We all love a spooky story or two every now and then. Some of us love these scary stories on TV from the comfort of our couch, but our more adventurous counterparts love to experience the spookiness in real life. And, if there’s any city that could boast a plethora of scary stories and haunted places, it’s the City of Angels itself.
Luckily for those in our Southern California apartments, there are plenty of spooky locations scattered all over the city for you to explore for yourself. Check out this list of allegedly haunted places in Los Angeles to find your next local adventure!
Where to find haunted places in Los Angeles
(a.k.a. the "American Horror Story" house)
Location: 1120 Westchester Place, Los Angeles
You may recognize this haunted mansion from season 1 of "American Horror Story." The spooky building known as “murder house” on the show was built in 1902 by German-American architect Alfred Rosenheim. The history of the house is not nearly as bloody as the horror show portrays it. Over the years, the house has housed actors, millionaires and Catholic nuns, but now houses nothing but fictional ghosts.
In more recent history, the Rosenheim Mansion has been used as a set for many films and movies, such as “Spiderman,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Dexter.”
If you’re looking to visit this mid-town attraction, it’s just a 25-minute drive from our Marina Del Rey apartments.
Location: North Linden Drive & North Whittier Drive in Beverly Hills
You may have driven past it before: a strange triangle of land at the fork of Linden Drive and Whittier Drive. It’s a tiny chunk of grass with maybe a few trees planted within, but the small patch of nondescript ground is the location of more than a few suspicious occurrences.
Local legend says that this intersection is cursed, which would account for the number of weird happenings and tragic events over the decades. In 1947, a mob boss named Bugsy Siegel met his untimely end in a house just across the street from the mysterious intersection. In 1946, Howard Hughes crashed his brand-new airplane into a house on Whittier Drive. In 1966, singer William Jan Berry spent months in a coma following a crash at the intersection. The most recent incident happened in 2002, when publicist Ronni Chasen met his end in a hit-and-run right on the corner of Linden and Whittier.
Location: 1714 Ivar Ave., Los Angeles (Hollywood)
If you’re looking for LA’s most glamorous urban legend, then there’s no better place to look than at The Knickerbocker in Hollywood. The grand hotel opened in 1929 and was host to many of Hollywood’s finest over the years, including Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Laurel and Hardy, Graham Nash and Joe DiMaggio.
Despite the lavish setting, The Knickerbocker has been home to many strange and tragic occurrences. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Harry Houdini’s widow would hold seances on the rooftop of the hotel each Halloween in an attempt to reconnect with her dead husband. In 1962, famous costume designer Irene Lentz jumped out of a window on the 11th floor. Some say that Marilyn Monroe’s ghost haunts the ladies’ room on the first floor, and many claim to have seen the ghost of silent film actor Rudolph Valentino haunting the bar.
The Knickerbocker has been a senior living apartment building since 1970, so unfortunately locals aren’t allowed to go inside and tour the gorgeous building anymore.
Location: Griffith Park, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles
Griffith Park is a massive park filled to the brim with great attractions: the Hollywood sign, the LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory, a slew of great trails and, of course, the old Los Angeles Zoo. The current zoo is only a few miles north of the Old Zoo, but the differences between the two are glaringly obvious. The Old Zoo had rudimentary cages and pens built into the rocky landscape, and the plight of the animals who were trapped inside is easy to imagine.
The Old Los Angeles Zoo had a rough existence ever since it opened in 1912 as Griffith Park Zoo. The zoo experienced meat shortages during the war and, as a result of switching to alternative foods, many of the animals died. After another zoo in the area closed down and transferred its animals to the then-LA Zoo, the LA Zoo officials realized that there was not enough space to house all the animals, and talks for a newer and larger zoo started taking place.
By the 1950s, the zoo was over its capacity and the public was outwardly critical of the mistreatment and confinement of the thousands of animals. The new LA Zoo opened in 1966 and over 2,000 animals moved to the larger and more animal-friendly enclosures which are still there today.
Now, the old LA Zoo lies abandoned and largely dismantled, but still open to visitors hiking through massive Griffith Park. Most of the buildings have been taken down, but some of the caves and enclosures still stand as a grim reminder of the animal mistreatment of old. Some visitors swear that they’ve heard echoes of screeches, roars and grunts from the empty cages, further adding to the mystery and spookiness of the old zoo’s grim remains.
Griffith Park is open from 5 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and is accessible via walking trails and roads. The old zoo and picnic area is close to the ranger station and is only 12 minutes away from our apartments in Glendale!
Whether you like your spookiness in small doses or large, Los Angeles is full of interesting attractions and has everything you need to meet your creepiness craving. Drive past haunted houses or meander past cursed intersections, and experience the interesting history that keeps seeping through L.A. today.
Featured photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/MichaelJLocke
Second photo courtesy Pixabay/MaxxGirr
Third photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons