Haunted places in LA: Get spooked at 13 real haunted spots

From ghost sightings to strange noises, check out these 13 haunted places in LA for real scares this Halloween.

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  • Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

    Griffith Park

  • Photograph: Courtesy Del Monte Speakeasy

    Del Monte Speakeasy

  • Photograph: Courtesy Food and Drug Administration

    The Iron Lung ward at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital

  • Photograph: Randall Michelson

    Pantages Theatre

  • Photograph: Courtesy the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection and the Hollywood Sign Trust. Copyright © HollywoodPhotographs.com. All Rights Reserved

    Hollywood Sign

  • Photograph: Courtesy Mike Dillon

    Colorado Street Bridge

  • Photograph: Courtesy The Queen Mary

    The Queen Mary

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Griffith Park

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5

The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre

The beloved Silent Movie Theatre has a complicated history worthy of a blockbuster drama. The original owner, John Hampton, started the theater in 1942, showing his personal film collection at a time when most studios were destroying old silent prints. Hampton used toxic chemicals in his bathtub, above the theater, to preserve his films—unwittingly exposing himself to toxins that hastened his demise in 1990 from cancer. Hampton’s mentee Lawrence Austin took over the theater. But one night in 1997, while visitors were watching a film, Austin was shot to death in the lobby by a hitman. The whole thing turned out to be a murder-for-hire conspiracy hatched by Austin's lover and theater projectionist James Van Sickle, who later claimed that Austin signed the theater over to him in a hand-written will. Police weren’t buying it. Van Sickle and the hitman are currently serving life in jail. “We had a woman come to our last Spirits with Spirits event who was actually there that night when the shooting happened,” says Carradine. “She saw his body lying there and hasn’t been back since.” Austin’s ghost is said to still haunt the lobby; and Hampton’s ghost can be heard roaming the second floor, where he once lived.

6

The Hollywood Sign

Back when it was the Hollywoodland sign, this icon to celluloid fantasy also served as a beacon to suicidal Angelenos—most notably Broadway stage actress Peg Entwistle. Trouble just seemed to follow Entwistle. Raised by her actor father, she lost both her mother and stepmother early in life and had a series of broken personal relationships. As an actress, Entwistle enjoyed critical reviews, and even shared the stage with Humphrey Bogart, but she was forever cast in the role of comedic ingénue and could only snag small film roles. On September 18, 1932, a hiker found the blond, blue-eyed actress’ crumpled body in a ravine below the Hollywoodland sign. Police surmised that she climbed a workman’s ladder to the top of the 45-foot letter “H” and jumped to her death. Visitors to the area say they still see the actress haunting the sign, and sometimes pick up the scent of her gardenia perfume.

7

Griffith Park

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What, you don’t know about the sad tale of Doña Petrenilla? It’s a ghost story that’s been oft-told by writer Michael Imlay and the good folks at Creepy LA, but it bears seasonal repeating. In the late 1800s, wealthy land owner Don Antonio Feliz died suddenly from small pox. As legend has it, when his beloved 17-year-old niece Doña was cheated out of her uncle’s will, she put a nasty curse on the land and its owners. Since then, untimely deaths and ill omens have befallen the land’s deed holders, including Griffith J. Griffith, its last owner, who donated 3,105 acres to the city before going to prison for shooting and maiming his wife. True believers say they’ve seen young Doña in a white dress on horseback, haunting the trails. "A couple of park rangers have told me that they've seen ghosts and things in the park,” says Griffith Park security officer Thomas Davey. “There are definitely stories. But I've been here for four-and-a-half years and haven't seen anything myself.”

8

Pantages Theatre

When charmed businessman Howard Hughes owned the infamous Pantages Theatre, he built a door that connected his office directly to one of the theater balconies, where he would go to think in the dark. Hughes’ ghost is a notorious workaholic, and is said to be seen in his former office on the second floor. “During the restoration in 2000, people said they saw a man stepping off the balcony, walking along the scaffolding, and standing over a worker to inspect his work. When the guy turned to ask the man what he wanted, the figure vanished,” says Carradine. Seems like Hughes is still looking after his theater. The Pantages is also host to a female presence who died during a show in 1932. “During a cast recording once, microphones were set up in the theater and they heard someone singing in the mic when no one was on stage.” Some say the woman who died was an aspiring singer who’s living out her unrealized dreams of performing at the Pantages.


Follow Ramona Saviss on Twitter: @RamonaSaviss


Users say

6 comments
Katisen Marks
Katisen Marks

I had once been haunted buy this wicked old witch. ever since i was a littl egirl she just won't stop messing with me. Every night when i try to go to sleep she always spooking me around, i always end sleeping with my parents. i never forget that day. She still creeps me out when i talk about her.

Mark Beaver
Mark Beaver

Lots of friends that have worked at the Hollywood Athletic Club have many stories about weird things going on in that place.

Angel
Angel

wooooow soo many haunted places... Now i konw what to avoid.

Nichole Deweesm
Nichole Deweesm

Ive been to the rancho los amigos Hospital aka hollydale mental hospital,several times.Its located on Gardendale ave.and garfield st.in the city of Downey,ca Ive been inside every bldg.including a few bungelows on the outside. Ive never personally experianced any spirits,just feels really eerie.Some parts are burned out.And other parts,the roof is missing.All of it is rubbish now.I saw the old nurses stations and refridgerators where they kept the medicine.More interesting,I found the medical records dept.where theres was paperwork and patient files,I did my own investigation while reviewing the files and figured out that whoever the represenitive was handling the signing of the documents was actually stealing money from the patients annuities as well as any open accounts they had.Im guessing with all the drugs these patients were on,it must have been easy for her to have them sign away their assets.I also found out that the reason it was shut down,was because the nurses were abuseing the patients and the patients were commiting suicide and killing eachother.The rest were transferred out.I have no doubt that the place has some torchered souls.I heard bangs and sounds while there,that was enough to send me out running scared.I never did find the basement,where some say the demonic spirits exsist.In the daytime,its pretty easy to sneak in.Just dont get caught.The police acadamy was stationed there some years ago,but they left,because they were experiancing things.I tried to sneak my cousin in one night a during that time and we got chased out by a patrol car,he clearly looked freaked out and pale like he saw something.If you want a good thrill,this is definatly the place.And let me know if u find the basement.Goodluck ghosthunting.

sweetdoll
sweetdoll

My brother and nephew went in side rancho los amigos i was going but chicken out me and my sister in law waited in the car while they were looking inside but ended up seeing. Nothing but old files every were they said and dark of course pluse they said it had a bad smell to it they almost got caught by a police officer they said supposedly they were jogging and the cop said with boots and dark clothing so finally they let them go that was it.

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