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Haunted Hollywood: Famous Spooky Spots

Updated on October 24, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.

Some of the spookiest haunted spots in America are located right in Los Angeles itself, among the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. From famous hotels to hospitals, ships to comedy clubs, the city is allegedly home to some seriously creepy locations. Let's take a look at some of the most notable spots.

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Marilyn Monroe poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel. Actor Montgomery Clift.
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Marilyn Monroe poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Marilyn Monroe poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel. | Source
Actor Montgomery Clift.
Actor Montgomery Clift. | Source

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

History: Nestled in the heart of historic Hollywood, the Roosevelt Hotel is a 4 star, Spanish Colonial Revival styled boutique hotel that catered to many famous celebrities. The hotel itself was financed by successful movie stars including Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford and cost $2.5 million to build, an astounding number back in 1927. Many famous celebrities frequented the Roosevelt Hotel, with Marilyn Monroe being of the the most infamous.

The actress was a resident guest for two years when her modeling career took off, and even shot her first magazine photos at its pool. Montgomery Clift stayed for three months in 1952 while he was filming the movie From Here to Eternity, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Manifestations: The entity of Montgomery Clift has been seen in his old room, 928, and the hallway outside of it. His apparition often paces the 9th floor and maids reportedly feel a cold chill within the room, and feel as if they are being watched. It is reported that Marilyn Monroe still enjoys spending time in her old suite, room 1200, and guests have claimed to see her reflection in mirrors around the hotel. A mirror that once sat in her suite is said to have the most activity, as an employee said they saw a sad, blonde woman reflected in it. When they turned around, she was gone.

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Actress Peg Entwistle
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Actress Peg Entwistle
Actress Peg Entwistle | Source

Hollywood Sign

History: The iconic Hollywood sign is situated on Mount Lee in the Hollywood Hills, and was originally created in 1923 as a temporary advertisement for local real estate. It ultimately was left up and became a staple landmark in Los Angeles. The sign originally read "HOLLYWOODLAND" and it cost $21,000 to create, equivalent to $310,000 in 2018. It has since become an internationally recognized symbol.

Manifestations: The sign was the sight of the suicide of actress Peg Entwistle, who jumped from the top of the 45-foot letter "H" in 1932 at the age of 24. Visitors claim that they can still see the woman haunting the sign, and sometimes even pick up the scent of her gardenia perfume.

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Pico House

History: The Pico House was constructed between 1869 and 1870, and was a luxurious hotel ordered by Pio Pico. He was both a successful businessman and the last Mexican Governor of Alta California. The Pico House may have been an extravagant oasis, but it was also located in an area of immense violence and tragedies. The streets around the plaza were filled with gambling halls, brothels and saloons during a period of time with high racial tension.

The Chinese Massacre of 1871 occurred in and around the Calle De Los Negros, which was located adjacent to the Pico House. 18 to 23 (accounts vary) Chinese men and boys were brutally murdered by an angry mob of whites and Mexicans. The subsequent riots caused the neighborhood to decline and the Pico House went into foreclosure in 1880.

Manifestations: Many believe that given the intense history surrounding the hotel, the area and it itself is haunted by restless spirits. The Pico House now belongs to El Pueblo de Los Angeles State Historic Museum and is a historical landmark. Security staff have reported seeing shadowy figures leaning over the balconies of the inner courtyards, as well as hearing mysterious footsteps on the upper floors. Others have reportedly heard cries from murder victims as well as seen figures of people hung from trees in the area.

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Colorado Street Bridge

History: This bridge was constructed in 1912 and earned a bad reputation even before building was complete. A construction worker fell to his death and landed in the wet cement, and is rumored to still be there. During the early part of the twentieth century, the Colorado Street Bridge became known locally as "Suicide Bridge" after dozens of people leaped to their deaths. An often told story describes a mother who took her child to the bridge with the intent to jump. She threw her child over the edge, and though the child survived the mother did not. The number of deaths spiked immensely during the Great Depression.

Manifestations: Ghosts of people who took their own lives at the bridge are said to haunt it and the trail that lies below. Many have seen a woman in white wandering the bridge, and others have reported all of their lights going out when travelling across the bridge.

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Richard Ramirez "The Night Stalker" (left) and Jack Unterweger.
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Richard Ramirez "The Night Stalker" (left) and Jack Unterweger.
Richard Ramirez "The Night Stalker" (left) and Jack Unterweger. | Source

Cecil Hotel

History: The Cecil Hotel is located in downtown Los Angeles and opened in 1927, and features 19 floors and 600 bedrooms. It has had its fair share of murders, serial killers, suicides and disappearances in its more than 90 years. Many suicides occurred at the Cecil Hotel, and by the 1960s longtime residents even dubbed the Cecil "the suicide." Many serial killers were rumored to have frequented the hotel, specifically Richard Ramirez during the 1980s, who was known as "the Night stalker."

Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger stayed at the Cecil in 1991, and while there he strangled and killed at least three sex workers. In 1947 Elizabeth Short, later named by the media as the Black Dahlia, was rumored to have been spotted drinking at the hotel's bar a few days before her murder. In 2013, Elisa Liam was even mysteriously found dead on the roof in the water tank.

Manifestations: Given the hotel's tragic history, it's no surprise that many visitors and guests hear unusual sounds, footsteps and see ghostly figures wandering around the grounds. Guests also have a feelings of being restless and like they are not alone. Visitors have also often captured strange apparitions and figures on camera, especially in windows.

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Linda Vista Hospital

History: Built in 1904, the Linda Vista Hospital is one of the most haunted places in Los Angeles.The structure was used not only as a hospital, but later for employees of the railroad, and eventually became a hospital once more in the '70s and '80s. It ceased operations in 1991, and since its closure the hospital has become a hot spot for many paranormal investigators. There was also frequent talks of patient abuse and mistreatment throughout its operation, resulting in reports of hauntings at the facility.

Manifestations: The Linda Vista Hospital is said to be haunted by restless spirits, and many visitors have eyewitness accounts of ghosts and even demons. One room in particular, 323, reportedly has the most activity. According to the story, a violent and angry patient was kept there and once he died, many believe his spirit remained there. There have been accounts of growls and howls being heard coming from the room, as well as physical contact.

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The Queen Mary

History: Retired British liner the Queen Mary first set sail on its maiden voyage in 1936, and during its time as a luxuery ship hosted everyone from Winston Churchill to Bob Hope. With the Second World War she was converted into a troopship and ferried allied soldiers. The Queen Mary officially retired from service in 1967 and sailed to port of Long Beach, California where she remains permanently moored. It currently serves as a tourist attraction that features a hotel, museum and restaurant.

Manifestations: There have been many reports of ghost sightings in almost every area of the ship. Specifically, the engine room and second class pool deck seem to have the most paranormal activity. People and children appear to be swimming in the empty pool and a sailor who died is often spotted in engine room 13. In the Queen's Salon, a young woman in an evening dress appears. People have seen a young girl with a teddy bear wandering the deck, and a crying baby can be heard in the third-class playroom. The Queen Mary embraces the hauntings and attention surrounding it by providing commercial tours for haunted attraction experiences.

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Harry Houdini's widow performing a seance on Halloween 1936.
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Harry Houdini's widow performing a seance on Halloween 1936.
Harry Houdini's widow performing a seance on Halloween 1936. | Source

Knickerbocker Hotel

History: The historic Knickerbocker Hotel first opened in 1929, and catered to the region's film industry and movie stars. A-list celebrities like Elvis Presley, Betty Grable, Mae West, Mickey Rooney, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and William Frawley all frequented the hotel. Director D.W Griffith died from a cerebral hemorrhage after being discovered unconscious in the hotel lobby. Harry Houdini's widow famously held her tenth seance to contact her late husband on Halloween 1936, though she was unsuccessful. It currently serves as a retirement home.

Manifestations: Contrary to the rumors, the apparitions spotted at the Knickerbocker Hotel (now Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments) aren't those of glamorous celebrities, but rather people who were connected to the hotel. There are sightings of figures in the cafe and a female apparition in its power room. A beloved bellhop named Roger walks the halls, doors slam on their own and guests could sometimes see past patrons wandering about the grounds.

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Ciro's Nightclub, a Hollywood hot spot where The Comedy Store now resides.Gangster Mickey Cohen.
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Ciro's Nightclub, a Hollywood hot spot where The Comedy Store now resides.
Ciro's Nightclub, a Hollywood hot spot where The Comedy Store now resides. | Source
Gangster Mickey Cohen.
Gangster Mickey Cohen. | Source

The Comedy Store

History: The Comedy Store is a club that first opened in 1972, and before that the building was Ciro's nightclub, one of Hollywood's most popular clubs during the '40s and the '50s. The owners had a close affiliation with the mob; Mickey "The King of the Sunset Strip" Cohen used the club as his base of operations and there was a lot of violence in the basement. Despite this fact, many of the biggest movie stars and celebrities frequented the club, including Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Cary Grant and many more. Dozens and dozen of famous musicians also performed in the club during its height in popularity.

In 1974, The Comedy Store hosted the wedding reception of newlyweds Liza Minnelli and Jack Haley, Jr; the soiree was so grand and featured the appearance of many celebrities, causing Sunset Boulevard to be temporarily blocked. Many up and coming comedians performed at the club in its heyday and today, including Jim Carrey, David Letterman, Eddie Murphy, Michael Keaton and Rodney Dangerfield.

Manifestations: The basement of the club where there was a lot of violence and murder from the gangsters has a great deal of paranormal activity. There is reportedly still a hole in the stairway that fits a gun, to shoot anyone going up or downstairs. Employees have claimed to hear voices, cries and snarls coming from down in the basement, and The Comedy Store is said to be haunted by the spirit of several hit men.

© 2019 Rachel M Johnson

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