Los Angeles Mythbusters

Los Angeles Mythbusters

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Los Angeles should be called the city of ghosts, legends and broken dreams. There are plenty of secrets in Los Angeles, and urban myths claim there are plenty of ghosts. Hidden behind the glitz, the glamour and the celebrity parties, L.A. possesses a creepy history of movie stars, celebrities and would-be actors. It is only once you get to know the town that you truly discover some of the scary urban legends that Los Angeles has been hiding. Here are some of the legends most commonly discussed among Los Angeles mythbusters.

1. The Hotel California

"The Hotel California," made famous in the Eagles song, supposedly exists in Baja, California. This is where the group is supposed to have participated in hedonistic activities and had the time of their lives, yet it was a "lovely place" according to the lyrics. If you look up the Hotel California, there are several hotels with that name in southern California and Todos Santos, Mexico. However, none are considered to be the hotel named in the song. The Eagles have maintained that the "hotel" and the song are really about the excesses they experienced with their mega-success in the 1970s.

2. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
, an iconic and historic Hollywood hotel, is said to be haunted by Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift. This popular hotel first opened its doors in 1927 and was the favored residence of many movie stars, starlets and celebrities. Montgomery Clift stayed in room number 928 while filming From Here to Eternity. It has been said that his ghost can be heard reciting lines from that movie, while others claim to feel him touching their shoulder. Marilyn Monroe stayed in suite 1200 after she became famous as a model. One of the most popular Los Angeles urban myths is that the full-length mirror from her suite, now hanging in a different part of the hotel, reflects her ghostly image.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

3. Hollywood Sign

Perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of the city is the Hollywood Sign, and it has inspired one of the most well-known scary urban legends in Los Angeles. It has been seen in movies and television shows, is the subject of countless post cards, and is synonymous with visions of stardom. So it's not surprising that this L.A. icon has a darker side as the site of the "Hollywood Sign Girl" suicide. According to a variety of sources, the doomed actress committed suicide from atop the sign in 1932 and she now makes ghostly appearances to her adoring public from the grave. The actress was named Peg Entwistle, and she enjoyed success on Broadway. Despite an early contract with RKO, she struggled to make a name for herself in Hollywood. On September 16, 1932, Peg told a family member that she was going out for a walk. She headed towards Mount Lee, the home of the famous sign. After a difficult climb up to the sign, she used a maintenance ladder to climb the top of the "H" and jumped to her death. Her body was found two days later. In her purse, they found a suicide note. Since her death, there have been reported sightings of a ghost in 1930s clothing that matches her description. The woman always has a somber demeanor.

4. Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Grauman's Chinese Theatre is a widely recognized landmark, thanks to its opulent architecture and long association with old Hollywood. This historic treasure is frequently the site of the biggest and best movie premieres in Los Angeles. Urban legend also considers it to be a very haunted theatre. Patrons and employees report the creepy feeling of being watched and have witnessed flickering lights with no reasonable explanation. Others have seen the stage curtains shake with no human hand behind them. The list of ghosts includes a little girl named Annabelle who is believed to tug on the curtains, a stagehand who committed suicide in the theater, and an actor who was murdered in his apartment only a block from the venue. It is said that the murdered actor is looking for his killer in the theater and that he will not rest until the murderer is found. Tours are offered seven days a week; please call for availability.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90028

5. The Pantages Theater

The Pantages Theater is one of the legendary movie palaces built in a time when the interiors were as luxurious and as important as the stars seen on its screens. Over the decades, this movie palace has been transformed into a legendary theater for the stage. But in Los Angeles, mythbusters agree that its illustrious history does not exempt it from being haunted. The theater is supposedly visited by the spirits of the legendary Howard Hughes and an unknown female. Howard Hughes bought the theatre as part of his RKO empire in 1949. In the 1990s, employees of the theater reported seeing his spirit on the second floor (where his offices once were) and smelling his cigarette smoke. The female spirit is thought to be a patron who died on the mezzanine in 1932. She is said to have had ambitions of being a performer there. Visitors have reported hearing her singing in the dark theatre. Today, the Pantages is home to major touring stage productions, so the next time you see a play or musical, listen carefully and watch where you're going. You might experience some paranormal activity for yourself.

Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

6. The Black Dahlia mystery

The Black Dahlia mystery has gained notoriety thanks in part to the number of books and at least two films based on this unsolved mystery. The woman who came to be known as the Black Dahlia in 1947 was Elizabeth Short, a struggling actress who lived in Los Angeles. The urban myth surrounding her was even the subject of a CBS News 48 Hours episode in 2004. The facts of the unsolved case are that Short's dismembered body was discovered in a vacant lot by a young mother pushing her daughter in a stroller. Police noted that her body had been drained of blood, mutilated and that both halves of the corpse were posed. Perhaps because of Elizabeth's beauty, her penchant for dating men or her habit of wearing a dahlia in her raven hair at a time when the movie "The Blue Dahlia" was playing in Hollywood, this murder was quickly sensationalized in the press. More than fifty men confessed to the crime, but none of the men had the medical knowledge to commit it. There are countless theories as to who committed this crime, but the lack of evidence and solid leads, as well as the questionable decisions made during the original investigation made it impossible to find the actual murderer. Elizabeth's unsolved murder continues to haunt the city.

7. Elizabeth Lake

Los Angeles mythbusters say Elizabeth Lake was created by the devil himself. Legend has it that the devil placed one of his pets in the lake for safe keeping. They say that if you swim deep within the lake, you can find the passage that transports you to the underworld. Perhaps that is because the lake itself is located on the San Andreas fault line that runs through Los Angeles County. Urban myths about Elizabeth Lake began back in the 1830s. 19th century legends held that the lake was cursed with a monster. Witnesses have attributed bat wings, a bulldog head, giraffe-like neck, six legs and a pungent scent to the creature. The last sighting was in the 1880s, and there have been no reports since then. Today, the lake is part of the Angeles National Forest. The next time you're fishing or boating on the lake, keep a sharp eye out!

8. Franklin High School

Franklin High School is rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a female student who committed suicide in the 1950s. Urban legend has it that she jumped from the fourth floor. Today, students and faculty claim that if you stand at the fourth floor balcony you'll feel her presence and perhaps catch a glimpse of her before she disappears.

Franklin High School
820 North Avenue 54
Los Angeles, CA 90042

9. Chateau Marmont

The Chateau Marmont is a Hollywood landmark with a storied history involving the rich and the famous. This amazing castle on a hill has its fair share of urban legends and myths. Some of them are even true. Howard Hughes, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison figure prominently in some of its most fascinating tales. Jim Belushi is said to haunt the bungalow where he died of an overdose. Guests of this very private and exclusive hotel have reported ghosts getting into bed with them, a creepy feeling of being watched, floating heads, and strange noises. Other reports include furniture moving inexplicably.

Chateau Marmont Hotel
8221 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 90046

10. El Compadre

El Compadre also has its own scary urban myths. Los Angeles mythbusters point out that two ghosts, who either walk the patio after hours or duck down near the piano, are either two waiters or two patrons who were shot during an attempted robbery in the 1950s. Still others claim that the restaurant is haunted by a spirit who mysteriously appears in a mirror. Curiously, nothing is known about the spirit in the mirror.

El Compadre Restaurant
7408 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Hours: 11AM-1AM daily

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