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Searching for ghosts aboard the Queen Mary.
Photograph: Courtesy Queen Mary

Ghost tours in Los Angeles

Search for restless wraiths and spirits on these five ghost tours around the city—no proton pack necessary

By Michael Juliano

Los Angeles is full of local haunts—and we’re not talking about your local dive bar. No, we’re referring to honest to goodness apparitions, the kind that people claim to spot all over town and that inspire ghost tours of popular attractions. It seems like most of L.A.’s restless spirits take up residence in Hollywood or Downtown, so you’ll find most of the guided tours in those haunted hot spots. While there’s plenty of nocturnal terror to be discovered during Halloween events, ghost tours let Angelenos step into the role of a ghost hunter all year long.

5 ghost tours to take in L.A.

Queen Mary
Photograph: Courtesy Queen Mary

Queen Mary

Things to do Long Beach

This grand cruise ship hasn’t sailed since the 1960s, and the same can be said for the many spirits that supposedly haunt the oceanliner. Guests claim to hear voices and rattling chains during overnight stays. The Queen Mary offers regular daytime ghost tours, but the real paranormal activity comes alive at night with everything from a twilight historical tour to a full-blown ghost hunt in the bowels of the ship.

Daytime tours daily, on the half-hour 11:30am–6:30pm; $35. Prices vary for attractions at night

John Snowden House, the former residence of Dr. George Hodel, a prime suspect in the Black Dahlia murder.
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Dearly Departed Tours

Things to do Walks and tours Hollywood

Dearly Departed may be the the most well-produced and upbeat tour of misery and tragedy. Where else can you hear the gruesome details of infamous homicides, spot the locations of celebrities’ last meals and hear a list of all of the famous people that’ve died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center? The Tragical History Tour takes you on a fun, meticulous and historical bus tour of Hollywood while the Hollywood History and Haunts Tour hits the Walk of Fame for a candlelit history walk.

Tragical History Tour daily, noon; $60. Hollywood History and Haunts Tour Fri, Sat at 7pm; $25.

Chinese Theatre
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Tim Wang

Starline Tours

Things to do Walks and tours Hollywood

Starline Tours operates an entire network of double-decker bus circuits across the city, mostly through Hollywood. The company also runs an additional ghost tour in the area, with stops at the Roosevelt Hotel, the Comedy Store, Greystone Mansion and more. Listen to twisted tales from L.A.’s past and keep on the lookout for restless spirits along the way.

The Haunted Hollywood Tour Fri, Sat at 6:30pm; $50.

Downtown L.A. Walking Tours

Things to do Walks and tours Downtown

Downtown L.A. Walking Tours leads themed tours around the city center, including an evening haunted tour. This guided tour of murders, mysteries and unresolved crimes begins at the historic Pico House, which some believe to be haunted. The rest unravels unexplained tales at Downtown sites as well as the history of notorious massacres, bombings and more.

Haunted Tales Tue, Thu, Sat at 6:30pm; $20.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Photograph: Michael Juliano

Hollywood Forever Cemetery Walking Tour

Things to do Walks and tours Hollywood

Channel the spirits of celluloid luminaries such as Cecil B. DeMille and Jayne Mansfield in this walking tour of the iconic Hollywood cemetery. It’s also the resting place of Rudolph Valentino; legend has it that a mysterious “Woman in Black” still stalks the cemetery, mourning the demise of Hollywood’s original loverboy. Brush up on the history of late stars like Marion Davies and Mickey Rooney along the way.

Tours Sat at 10am; $20.

Looking to hunt for ghosts on your own?

Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at the Griffith Park Old Zoo
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

13 haunted places in Los Angeles

Things to do

Call us old-fashioned, but we like our haunted places in L.A. authentic. We’re not talking about manufactured scares at haunted houses; we searched the spookiest nabes for horror hot spots. Ready to scare yourself silly? Here’s your handy guide to the 13 most haunted places in L.A., including a Hollywood theater, a notorious Downtown hotel and a Long Beach oceanliner.


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