Monthly Archives: March 2013

The ghosts of Pueblo de Los Angeles… our tour starting point

Our weekly tour starts where LA started: the first settlement in what would become Los Angeles.  The area is full of history, both positive and very dark.  This location boasts at least three haunted sites (Pico House, La Gondoloria Cafe and the Avila Adobe) as well as the site of over a dozen executions that happened during the Chinese Massacre of 1871.

Los Angeles began at this site, inauspiciously, in 1781 when 11 Spanish families settled at this site, having crossed the Gulf of California.  Spain, have initially viewed California by ship 200 years earlier, felt it was time to develop California before Russia or France attempted to claim it.  The translated initial name for this settlement was “The Town of the Queen of Angels.”  The design of these original streets, emanating from this location at 45-degree angels to compass directions, is still how downtown LA streets operate today.

Three years later a mission was built.  This mission crumbled over time due to disuse.  In 1814 a Catholic church, The Church of the Queen of Angels, was built on the site, using much of the original building material.  It still stands today and was one of the first LA sites designated a cultural monument in LA.

Of course, over time, this land went from Spanish to Mexican and finally, American.  The neighborhood in this area has a long history of being occupied by different ethic groups.  For a large amount of time, in the 1800s and early 1900s, it was part of Chinatown.  Even today, the borders of Chinatown are nearby, but further north.

Avila Adobe

 photo IMG_2489_zps01212af3.jpgLocated on Olvera Street, this is the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles.  The house was built in 1818.  The house was built traditionally for the time and culture, originally featuring a flat, tarred roof, utilizing tar from the La Brea Tar Pits, which was grazing land for cattle rancher Francisco Avila.

This house was Avila’s family’s home, though he himself only visited the home on weekends.  However, it was also a grand house to entertain friends, which the Avila family did frequently.  Though, no battle took place here, American troops did take over the house for use as a headquarters until the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed.

Massive earthquakes in 1870 and 1971 damaged the frail house, making it uninhabitable for large stretches of time.  Today, thanks to tremendous preservation and construction efforts, a seven-room portion of the house has been restored and, can be visited daily and for free.

Avila Adobe Haunted photo IMG_2464_zpsb3acb4ce.jpgToday the home is not only frequented by guests, but also by original owner Francisco Avila, who is said to talk the halls and plaza, continuing to look over his impressive homestead and the village he once presided over as mayor.  In addition to being seen clearly, people have also heard footsteps wandering the halls of the house and observed shadow people throughout.

Avila’s first wife, Maria, died in 1822.  He later remarried to a woman named Encarnacion.  It is Encarnacion’s ghost that is said to also inhabit the house long after her 1855 death.  Some witnesses have seen a female form sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch while others have heard the sound of feminine crying within the home, apparently coming from the master bedroom (seen above).

 La Gondoloria Mexican Cafe

LaGolondrina Haunts photo LaGolondrina_zps4f010920.pngAcross Olvera Street from the Avila Adobe is La Gondoloria Mexican Café.  The building itself was built in the mid 1850s.  However, the current incarnation opened in the 1920s in LA’s first brick building, this is the first Mexican restaurant in LA and is still under the operation of the original family.

LaGolondrina ghosts photo LaGolondrina2_zps98001527.pngI had lunch at this location recently and, after eating and snooping around as much as possible, I introduced myself to one of their managers to inquire about their ghost stories.  Though this manager was relatively new, he did joyfully proclaim “I’ve heard we’re one of the 12 most haunted buildings in LA!”  He has heard stories from maintenance workers that their tools will move around, thoroughly spooking the contractors.

He went on to talk about the original owner being a wine maker.  The fireplace and several aspects of the building still represent different aspects of the wine making process.  Additionally, there’s a large beam in the middle of the main dining room that is actually the recovered mast from a ship that ran aground near the Port of Los Angeles.

The most famous ghost at this location is a woman in white seen walking from the main floor up the staircase to the offices.

Pico House

Pico House haunts photo IMG_2494_zpse7613bb0.jpgThe largest building on the site is the Pico House, a building once considered the most luxurious hotel in Los Angeles.  The building was constructed in 1870 by successful businessman and the last governor of Los Angeles while under Mexican rule, Pio Pico.

The Pico House was an immediate success for years upon it’s opening.  The 82-room hotel was in high demand through 1900 when the business center of the city shifted south.  It was this shift that ended the glory days for this area.  Pico House, like the other buildings mention in this entry, was eventually abandoned and suffered from neglect.

However, the glory days of this town were not so glorious.  Just days after the city of Chicago burned to the ground in the great fire, a different kind of fire would rage in Los Angeles.  A fire made up of vengeance and anger.

Two warring Chinese immigrant associations were battling each other when Jesus Bilderrain, one of only six police officers in Los Angeles, arrived to investigate the sound of gunfire.  He found one Chinese gang member bleeding in the street when he was struck by a non-fatal bullet in the shoulder.  Nearby tavern owner, Robert Thompson, came to aid and was eventually shot in the chest upon taking chase.  A city already rife with prejudice against Asians, exploded.  A mob stormed Chinatown, indiscriminately attacking any inhabitant they could find.  Buildings and store fronts were damaged, easily hundreds of people were beat up and dozens more were hanged to death throughout Chinatown (which, at this time, did include the Pueblo de Los Angeles area).  The majority of the slayings took place on the land that is now Union Station.

Haunted Pico House and City Hall photo IMG_2496_zps46cd4de8.jpgIn the end, at least 17 Chinese were killed, including young boys.  Even Builderrain, long thought to be a hero cop shot in the line of duty, has many doubts cast over his role.  Regardless of how it all went down, there is belief that some of those killed are still present at the Pico House.  Some of the spirits are apparently vengeful, as an episode of “Ghost Adventures” talked to a person that claimed they were kicked in the back of the leg while walking down a staircase.

Additionally, Pio Pico himself is often seen looking over his land from the roof or upper windows of the Pico house.  Much like Avila, he’s keeping tabs on the land he presided over in life.

In short, the starting place for the City of Angels serves as the perfect place for the start of our tour.  In addition to the pueblo, a number of other notably haunted sites are nearby.  In the picture above, you can see haunted LA City Hall just a few blocks down the street from Pico House.


Black Dahlia to “American Horror Story” – some of LA’s creepiest homes

By Scott Markus
ennis house los feliz frank lloyd wrightIn another entry I wrote about the Lloyd Wright house where the “Black Dahlia,” Elizabeth Short likely was killed (according to the book “The Black Dahlia Avenger.”  Today, Connor Bright and I, along with Mary Czerwinski, my research partner from “Voices from the Chicago Grave” / best friend / sexy geek toured a handful of noteworthy homes….. noteworthy for their unfortunately colorful history.  Okay, we threw a couple of fun filming locations in the mix as well.

ennis house los feliz frank lloyd wright

After first looking at the Sowden house (Black Dahlia), Mary directed us up and into Franklin Park to look at the impressive Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Ennis House.  This is not a haunted home, but it is more known as the shooting site of the original “House on Haunted Hill.”  The place is absolutely impressive and imposing.  Also worth noting that the house appeared in “Blade Runner” and is the inspiration for the Monarch’s house in “Venture Bros” (pictured below).
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ennis house los feliz frank lloyd wrightI love that the Wrights created the first two of the houses that we visited, with Frank’s son, Lloyd, creating the Sowden house.

Next, we visited the site simply known as the Los Feliz Murder mansion.  I wrote about that earlier, so I won’t get into too much detail here other than to say that each time I visit it, I am more and more inspired to check out the inside!

la bianca charles manson murder house los felizWe next made our way to the LaBianca house in Los Feliz where the Charles Manson followers randomly killed the two inhabitants of the house on August 10, 1969 (the night after the Tate murders).  The reason for selecting this house was merely that Manson had attended a party at the house next door a year earlier.

The address of the neighbor’s house (pictured) remains the same, however the address of the murder house has since changed. It’s likely a veiled effort to keep away curiosity seekers like us (and who could blame them), but the house is still plainly visible from the road. You can see the re-painted address on the curb.
La Bianca changed house number charles manson los feliz La Bianca next door neighboor

American Horror Story HouseFinally, on the way back home, Connor and I drove through Baldwin Park, which was the house where American Horror Story was filmed.  Though the Los Feliz Murder House is something to behold, the scariest house was definitely the one where no one was actually killed.  This place is back on the market for the cool, cool, cost of just $17 million (Update: that price dropped SIGNIFICANTLY before finally selling).

American Horror Story House


Where Masons go to rest: Mountain View Mausoleum

by Scott Markus
Mountain View MauoleumMountain View Mauoleum

Another film shoot has brought me to an amazing location that might eventually be covered in my next book.  This time it was a week long shoot in Altedena (near Pasadena), CA called Mountain View Mausoleum.  Unlike another recent film shoot that landed me in the famously haunted Linda Vista Hospital in East LA, there are no known reports of hauntings at this location.  I must also say, that in my four days at this location, I didn’t feel anything other than excitement for the location, which is not the case when it came to Linda Vista.

The initial excitement certainly came from the overall beauty of the site.  It was absolutely epic in scale.  The the building seems large from the outside, but feels even larger within.  When you think you’ve seen the entire place, you find another corridor that leads you to another chain of hallways.

Mountain View Mauoleum

Mountain View MauoleumI snapped the top picture on my first day and immediately Dan Melone chimmed in from Chicago on it, comparing it to one of Chicago’s Freemason resting places, Acacia Park Cemetery.  So, with partner in crime Kyle Jolly, we scoured the place, finding all sorts of symbols.  Kyle had a surprising amount of knowledge and I’m entirely new to the Masonic conspiracy theories.  I haven’t even seen or read “Di Vinci Code.”

The entire place was covered with symbols, from some familiar, though still interesting like the one on the left, to the more elusive carvings over the front door (are those chickens in the above picture?).

Mountain View MauoleumI hadn’t seen so much stained glass in a mausoleum (or anywhere for that matter) since Chicago’s famed Rosehill Cemetery, which has the largest collection of real Tiffany glass in the world, but, even Rosehill doesn’t have entire, long, hallways of stained glass ceilings.

Beauty and majesty aside for a moment, one chilling moment (though not at all paranormal) happened when we were filming in one room that was referred to in the script as the “storage room.”  Turned out it was the room where the cremations happened.  Being a production that had rented out the entire place, we had full access to both the viewing room and the “business end.”  Again, a chilling place to be standing, but nothing paranormal (pictures of both are posted below).

There are apparently 120,000 interments in the mausoleum and surrounding cemetery, so I wouldn’t at all be surprised if there were some ghost stories associated with the place.  If you have any stories of your own or even just any additional interesting facts about this location OR if you want to start a discussion about the Freemasons, conspiracies, etc, just leave it in the comments below!
Mountain View Mauoleum Mountain View MauoleumI did return to this location a week later with friend Max Timm.  He has similar interests in the unknown, the paranormal and conspiracy theories, so I knew he would appreciate this place.  In addition, I brought along an EMF detector.  This was far from a formal investigation, but I was curious if I would get any strange readings.  Mountain View Mausoleum did not disappoint.  I had one of my most direct responses ever after requesting, “If anyone is here with us, can you please come up and touch the device in my hand.”  The needle started jumping around almost instantly.

Max wasn’t present by that point.  He had been overcome, feeling sick to his stomach.  His only concern was leaving the building immediately.  Sitting outside of the mausoleum was the only remedy that made him feel any better.  Was there something from the other side that was effecting Max?  We don’t know for sure, but his feelings would not be considered uncommon at a strongly haunted location.

Video from our trip, including the incident with the EMF detector, can be found here (skip ahead to the 6 minute mark to see the Mountain View footage:


John Candy to Lugosi to Rasputin – Final resting places in LA

by Connor Bright

Scott and I decided to check out a couple of the historic and noteworthy cemeteries near us. Earlier in the week we drove past Rosedale Cemetery in West Adams district as it was closing and couldn’t wait to go back for a closer look.  I have also wanted to see Bela Lugosi’s grave at the massive Holy Cross cemetery.  So we grabbed our cameras and headed out grave hunting!

Bela Lugosi grave photo IMG_2572_zpsf038620c.jpg

We started out in Culver City’s Holy Cross Cemetery. Opened in 1939, Holy Cross is a beautiful, 200-acre, clean cut, Roman Catholic cemetery that is the resting place to many memorable people, and is still in operation today, Scott and I saw quite a few processions come and go during our visit.  We’ve never been able to use the word “bustling” to describe a cemetery before, but this place was absolutely busy.  In LA there can even be traffic in a cemetery.

Holy Cross has many a famous burial.  Bela Lugosi, who played Dracula on stage and in the 1931 movie (and is famously buried in his cape) is here.  As is Sharron Tate the actress, wife of Roman Polanski and murder victim. She and five others were murdered by the Manson Family in 1969.  Tate’s grave marker also bears the name of her unborn baby as she was pregnant at the time of her murder.

Lugosi and Tate are buried in front of the grotto at Holy Cross Cemetery near two other noteworthy or famous graves: one of the most popular singers of all time, Bing Crosby and Oz’s Tinman, Jack Haley.

There’s actually three actors from The Wizard of Oz in this cemetery.  In addition to Haley, the actor who portrayed the Scarecrow, Ray Bolger, can be found in a wall crypt, as well as Billy Rhodes, one of the Munchkins!

John Candy gravesite photo IMG_2582_zps945ca154.jpg

The Adams Family’s Uncle Fester, John Leslie Coogan Jr., also finally finds rest at Holy Cross.  Prior to his life as an Adam, he was discovered as a child by Charlie Chaplin and was the kid in the movie “The Kid.”  In between, Coogan met tragedy over and over again.  Some of his tragedies lead to the betterment of all people as Coogan’s Law, the first law protecting child actors, is named after Coogan’s battle with his parents.

One of the most famous comic actors of our time, John Candy, is found in the communal mausoleum.  He died of a heart attack at the age of 43, famous for roles on Second City Television, and on the big screen in Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Spaceballs, Stripes and Uncle Buck, among many others.

Candy is interred just above Fred MacMurray, star of Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity and the small screen’s My Three Sons.

Mack Sennett Grave photo IMG_2588_zps1eecc792.jpgJust outside of the mausoleum one can find Mack Sennett.  Sennett was film’s first “King of Comedy.”  He started Keystone Studios, built LA’s first soundstage and helped lauch the careers of Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, Gloria Swanson the Keystone Kops and was an early collaborator of D.W. Griffith’s.  In all, he is credited as producer on over 1,100 films, directed over 300 and personally appeared in over 350 films.

Rita Hayworth grave photo IMG_2574_zps2f125690.jpgThe cemetery is vast though sadly lacking in personality.  We imagine it might be against cemetery policy to have unique or upright stones.  However, upon visiting Rita Hayworth’s grave, we thought we would see more than simply a name with death dates.  The same goes for Lugosi, who likely has one of the more visited graves in LA.  We would imagine that a person wanting to be buried in Dracula’s cape would want to express himself on his stone as well.  The Pierce Brothers cemetery in Westwood Village is a cemetery with a lot more personality.  We’ll write about that site in a future post.

Holy Cross Cemetery photo IMG_2579_zpsfba7aa85.jpg military graves rosedale cemetery photo IMG_2662_zpse60dde10.jpg
 

Gerorge Shatto grave photo IMG_2621_zps1a3bc648.jpgNext, we visited Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery. Rosedale is one of the first cemeteries in Los Angeles, opening in 1884, and is the final home to pioneers, politicians, and businessmen of LA.  Rosedale is also home to the first crematory west of the Rockies (second in the nation). The 64-acre plot is the resting place of more than 100,000 people and was one of the first to be open to all races and faiths.

One of the two pyramid tombs at Rosedale belongs to George Shatto one of the first developers of Catalina Island. Shatto, it seems is still being taken care of in the afterlife, we found eggplants left at the opening to his personal mausoleum.  Perhaps this is offering of food for him in the afterlife(?).

daniel burbank grave photo IMG_2667_zps4c41d381.jpgPhineas Banning rests nearby; Phineas was a businessman famous for his effort to create a busy port in Los Angeles. Another developer, David Burbank, is  close by.  Burbank is the dentist and entrepreneur of whom the city of Burbank is named.

Louise Peete, a “black widow” serial killer is buried in a unmarked grave at the cemetery.  Though stories and numbers on those she lead to death are exaggerated, she remains one of just four women sent death in San Quentin’s gas chamber.  Conversely, murder victim Mable Monohan also rests here.  Her death lead to the arrests of Barbra Graham, Emmett Perkins, and Jack Santo. Monohan was murdered by the three who were looking for a safe they believed Mable’s son (a casino owner) kept at the house.  The execution of Barbara Graham lead to multiple movies, made for TV movies and plays titled “I Want to Live,” however, these stories are greatly inaccurate.

Some of the more surprising interments at Rosedale include Eliza Poor Houghton.  She is one of 48 survivors of the famous Donner Party.  The group started of with 89 people who became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the winter of 1846. Maria Rasputin, the daughter of the “Mad Monk,” Grigori Rasputin, also rests at the cemetery! After her father’s assassination in 1917, Maria moved to Bucharest where she became a cabaret dancer.  Then she was off to Paris to be a governess, before moving to America as a Lion Tamer with Ringling Brothers Circus.  Maria also worked as a Riveter in Florida during WWII before moving one last time to Los Angeles, where she stayed.

Also buried at Angeles-Rosedale is the magician Henry Keller, who is said to be one of Harry Houdini’s inspirations, as well as Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Academy Award, for Gone With the Wind in 1939, and Tod Browning, “The Master of the Macabre”, and director of 1931’s Dracula.

Fort Moore Cemetery memorial photo IMG_2661_zps04e01029.jpgRosedale is also one of the Cemeteries holding LA’s original pioneers and military men.  The cemetery at Fort Moore Hill (now downtown LA) was raized with many of the bodies being relocated to Rosedale.  However, the relocation was done with little care.  Far more headstones than actual bodies made the initial trip.  Bodies continue to be found at the former cemetery site and moved to Rosedale with the most recent interment happening as recently as 2011!

Join us on our tour to hear more about Fort Moore Hill, visit the site of the former cemetery and hear other legends of the Fort Moore Hill area!  Have you heard any ghost stories about these sites?  We’d love to hear about them!  Please leave a comment below!


A visit to Linda Vista Hospital

By Scott Markus

For those of you who don’t know, my day job is working as a filmmaker (see: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1377864/)

Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts

Whether it be Chicago, Hawaii or Los Angeles, it’s always an amazing experience making a movie on-location (as opposed to in a studio). Now, I do hope to uncover some ghost stories from our many backlots here in CA. I’ve worked on a handful and can’t imagine them NOT being haunted, but that’s a tale for another post (though if you have any leads, let me know).

Today, I unexpectedly found myself at Linda Vista Hospital in East Los Angeles. Not only was I without any ghost hunting equipment, but I was also without a camera (the images you see were taken with my cell phone). What an amazing gold mine this place was – a pure playground of amazing locations from basement to roof.

Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts

I talked to one worker there who came across an (at first) cooperative spirit. After he and a friend heard unexplainable sounds, the man requested that the spirit knock on the wall. The spirit complied. After asking for another series of knocks, only louder, the spirit again complied. Walking towards the source of the sounds, the man came across a doorway that he believed these sounds were emanating from. He asked, “Is this the room you’re in?” This time the response was less benign. He heard a loud scratch on the wall he was standing next to, which was immediately followed by a growl into his ear. Both of these sounds were heard by the man and his friend. As one might assume, they made a hasty exit and did not return again that night.

This location might sound or look familiar to you. In addition to serving as a filming location to literally dozens of movies and television shows in recent years, this hospital was also the subject of a recent “Ghost Adventures” episode (season 3, episode 5 to be exact) and, even more recently, an episode of Paranormal Challenge (season 1, episode 10, which featured the always amazing Ursula Bielski).

Ursula Bielski photo UrsulaBielski_zps5d4d67c2.pngAs you might guess, I fell in love with the location and will be covering it extensively in my upcoming book.  Now is your chance – What do you know about the location?  Do you know any interesting trivia that one can’t easily find on Wikipedia?  Have you had a paranormal experience there?  Have you heard any Urban legends about the hospital?  Do you have any interesting pictures, video, EVPs from the location to share?  Here, I’ll bribe you with more glorious cell phone pictures (click the thumbnails to see them larger) (in order, left to right: operating room, basement-I know the morgue is down here, but can’t say for sure this is the right area, main 1st floor hallway, filming in the rear courtyard, hospital chapel):

Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts - Operating room Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts - basement morgue Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts Scott Markus - Linda Vista Hospital Ghosts - chapel
Oh yeah, and as if that place wasn’t rockin’ enough as it is – they also host a zombie prom dances in the chapel room around Halloween each year.


The Sowden House & The Los Feliz Murder House

By Scott Markus

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Once again, a film shoot (for the film “Darling Nikki”) has put me in (more accurately, near) a (potentially) haunted location.  Quite honestly, how could the home where Elizabeth Short was (possibly) murdered not be haunted?  Even if she wasn’t murdered here and even if Dr. George Hodel was not the killer, he was a seriously dark and awful individual.  The other horrors he did within these walls – even short of murder, would leave more than a little negative energy behind.
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The house itself was designed by the son of one of the greatest architects of the last century – Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright. This is not the only Wright property to have a sordid past. Of course Frank Lloyd Wright’s own summer home -Taliesin, in Spring Green, WI, was the site of a massacre where seven people lost their lives.  Ursula Bielski writes of this in her book “Chicago Haunts 3.”

The nature of the location – a private home – leads to this being a quiet location.  However, I would assume some urban legends have started to come out about this location.  Have you heard anything?  Please leave comments below!

I’m also starting to look into the so-called Los Feliz Murder Mansion.  As the story goes (more detail here), in 1959 a Dr. Harold N. Perelson murdered his wife, then beat one of his three children nearly to death before committing suicide himself.  All three children did survive….felt the need to find a silver lining here.  Since that murder, no one has occupied the house.  One family has owned it for the past 60 years, but the house has been left eerily undisturbed, allegedly to the extent that there are still board games in-progress sitting on tables waiting to be finished from a game started during the cold war.

I happened to be in the area recently and decided to drive past the property.  Even then, not leaving the car, but driving up the driveway as far as you can go (which isn’t far at all) is a bit of a harrowing experience.

Los Feliz Murder Mansion, Los Feliz Murder Mansion

(Above: as close as I got) I do want to investigate the location professionally and with permission, but I anticipate a tough sell to the hard-to-locate home owner. Due to the elusive nature of this property, even if it was haunted, there aren’t really any possibilities for witnesses to any strange occurrences, but I will ask you, the cyber audience anyway: have any of you heard of any ghost stories associated with this property?

In other news, I attended a Moth storytelling session yesterday and one of the stories that was told was about the ghost of Zelda in West Covena.  This is apparently the ghost of a child from the 1900s who was murdered underground in a spillway (now called Zelda’s Tunnel/Pit/Cave/etc) that is still accessible today.  The ghost story involves, at the very least, the phantom sound of a bell, which Zelda was wearing on a necklace at the time of her death.  Other recountings are more urban legend-y and say Zelda was sacrificed by a cult and will now kill anyone walking through her tunnel (there’s actually a fun retelling of this tale along with a personal….encounter(?) at this site).  Questions to you guys:  Do you have any tales of your own from this site?  Do you have any hard evidence that there was actually a murder here (something that would also tell us Zelda’s last name)?  And, of course, where EXACTLY is the entrance to her tunnel?


Haunted Disneyland!

By Connor Bright

Haunted Mansion Ghost stories disney photo IMG_0060_zpsa2a30bde.jpgWhen thinking of ghosts at Disneyland, the first image that pops into ones mind is probably the Haunted Mansion ride and it’s “999 happy haunts”. One really doesn’t think about untimely deaths, final wishes, and park employees that are still on the clock, but those are exactly the kind of spirits that roam Anaheim’s Disneyland.  Here are some of the more famous tales (though not even a complete list) as well as our favorite haunts of Disneyland Park, and remember, as the Haunted Mansion’s “Ghost Host” will be happy to tell you, “There is room for 1,000!”

The Haunted Mansion itself (which opened mere days after the famed Tate-Manson murders) is home to some non-animatronic spirits, the first of which may have appeared during construction! When working on the Séance Room, one of the construction workers started hearing strange music, at first he believed it was a radio that someone had accidentally walled up, but no disc jockey or commercial breaks ever came on, nor did the music ever stop. The workers solved the problem by adding more speakers to the area and shrugged it off.  After completion, a tragic occurrence took place in the Séance Room; the death of a teenager. A young man tried to get a closer look at the mysterious head of “Madame Leota” in her crystal ball, and fell in the gap in between the walkway and the table, 15 feet, to his death. Though there are no reports of people seeing this boy, they do see another, a little boy crying at the exit. The story most people associate with this boy is that a mother (without park permission) spread her son’s ashes in the ride, thinking it was what he would have wanted.  However, considering he is seen crying, she may have been wrong!

Before one starts feeling too bad for this little boy, one should know that park employees report seeing this same boy in the cameras that watch the boats on Pirates Of The Caribbean, happily journeying through the ride until the end… only to vanish!

Other Haunted Mansion ghosts include that of a pilot who crashed in the 1940’s on the land that later became the site of the ride.  He is described as holding a cane and seems to be quite at home amongst the ride’s phony spooks! There is also the mysterious “Man in a Tuxedo.”  He appears as a black shadow in the exit walkway, and is the reason one employee quit her job at the park!

One of Disneyland’s more famous entities is “Dolly,” a woman who died on the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Legend states that Dolly was turned around, helping one of her children, when her bobsled hit a dip and she fell out and onto the track, left to be crushed by the following sled.  Park employees refer to the slope that the woman fell from as “Dolly’s Dip!”

Another well-known park ghost is “Mr. One Way” the reddish haired man that is seen getting onto Space Mountain, but disappears before the ride returns. This is the spirit of a man who died on the ride and still continues to relive his last ride in the theme park. As a matter of fact, all throughout Tomorrowland (where Space Mountain is located) people report a menacing spirit and cold spots. Though this probably isn’t “Mr. One Way,” because he seems to be enjoying his afterlife.

Ghost stories disney photo Walt_in_office_zps00b1d18c.jpegPerhaps the most famous Disneyland ghost is that of Walt Disney himself. Walt is seen all over the park, checking in on his employees and seeing how his dream has grown. His first post-mortem visit to the park was almost immediately after his passing. One night after finishing a routine cleaning of Walt’s office, a janitor went to turn of the light, only to have it turned back on after she left the room. After repeating this event a few more times the employee heard a voice tell her “Remember, I’m still here.” Ever since then, the light in Walt’s office on Main Street has been left on, out of respect for their ever present founder.

Just outside of the park is the death site of a teenager who attempted to sneak into the park by walking along the Monorail tracks.  When he saw the on-coming train, she attempted to lay flat on the track, allowing the train to move over her.  Unfortunately there wasn’t enough clearance and she was killed. People still report seeing a shadowy figure sneaking into the park along the tracks!

Scott learned from an employee that a bed is left in the It’s A Small World ride for the spirit of a child that dwells in the ride. Could it be this spirit that turns off and on the lights and moves the figures when Small World is turned off?

My personal favorite (after Walt Disney himself) is the “Woman in White.” This woman is seen dressed in early 19th century costume and wanders Main Street at night, she is seen on cameras and sets of motion sensors. Children can even see her during the day.  She must have had a very kind heart because even in her afterlife, she talks to lost children and brings them to the “Lost Children” where they can be picked up by their parents!

One story we are looking forward to investigating is the of two brothers (or teen friends, depending on the storyteller) who hid on Tom Sawyer’s Island until after the park closed.  They tried to sneak across the Rivers of America to play in the park after dark, but one of the boys didn’t know how to swim.  When the other boy attempted to help, they both drown in the water.  Some people claim that they see these boys trying to get across the water, as well as hearing other long gone children running and playing on the island itself. We look forward to getting back in the park and poking around!

Disneyland calls itself “The Happiest Place on Earth” but all theme parks are a joyous place for many people all over the world; it is no wonder so many people return to them again and again, even after death! The stories in this blog entry are only scratching the surface of Disneyland haunts, let us know if you have your own Disneyland ghost story or any other theme park haunting LA or otherwise!