt. After Monroe’s tragic death in 1962, guests began seeing her reflection in the mirror that used to be in her suite. The mirror became somewhat of an attraction at the Roosevelt and was later placed in the lobby, so Monroe could sneak into unsuspecting guests’ reflections. It has since been removed.
On the 9th floor of the hotel, the sound of trumpets can be heard, but it comes from a vacant room. The vacant room housed Montgomery Clift, who lived in the suite on the 9th floor for 3 months while filming From Her to Eternity. Guests often call to complain about someone practicing the trumpet in the middle of the night. Faucets and lights go off on their own and the switchboard gets calls from these vacant rooms.