Fall has arrived, and we know what this means! Surely there will be much talk of pumpkin spice lattes and sexy costumes, but there is more to this ominous season than those #basic Instagram memes. Tis the season of spooky stories and haunting tales, it’s time to scare ourselves silly in the spirit of Halloween. One of the most spooky places in the world is Hollywood, California; a place where both movies and urban legends are made. From haunted hotels to famous suicides, the land of glitz and glamour is also a hotbed of murder and conspiracy. Some of the tamer stories here are death cover-ups or weird happenings like a comic book drawn in blood, but mostly these tales delve into the other worlds where ghosts and curses live.
The hauntings of Los Angeles are not only eerie but are based on true crime and believable schemes. It is probably the intrigue of glamour that brings so many characters to this mystical place, a place that is home to countless urban legends that may actually be true. We compiled a list of the most interesting, devastating and downright bone chilling urban legends that exist in Hollywood today. Some date back to the 1920s at the very start of the moving picture era and others date back only a couple of years. What rings true for all of these frightening tales is that they haven’t been solved and still live within a kernel of truth, keeping us all a little nervous that ghostly entities might be lurking in the shadows.
15. Paul McCartney Death Cover-Up
Paul McCartney has outlived 2 out of 4 original members of The Beatles but many claim that this imposter is not actually Paul McCartney. The legend has it that Paul McCartney died in a tragic car accident in November 1966. British MI5 worried about mass suicides of fans in the midst of “Beatlemania” and to avoid the danger altogether they replaced McCartney with a body double. The remaining Beatles weren’t thrilled with the ruse and left behind clues to the truth in their lyrics and album art.
The iconic imagery of Abbey Road is actually a veiled funeral procession for their fallen bandmate. McCartney is the only band member walking barefoot while Lennon wears all white depicting a clergyman, Ringo serves as the mourner and Harrison as the gravedigger. Could his need to reveal the secret be the reason Lennon was assassinated? Or is the man who was knighted by the Queen, has 4 children and has released plenty of new albums actually Paul McCartney? Some claim that they still aren’t sure which is the truth.
14. James Dean and His Haunted Spyder
It is believed that a curse was put on Dean after getting involved with different sects of witchcraft and Satanism in LA. The curse possibly reaches not only to his beloved Porsche Spyder but also those close to the young heartthrob. In his fatal car accident Dean sustained massive head injuries when he literally crushed into the metal of his beloved convertible, he died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Though his body has passed on what remains of the Porsche Spyder still exists, and continues to bring bad luck wherever it goes. California State Highway patrol used the wreckage to teach kids the dangers of high-speed driving until a driver had a freak accident while transporting the vehicle. The driver was thrown from the truck and somehow the Spyder rolled off the trailer and crushed the man to death. After this occurrence, the Spyder was purchased and put on display as a spectacle until another random accident led to the car running over a 15-year-old boy’s legs. When the owner finally decided to retire the haunted vehicle it literally disappeared from the train boxcar and has not been seen for 55 years.
13. The Haunted Linda Vista Community Hospital
In 1905 the Santa Fe Coast Lines opened the hospital and created a majestic place to recuperate for their workers. Patrons were greeted by the most modern architecture and fed from the hospital’s own private farm. But when the railroad sold the hospital the level of care began to decline simultaneously with the surrounding neighborhood. Gunshot wounds and stabbings were frequent and the mortality rate rose so high that it had to shut down completely.
After the place shut down the abandoned wreck was marketed as a movie location that was used in popular music videos, movies, and television shows. There was a time when rooms were decorated for different movies and shows. One room was adorned with psychotic scrawl while another was still in place from when Dexter’s Ice Truck Killer spent some time, a perfect setting for feeling creeped out. The old caretaker also reports many sightings of a child’s hand grabbing his own and faucets turning off and on again. The hospital was recently bought and turned into a charming senior citizen apartment complex but we can’t wait to hear what ghosts pop up in these coming years.
12. The KISS Comic Book is Drawn in Blood
Gene Simmons was surely at the helm of turning KISS into a million dollar brand, donating their likenesses to over 3,000 products. Their first appearance in the comic book world was in the Howard the Duck story Mind-Mush!. Despite Simmons being the only member of the band that read comics, they ventured out to star in a couple of Marvel comics of their own – this is when it starts to get weird. The legend has it that the band members had this comic drawn in their own blood which is a super creepy but also very metal way to market a rock band’s Marvel story.
Turns out this Hollywood urban legend is 100% true and verified. Each band member had their blood drawn in a doctor’s office by a registered nurse. Just to keep everything kosher there was a notary present as the blood was poured directly into a vat of red paint that was then used by Marvel’s Borden ink plant. These original blood-stained comics are selling for almost $250 on various auction websites.
11. Haunted Roosevelt Hotel
Historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has been operating since 1927 and named after president Teddy Roosevelt. In the ‘50s the beautiful Spanish architecture was covered by a new owner and the hotel began to decline until the Radisson family bought it and restored it. The Spanish Colonial Revival isn’t only famous for its architectural splendor, it’s also said to be haunted by multiple entities including famous former guests.
Many guests have reports ‘cold spots’ and ‘orbs’ that are consistent with paranormal activity. Other more specific encounters feature the ghost of beloved Marilyn Monroe and famed Errol Flynn. Commonly when guests have a paranormal experience at this Hollywood landmark it is with a little girl in a blue dress that goes by Caroline. The most haunted of all the rooms is Suite 213 where many investigators have heard voice phenomena. In the past, at least 10 guests have checked out in the middle of the night due to the apparition of a headless man rushing towards them.
10. Tupac Is Alive and Well in Cuba
Tupac Shakur attended the Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas in 1996 without knowing that right after the event he would be brutally murdered in one of the most speculated events in history. In the almost 20 years since his murder, there have been strange happenings around the world that lead us all to speculate that Pac is still alive and well. The most recent findings have reported that Tupac is actually currently living in Cuba.
Reports of Tupac being alive usually come from photos that may or may not be photoshopped. The first of these images eerily shows Suge Knight driving Tupac in the same car that he was reportedly gunned down in with a date the day after his death. There are also multiple photos of blurry faced men that could possibly have the same face shape as Tupac that have gone viral as “Proof that Tupac is alive,” but can’t be completely proven. The most recent of viral photos proving conspiracy theorists right is one featuring a teenaged Rihanna with the gangster rapper but when he died she would have only been 8 years old. All we can do is look at the facts, and unfortunately we can’t because there aren’t any; this one is just going to have to remain an urban legend for now.
9. The Set of The Omen Was Cursed
Many horror films in the 1960s to the ‘70s reported paranormal activity so malicious that the sets were officially deemed cursed, of all of these films The Omen was one of the most plagued. Famous actor Gregory Peck started suffering a couple of months before production when his son committed a gruesome and inexplicable suicide. Months later, scriptwriter David Selzer and executive producer Mace Neufeld both rode on different planes that were struck by lightning while in the air. The most eerie of all of the occurrences is when scene designer John Richardson met a fate of his own design. He and girlfriend Liz Moore were in a head-on collision while working on a new film in Holland. Moore was cut in half much like the famous beheading scene Richardson himself created in the movie. When Richardson regained consciousness he saw a sign that said “Ommen 66,6” to represent being in the town of Ommen, Netherlands at km 66.6. Talk about creepy!
8. The Disappearance of Elisa Lam
Although this isn’t the story of a movie or an actor, the ‘suicide’ of Elisa Lam is one of the strangest stories to pop up in the last few decades of Hollywood history. She checked into the Hotel Cecil on July 26, 2013 near Los Angeles’ most destitute neighborhood, known as Skid Row. Initially, she was staying in a shared hostel-style room but was moved to a private space after her roommates reported she was behaving “oddly.” She was reported missing at the beginning of February and that is when the Los Angeles Police Department first saw the creepy elevator footage that marked her last moments on Earth.
In the grainy video, the young Chinese-Canadian student is seen hiding in an elevator that won’t budge as she frantically pushes all of the buttons and appears to hide. She is seen gesturing strangely and acting frantically. The young woman was found weeks later at the bottom of the hotel water tank after guests complained about the dark water coming out of their faucets. The young woman was bipolar which led many to speculate a psychotic break, but many others find her disappearance a paranormal occurrence.
7. Orson Welles Still Eats At His Favorite Restaurant
This actor, producer, director and writer is still Hollywood royalty for his role in what was a brand new industry in his time. He is most well known for playing the lead role in film student must-see Citizen Kane. Orson Welles’ ghost is said to still frequent his favorite restaurant for a cigar and a bourbon. Many of the staff of Melrose Avenue restaurant Sweet Lady Jane’s have had encountered with Welles from beyond the grave.
In these accounts, Orson Welles is generally wearing a wide-brimmed black hat and a dark cape. It is also said that someone interacting with his spirit will pick up the aromas of his favorite bourbon and cigars. Although the dark spirit is somewhat ominous not one restaurant employee has reported a malicious presence along with these paranormal experiences. Sweet Lady Jane’s is still running and diners still have the chance to sit with their favorite Hollywood legend.
6. The Curse on Griffith Park
Before it was Griffith Park, the huge area of Los Angeles city was called Rancho Los Feliz after the family that owned it. Don Antonio was the last of the Feliz family to own the property and resided there with his sister and niece Dona Petranilla. When he died he left the land and wealth to Don Antonio Coronel instead of his remaining family which came as a shock to his niece. Dona Petranilla was so angered that she set a curse on the land and everyone involved in it.
Since this alleged curse there have been many failed businesses started and finished on the land before it was donated to the city of Los Angeles to create the huge park. It is widely believed that Griffith donated the land to avoid the curse but he couldn’t escape it. He later killed his Catholic wife with a shotgun after believing that she was conspiring with the Pope to poison him. He referred to this as an “Alcoholic episode,” but many refer to as the end of the curse of Dona Petranilla.
5. The Black Dahlia at the Biltmore
The story has been made relevant again by the 2012 movie which tells the story of the detectives who set out to solve the young actress’s murder. The Black Dahlia is a young undiscovered actress named Elizabeth Short who got her name presumably from her jet black hair, sweet face and risque outfits. Before getting her big break on the silver screen the small town girl was found brutally dismembered and sexually posed in an abandoned lot.
She was last seen pacing the corridors of the Biltmore lobby making phone calls, and the last person she interacted with was the doorman who tipped his hat and opened the door for her. Hotel staff report they often seeing a woman in black pacing through the lobby near the phones, just as she did the day that she was murdered. Occasionally she is reported to get onto the elevator along with guests and she always seems distressed as if she is waiting for something.
4. The Curse of Rosemary’s Baby
Roman Polanski’s adaptation of the novel explored the dark “spawn of satan” horror archetype that was so popular in the late ’60s and early ’70s. The story was controversial and dealt with star Mia Farrow birthing the child of Satan, cults, and true darkness. Often stories of this malevolent nature can bring a malevolent presence to the set much like what happened on the set of The Omen, Rosemary’s Baby was no different.
Just a year after the movie was made, Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate was gruesomely murdered by Charles’ Manson’s crew while she was 8 months pregnant. In the same year as the brutal murder, producer William Castle was admitted to the hospital for kidney failure while yelling “Rosemary, for God’s sake, drop the knife!” In the film Rosemary’s friend Hutch dies of a blood clot, exactly how Krzysztof Komeda passed away in the same hospital as Castle. Are these divine coincidences or is this some strange divine intervention from the depths of Hell? Guess we will never know.
3. The Superman Curse
Landing a role in a Marvel movie can make a modern actor’s career but some say that there is a major curse associated with playing Superman. This is an urban legend that dates back to the 1951 movie with George Reeves. Reeves died of a gunshot wound when he was only 45, the death was first viewed as a suicide but this is now widely disputed. Reeves’ fingerprints were never found on the gun and all of Hollywood knew that he had been having an affair with the wife of powerful MGM executive Eddie Mannix. This controversy was the beginning of whispers about The Superman Curse. Christopher Reeve is the other most common reference when we talk about this well known Hollywood curse. After playing Superman, Reeve was viewed as strong and heroic but America was devastated when the movie star fell from a horse and was paralyzed from the neck down in 1995. Others involved in filming of Superman TV and movies have reported horrible tragedies that is always explained by the curse.
2. The Hollywood Sign Girl
Peg Entwistle isn’t a household name but she is the star of another sad Hollywood story of a struggling actress who goes to the extreme in giving up her search for fame. The young starlet had found success as a Broadway actress in New York City which led her to seek out a role in moving pictures in Hollywood. When she arrived in Los Angeles her luck changed and the roles just never came. After telling her uncle that she was going to meet some friends Peg climbed to the iconic Hollywood sign, placed a workman’s ladder against the ‘H’ and climbed on up. She plunged to her death shortly after.
Unfortunately, her fame had come at last, the tabloids jumped on the story of the 24-year-old’s tragic end and she was dubbed The Hollywood Sign Girl. Many believe that if we visit the sign at the right time Peg is still seen in her 1930s garb wandering, continually lost in a modern world.
1. The Illuminati & Stanley Kubrick
In a much less dark urban legend than this one we found out that it’s possible Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing and left clues about it in his famous movie The Shining. Occultists state that it was in this venture Kubrick became aware that the space race of the ‘70s was actually fueled by a sex cult that worshiped Saturn, the Saturn Death Cult or New World Order. Once he was hip to the jive of this powerful cult he dedicated his film anthology to revealing the sinister plots of what many refer to as the Illuminati.
Before editing, AI was not only about a young robot boy but about what type of human being would want to buy a 12-year-old robot slave. Lolita is a film that is desperately warning the world of a prominent child grooming network. The most obvious reference to an evil sex cult is Eyes Wide Shut, a film with its own urban legend. Kubrick’s last film was said to have been given a final edit just before his death, however, many believe that Warner Bro’s re-edited the movie to protect the powerful leaders of the New World Order. The production company still refuses to release the director’s cut and many believe they also orchestrated Kubrick’s actual death.