Haunted Places

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Reed Saxon/AP

Haunted Hollywood

October 16, 2010
by Sarah Amandolare
Hollywood horror movies are frightening, but the town’s real-life ghost stories are perhaps even scarier. The spirits of departed actors and actresses have been sighted inside Hollywood studios, near abandoned homes and lots, and roaming near iconic monuments. We’ve dug up the spine-tingling details of some of Tinseltown’s most notorious haunted places.

Hauntings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

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The Hollywood Roosevelt has seen decades of movie stars walk through its doors, including Greta Garbo and Will Rogers. When the hotel was renovated for the first time in the mid-1980s, strange things started happening. In December 1985, cold spots were noticed in the Blossom Room, site of the 1929 Academy Awards banquet. The Roosevelt has called in psychics to evaluate the chilly presences, and some believe the ghost of an unknown man dressed in black is the culprit. 

Paramount Studios

Paramount Studios has long been associated with ghost sightings and other spooky happenings. Many people attribute the ghosts to nearby Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery. The sound of knocking and the echoes of footsteps have been heard inside studio buildings, while various stages have had pieces of equipment break down or malfunction. And inside the Hart building, men—never women—have  reported seeing the ghost of a woman wearing rose-scented perfume.

A Ghostvillage.com forum thread focused on hauntings at Paramount Studios. According to one former employee, Stage 19 is haunted by Heather O’Rourke, the young actress from the “Poltergeist” movies. Another forum poster wrote about a security guard who encountered the ghost of actor Rudolph Valentino while on patrol in the Paramount Back Lot.

The Houdini Mansion's Ghosts

Unsurprisingly, mysterious magician Harry Houdini features prominently in Hollywood’s haunted tales. After Houdini’s mansion in the Hollywood Hills was destroyed in a 1959 brush fire, all that was left were walls, chauffeur’s quarters, and part of the garage. Since then, the structure has continued to deteriorate; today, only ruins remain, and Houdini’s ghost has been spotted among them. The area is especially popular on Halloween night, when some have reported Houdini’s ghost standing on a staircase or walking in what once was the garden. According to American Hauntings, Houdini and his wife Bess had discussed plans to reunite after death, fueling speculation that Harry is trying to reach her.

Signs of Spooks

In 1932, struggling actress Peg Entwistle leaped to her death from the “H” in the Hollywood sign. According to TheCabinet.com, reports of Entwistle’s spirit “walking up Beachwood Canyon Road to the Hollywood Sign” continue today. Others report seeing a woman in 1930s garb vanishing into thin air near the sign.

Haunted Extras

The 1989 film “Search for Haunted Hollywood” presents the most ghost-frequented places in Los Angeles, and “shows some ghost hunters at work,” according to The New York Times. In the film, actors and paranormal experts also share their haunted experiences in Hollywood.
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