Displayed with permission from Gasslight Horror News
Los Angeles is a scary place filled with gang bangers, hipsters, wanna be stars and trust fund kids. Some may say that the top 5 scariest places around Los Angeles are the bars on Hollywood Blvd, or the Sunset Strip or the homeless tent cities downtown. Those places may be gut wrenching anxiety inducing bastions all by themselves, but this list of the top 5 scariest places around Los Angeles has a bit more to do with the paranormal. It was a bit interesting trying to figure out what places to include on my list. I could have done all hotels, or movie theaters. I could have done private residences or Hollywood backlots… But I wanted to keep the list to places accessible to everyone. Also, I wanted to keep my list down to places that I have visited myself… and felt the creepy vibe and heard the whispers of the past. So in no particular order, here is my list of the Top 5 Scariest Places Around Los Angeles.
5. The Queen Mary
Making her maiden voyage on May 27 th 1936, the Queen Mary was bigger, faster, and more powerful then the Titanic. Over the course of her life, the Queen Mary was used as an elite trans oceanic cruise liner, a military transport, and now a tourist attraction and hotel.
During her early years, the Queen Mary was considered by the upper-class to be the only civilized way to travel. The Queen Mary held the record for the fastest-ever North Atlantic crossing. During WWII, The Queen Mary was brought into military service, and was known as "The Grey Ghost", and even participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy where 30,000 soldiers lost their lives.
In 1967, The Queen Mary made her final voyage to Long Beach California to become the museum / hotel that she is today.
Over the years, the Queen Mary has had 49 deaths on board, and is supposedly home to over 150 restless spirits. Some hotbeds of Paranormal activity on board the Queen Mary are the engine room where the infamous watertight door 13 crushed 2 men to death at different points through history. The first and second class swimming pools that both have spirits of little girls as well as other swimmers, and the first class lounge with it's dancing woman dressed in white. The first class state rooms have also had many reported instances of hauntings as well as the third class children's playroom. If you are longing for your own haunted evening in the L.A. area, go ahead and book a room on the Queen Mary...
4. Linda Vista Hospital
Linda Vista Hospital began it's life in 1904 in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Originally the Santa Fe Coastlines Hospital, a healthcare facility dedicated to servicing employees of the Santa Fe Railroad. In 1937, the hospital was enlarged and became the Linda Vista Community Hospital. By the 1970's, the gangs took over Boyle Heights and Linda Vista became a low income hospital servicing a constant influx of gunshot wounds and drug overdoses. Linda Vista could barely keep up with operating costs as more and more arriving patients showed up lacking insurance or income to pay for their treatments, and doctors moved on to better paying hospitals.
In 1988 Linda Vista's ER stopped accepting ambulances. The quality of care continued to decline and in 1991 the last patient checked out of Linda Vista.
While the general belief is that the hospital closed due to lack of funds, there are stories and rumors spoken under hushed breath that the hospital's unusually high death due to mistreatment and abuse was the real reason for the closing.
Since the closing of Linda Vista Hospital, Hollywood has rushed in to use the striking deco building as a backdrop for many movies. Films such as " Outbreak," "End of Days," "Pearl Harbor" and the horror classics "Dead Girl", and "Someone's Knocking at the Door" have all shot in these halls as well as many others. During her time as a Hollywood Star, Linda Vista's haunted reputation grew. Three spirits in particular have been sighted on multiple occasions: a young woman paces the hallways of the third floor and has occasionally screamed in fright at something. A little girl lurks in the surgical room frightening anyone who sees her, and the restless spirit of hospital worker still makes his daily rounds through the decrepit hallways.
In 2011, Linda Vista Hospital was purchased was renovated into the Linda Vista Senior Apartments and now provide a total of 97 apartments for fixed-income seniors plus a medical facility.
3. Devils Gate Reservoir – Pasadena
Devils Gate got it's name from an odd rock formation said to resemble the devil. Native Americans thought the area near Devil's Gate to be haunted and they forbade their people from frequenting the spot. The modern tales of paranormal activity at Devils Gate begins in the 1940s with a man named Jack Parsons. Jack Parsons was resident of Pasadena, co founder of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and to some, the founder of the American Space Program. He was also an occultist. Parsons was the leader of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis society Los Angeles. Parsons was at the center of Southern California occult bohemia in the 1940s, and preformed rituals he said would create an anti-Messiah that would overthrow Judeo-Christian civilization. These rituals were preformed near the Devils Gate, which Crowley himself called one of the seven portals to hell. The stories say that these rituals did indeed open a portal to another dimension that's since been a point of entry for all sorts of strange entities.
Over the years, several children have disappeared without a trace from the area. Several hikers and adventures have had encounters with spirits believed to be those of the missing children. The Los Angeles Ghost Patrol even did an investigation of the area that can be seen here.
2. The Cecil Hotel
The Cecil is reportedly the last place famed Black Dalia, Elizabeth Short, was seen alive, and in 2011 Canadian tourist Elisa Lam disappeared under mysterious circumstances from the Cecil only to found 2 weeks later dead in one of the hotels rooftop water tanks. (she was discovered after a number of guests reported a foul taste to the water.) The mystery of Elisa Lam's death deepens with security camera footage of Lam acting strange in the elevator of the Cecil shortly before her disappearance.
In 2012, an episode of Biography Channel's Haunted Encounters: Face to Face shot part of an episode in the Cecil. The episode was titled Ghosts of Skid Row/Kreischer Mansion. The show sent the Paranormal Syndicate team along with their canine investigator Captain to explore reports of haunting at the Cecil Hotel. Currently there is a feature film about Elisa Lam in development as well as a documentary about the hotel currently shooting.
If you are looking to try your luck with the spirits of the Cecil, it is currently accepting reservations under the name The Stay on Main
1. The Old Griffith Park Zoo
By many accounts, all of Los Angeles' Griffith Park, and the area around it, is haunted. Stories of Ghosts in the park have been told since its' opening in the late 1800's. From the spirits of the famed observatory, to the ghosts of the Hollywood sign, there isn't a place in Griffith park that hasn't seen some sort of paranormal activity. But no place is as peculiar as the Old L.A. Zoo. The Zoo was opened in 1912 and remained the main L.A. Zoo until it closed in 1965 with the opening of the new L.A. zoo a few miles away. Many of the animal enclosures that were built in the 1930's are still in there, available for tourists and thrill seekers to wander around in. It is said that not only are these cages haunted by people (with full bodied apparitions being sighted numerous times), but by the animals kept at the zoo seem to haunt the cages as well. Tales of ghostly animal growls being heard inside the enclosures abound. The creepy vibe of the place in enhanced by the inhuman condition the animals must have lived in in these horrifying cages made even more sinister by the tagging from L.A.'s notorious gangs. So if you have some time, and the nerve, make sure to check out the Old L.A. Zoo while in Griffith Park.