For such a young city, Los Angeles does quite a swift business in hauntings (maybe it’s the specter of the film industry?). It’s not just our creaky old West Adams mansions that have ghosts either—pretty much every tourist spot is also said to host a spirit or two or seventeen. For Halloween, we’ve collected 20 such landmarks and their accompanying ghost stories, in handy map form.
1 Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
Actor Victor Kilian, best known as the Fernwood Flasher on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, is said to haunt the forecourt at the Chinese. Kilian lived near the theater and was beaten to death in his home in 1979; some stories say it was burglars, others say he invited up a man from a nearby bar.
2 The Silent Movie Theatre
Now home to Cinefamily, the Silent Movie Theatre is said to be haunted by the ghosts of its first two owners. John Hampton opened the theater in 1942 and dedicated his life to preserving silent films … using toxic chemicals that eventually gave him cancer. Lawrence Austin reopened the theater after Hampton’s death in the early nineties; in 1997, he was fatally shot in the lobby in a plot concocted by his lover/projectionist. Hampton is said to haunt the upstairs lounge while Austin covers the lobby.
3 Pantages Theatre
The theater has at least two ghosts: a singing woman who’s said to have died in the mezzanine in 1932 and the one and only Howard Hughes. Hughes’s RKO Pictures bought the Pantages in 1949 and he had offices on the second floor–employees over the years say they’ve seen his apparition there.