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10 Los Angeles Urban Legends That Will Scare The Shit Out Of You

IS THE WHOLE CITY HAUNTED??

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1. The disappearance of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel.

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This hotel, built in 1927, has since been rebranded as Stay On Main — and once you hear what happened there, you'll know why.

On January 31, 2013, a Canadian tourist named Elisa Lam checked into the Cecil Hotel. She went missing that day, and wasn't found in an investigation of the grounds. Weeks later, guests were complaining of low water pressure, which led to the discovery of Lam's body...in the Hotel's water tank.

Lam's death was ruled a suicide, but the truly creepy detail is the elevator footage of Lam, presumably just minutes before her death. In the video, she appears to be talking to someone who isn't there, then presses all the elevator buttons and runs out in a panic.

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2. The ghost of Peg Enwistle at the Hollywood Sign.

One of the more well-known urban legends of Los Angeles has to do with the famous Hollywood sign. Back in 1932, a stage actress named Peg Entwistle committed suicide by jumping off of the sign's "H" after failing in her attempt at film stardom. In her purse was a note that read, "I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E."

Multiple people have since reported seeing Entwistle's ghost in the area surrounding the sign: A couple walking their dog saw a woman in 1930s clothing appear and then disappear in the road, a jogger claimed she saw the same figure accompanied by the smell of gardenias, and a park ranger reported an apparition as well.

The creepiest part? According to legend, a letter arrived at Entwistle's home a few days after her death. The note was from the Hollywood Playhouse, offering her a role in a play as a woman who commits suicide.

3. The Colorado Street "Suicide" Bridge.

Emily Stanchfield / Via Flickr: emmyboop

If you've ever driven over to Pasadena from LA, you've probably seen this bridge. The architecture is beautiful, but some claim it holds dark secrets.

According to legend, a construction worker fell while the bridge was being built, and his body was encased in concrete and never found. Because of this, many think that the bridge is cursed or haunted by that man's spirit, leading to the many suicides and suicide attempts that have happened there.

4. Paranormal activity at Gravity Hill in Altadena.

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There are multiple stories about what happened on Loma Alta Dr. in Altadena — some say a teenage girl and her friends took her parents' car and died in a crash, others say a school bus crashed there, killing everyone on board. But the phenomenon is the same either way.

If you go to this particular stretch of road and put your car in neutral, your car will supposedly start to roll UPHILL. It goes against everything you think you know about physics, and the legend says that it's the ghosts of those girls or schoolkids pushing your car up the hill to help you avoid the same fate they met. Even creepier, if you put baby powder on the trunk of your car, legend says you'll find fingerprints on it after rolling up the hill.

5. The curse of Griffith Park.

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Though many enjoy sunny afternoons picnicking and hiking at Griffith Park, there are creepy urban legends that make some corners of the park seem sinister.

It all started back when the land belonged to Don Antonio Feliz. Don Antonio died of smallpox in 1863, and as the legend goes, he was supposed to leave the land to his niece, Dona Petranilla. When a last-minute change to the will left the land to Don Antonio Coronel instead, Dona Petranilla put a curse on the land.

The land was then sold to Griffith J. Griffith in 1882, and Griffith started some business ventures there including an ostrich farm run by a man named Frank Burkett. However, he was plagued by lightning storms and the ostriches stampeded almost every night, so he cut the deal short. Enraged, Burkett tried to murder Griffith at the Old Calvary Cemetery.

Though he called it a "Christmas present" to the city of Los Angeles, some believe that Griffith donated the land in 1896 in order to rid himself of the curse. However, some still believe that spirits — including Dona Petranilla's — roam the trails and the remnants of the old zoo, and there's a story of a young couple who was killed in the park mid-coitus by a falling tree, so the curse could be alive and well.

As for Griffith himself, he shot his wife in the eye in what was called a bout of "alcoholic insanity," when he believed she was conspiring with the Pope to poison him. He served three years in prison.

6. The ghosts of dead celebrities at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

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The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has had many reports of hauntings from guests over the years. The most popular report is that the ghost of Marilyn Monroe was spotted in a full-length mirror on the property which used to be in Monroe's poolside suite (#1200).

Others include reports of the sound of a trumpet playing at night, even when there are no musicians staying at the hotel. Those sightings are attributed to the ghost of Montgomery Clift, who stayed at the hotel while filming From Here To Eternity. Some have even said they've heard his ghost reciting his lines in the hallways.

To add to the fears of paranormal activity, there is supposedly a "cold spot" in the Blossom Ballroom — a circle about three feet wide that feels 10 degrees colder than the rest of the room.

7. Mob murders at the Comedy Store.

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It may be a comedy club now, but back in the day, the Comedy Store was known as Ciro's Restaurant, and it was a major hangout for the mob. Infamous mobster Mickey Cohen was said to dine there often, and do a bit of "business" as well.

Legend says that the basement of the restaurant was used by the mob for torture and murder, and there are still gun-sized holes in the walls of the staircase to this day that were supposedly used to kill people as they walked down the stairs. Even now, guests claim to hear the cries of Cohen's victims, and the Comedy Store has begun offering tours of its haunted basement.

8. Satanic cults at Turnbull Canyon.

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The water tower pictured here was supposedly the meeting site of a satanic cult back during the Great Depression. The story goes that there was an orphanage nearby, and the cult would adopt children from the orphanage, only to perform rituals on them on this very spot.

Later, in 1952, a small plane crashed near the site, killing all 29 passengers aboard. The legend says that many of the passengers were children, and that it was the spirits of the cult that crashed the plane to bring them more souls.

9. The haunting of the One-Eyed Gypsy.

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The One-Eyed Gypsy was a downtown Los Angeles bar that opened all the way back in 1899. As with many older establishments, there were lots of reports of paranormal activity within its walls.

Legend has it that the bar was a brothel at one point, and a girl named Anna Feliz worked there. Feliz died in 1902, either due to suicide or, if you believe the rumors, a botched abortion. Since then, patrons and workers at the bar claimed to have seen a female spirit, and felt themselves pushed and pinched, possibly by the spirit of Anna trying to make them feel the same pain she felt.

10. The Queen Mary's "Door 13."

The Queen Mary in Long Beach has a long history of hauntings and apparitions, which isn't surprising when you see how many people have died on board. In particular, there's a door near the ship's engine room, known as "Door 13," which is said to have crushed more than one crew member to death. Their ghosts are said to haunt the corridors to this day, and some guests have reported water running and lights turning on and off on their own.

If you want to look for yourself, the Queen Mary runs its own tours of the ship's most haunted areas.

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