Southern California’s Haunted Hotspots
Southern California is known for a number of things … picturesque beaches, beautiful weather … and paranormal activity? From authentic ghostly sightings to haunted attractions, we’ve rounded up the eeriest locations throughout the region to compile the creepiest collection of horror hotspots yet. For those brave enough to explore, you have been forewarned …
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Opening its doors in 1927, the iconic hotel was once home to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars … and maybe still is. Rumor has it that Marilyn Monroe’s ghost still roams the halls and her reflection has been spotted in the floor-to-ceiling mirror that once hung in her poolside suite. It’s also said that visitors can hear the late actor Montgomery Clift, who resided on the ninth floor while filming From Here to Eternity, practicing his trumpet.
Serving as a crash pad for the rich and famous since 1927, one A-list guest unfortunately never checked out. A notorious party animal, John Belushi was found dead in Bungalow 3 in 1982 and, according to local lore, the spirit of the comedian still lingers.
The Comedy Store
Before coming onto the scene in 1972, the acclaimed comedy club was the site of Ciro’s restaurant. One of the hippest clubs in town during the 40s and 50s, it was also the site of Mickey “The King of the Sunset Strip” Cohen’s operations. Today, employees have claimed to hear voices, cries, and snarls coming from the basement—the supposed location of many sinister acts executed by Mickey’s hitmen.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
The final resting place to a lengthy list of celebs and Los Angeles founders including Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Griffith J. Griffith, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, Mickey Rooney, and Rudolph Valentino, Hollywood Forever Cemetery remains one of the world’s most fascinating landmarks. Many visitors have witnessed a phantom mourner at Rudolph Valentino’s tomb, many of which believe is the ghost of Ditra Flame who left long-stemmed roses at the actor’s grave every year at the anniversary of his death.
A spooky setting itself (it’s still a functioning cemetery), Cinespia, who will also present a number of horror flicks throughout the month.
Commissioned as a luxury liner in 1937, the Queen Mary was later drafted into service as a ferry ship during WWII, carrying thousands of troops into battle. Deemed the “Grey Ghost,” it’s no wonder it’s a hotspot for paranormal activity. Among the ghosts reportedly still cruising the ship are a sailor who died in the ship’s engine room, a “lady in white,” and children who drowned in the ship’s pool.
Upping the spook factor, the Queen Mary’s haunted attraction, Dark Harbor, returns this year with its usual horrors as well as a vintage Ferris Wheel and full bar.
“The Happiest Place on Earth” is arguably one of the most … haunted? From animatronic characters coming to life after the ride has shut down to Walt Disney himself wandering the park, there’s enough ghoulish Disneyland tales to fill the Haunted Mansion.
For a spooktacular night, Mickey’s Halloween Party treats guests to 5 hours of excitement including trick or treating stations, Disney villains, a spooky fireworks spectacle, and special themed parade.
Hotel Del Coronado
Checking in in 1892, Kate Morgan took her own life five days later. Referred to as the “Beautiful Stranger,” Miss Morgan has become the resort’s resident ghost. She is known to wander the hotel and beachfront, and guests continue to attest to ghostly going ons, most of which have to do with Kate’s original third-floor guestroom where visitors have witnessed flickering lights, unexplainable scents and sounds, and items moving on their own accord.
Named the number one most haunted house in the United States by Travel Channel’s America’s Most Haunted, the Whaley House has long been the site of paranormal activity. In addition to being the Whaley Family home, the house was a granary, the County Court House, and the site of a number of businesses including Thomas Whaley’s own general store. Alleged hauntings include the presence of “Yankee Jim” who was hanged where the house now stands, Thomas and Anna Whaley, the ghost of a little girl who, legend has it, accidently broke her neck on a low-hanging clothesline, and a score of unexplained noises and happenings. Enter if you dare, the Whaley House offers ghost tours year round.
La Quinta Resort and Club
One of the most refined and oldest desert landmarks, some employees and guests have reported ghostly voices and a shaded apparition in several of the resort’s bungalows.
Built in the 1800s, the original owners of the Inn are still rumored to haunt the halls. The Bridal/Honeymoon Suite in particular has witnessed multiple reports of people being pushed or hurried along as they descend the spiral staircase of the two-level room. The hotel is also situated on a number of catacombs which only adds to the property’s mystery.