Tag Archives: West Covina

Seeking Location to Investigate in So. Cal

Hello!  I’ve been traveling a lot and am in the process of getting some videos ready to share with you.  First though, I need your help.  I’m calling on you, ghost story fans to help me find the perfect location to do an extensive investigation on with a small group of people.  Some of them are people you’ve seen in my videos before, some are brand new additions.

We’ll be filming in the Los Angeles area, but if LA and Hollywood are one thing, they are crowded!  If they’re something else, they’re loud!  So, I’m looking to find a location outside of the heart of LA.  A place we could get permission to have the run of the place.  It would be a single night overnight investigation.  I’m looking for a place that is actively and heavily haunted.  It doesn’t have to be a place where people see full apparitions or a place where people get physically confronted, though those would be okay for me too…. Sorry team, but just a place where the activity seems to be interesting and ongoing.  If you have a personal experience there, we might be able to get you even more involved with the project, if you’d like.

Here’s a rough map showing where I’m looking.  The red locations are potentially good target areas where the blue area is likely locations I’d avoid.  So, I’m looking at a pretty big area.  From Hidden Hills to Rancho Cucamonga, from the massive Angeles National Forest to further south than this map shows, really.

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It can be a private residence, a public place or a company.  We just need permission to conduct this one-night investigation.  We’re not trying to do anything sneaky here.

If you know of a place within a more populated (blue) area, but you think the building is quiet and isolated enough that we could do an investigation without sound contamination, I’d be all for it.  I even have a wish list for places In these areas:

  1. The Hollymont house just north of Hollywood Blvd
  2. Themla Todd’s Café and the house she died in, Castillo del Mar
  3. The Warner Pacific Theatre, one of my favorite buildings in LA, one I’ve never set foot in because it’s been restricted since the earthquake in ’89.  I’d love to get in there and try to make contact with one of the original Warner Brothers.

So, if you have leads on any interesting haunted location in any of the cities listed, please drop me a line with any info you may have, the history, alleged hauntings, if you know who I should contact and, maybe most importantly – if YOU have a personal experience there!

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Are the hauntings at Galster Park real?

We gave a private tour tonight to a small group of people from West Covina, CA (our tour company is LAHauntings.com).  Since I had a little time before the tour, I decided to see what kind of research I could find on the haunts that West Covina has to offer.  The location that seemed to jump off the page is a haunted park that goes by the name Galster Park.  The authors on a number of sites seemed to speak of great reverence for this location as a very dark and scary site.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that bodies are commonly found at this location and this location was the “hunting grounds” for a pedophile murderer that committed their crimes in the 1990s.  Additionally, this is a common place for gang activity.  One site event went so far as to call the park a gang initiation rite – if they can stay there for an entire night, then they’ve sufficiently proven their courage.

However, from there, the reports went in a million different directions.  If there was a serial killer operating in this area as little as 20 years ago, there should be quite a large number of easy-to-find newspaper articles on the topic.  Moreover, it should be common knowledge whether or not this killer was apprehended (some sites claim the killer is still at large while other maintain that this nameless killer is currently doing time).

So, the name of the game is now research.  I’ve been digging through a lot of digital dust looking for leads and want to share with you what I’ve learned so far.  If you know more, please chime in, in the comments below.  (by the way, the tour went great, thanks for asking)

FACTUAL moments in the dark history of Galster Park:

*  June 2, 2013:  Yes, VERY recent!  A man was found hanged at the south end of the park, an apparent suicide.  This death is so recent that it is certainly not responsible for the past claims of hauntings, however this is something that investigators can now use when conducting EVP sessions.  Link to the article here.

*  2006:  I need more information on this crime.  It seems as though Benjamin Cruz shot and killed Danny Hernandez.  I’m not yet sure if a dispute happened at the park, then the killing happened at a different location, if the killing happened at the park or if Danny’s body was found at the park.  Details are still needed.  What is clear is that Benjamin Cruz is currently serving a 65-year sentence for the crime.  He was sentenced in January 2007.

* 1978 – 1981: Unrelated to any crime, the park was closed for a few years due to budget cutbacks.  During this time, this would’ve been a prime target for people looking to do bad things and get away with it.  Chances are, though that the extent of these bad things is selling drugs and sneaking off for some underage drinking.

Other possibly-related West Covina crimes:

While these crimes do NOT revolve around Galster Park, I am looking for other crimes that could’ve helped inspire the current urban legends

* 1980: There was a highly publicized murder case involving the death of a 10-year-old boy (I attempt to leave out the names of victims and criminals when possible).  His body was found at the house of his killer and his killer did come to justice after several trials and appeals.  I include this story because of the attention it got, the age of the victim matching the urban legend and the fact that the final trials relating to the murder finally concluded in 1989.  Again, this is far from an exact match, but perhaps some exaggerations over the years bring us to the urban legend at hand.

*  1991: The “Mall Murders” – You cannot consider this a case of a “serial killer” per se, however there was a crime spree in West Covina that resulted in a string of homicides.  The killings were preceded by people being kidnapped while using an ATM.  Sometimes the victims were released, however five random people were killed in cold blood.  In the end, a four-member “crime family” was arrested and convicted of the crimes.  Three of the killers received life in prison without the possibility of parole, while the ringleader was sentenced to death (he is still alive as of this post, however).  Link to article here.

CONCLUSIONS (so far):

While it is very easy to find a disturbing number of murders associated with West Covina, my preliminary searches returned zero results that accurately match the legends that are found throughout the internet.  We have the recent suicide and we have the 2006 shooting that may have somehow involved Galster Park.  However, I think it’s fair to say that we can close the book on the “child serial killer” story.  If something paranormal is going on at this park, we need to find a different reason or look back deeper in the archives than the 1970s.  For the record, I was browsing articles that reached into the 1950s.  Perhaps we can look to see if there is any history of Native American battles, for example.

In the meantime, please let me know if you’ve had any interesting experiences at this park.  If you have intriguing pictures to share, I will gladly post them here as well.  Thanks for stopping by and if you do visit this park on a paranormal expedition, please use caution as this may not be the safest of places after dark and you may also get fined for trespassing as the park closes at sunset.


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?