Tuesday, September 9, 2014

3rd Annual Peg Entwistle Memorial Hike

On September 16th, 1932, Peg Entwistle committed suicide by hiking up to the Hollywood sign, and jumping of the "H," not only ensuring her name would live on in infamy, but likewise becoming Hollywood's most famous spirit. Come out and join us for a self-guided hike along that haunted trail to Hollywood's most famous haunted landmark (which celebrates it 91th anniversary this year), and meet-up behind the "H," if you dare...

THE DATE: September 16th, 2014 (
(on the anniversary of her death)
THE PLACE: Behind the "H" of the Hollywood Sign
(Directions to the "H" are below)
THE TIME: 5:00pm - 7:00pm (Sunset)
(meet us at the top)

NOTE: Since everyone goes at their own speed, and everyone will be arriving at different times after work, there is no set meet-up time. We will just be hanging out at the sign during the time mentioned above. The hike is normally about 3-4 miles (round trip) and takes about 1-2 hours (round trip), but see "NOTE" (and updated directions) below. Also, there is no organized paranormal investigation included in this hike, but local ghost-hunters are welcome to bring their own equipment, and investigate on their own if they wish.


"I was hiking near the Hollywood sign today, and near the bottom I found a woman's shoe and jacket. A little further on I noticed a purse. In it was a suicide note. I looked down the mountain and saw a body...."
--- Anonymous call to the Hollywood Police Station

82 years ago, this September, a sad, depressed, possibly drunk, unemployed actress left her home on Beachwood Drive and started walking up the road to the Hollywood sign. She had be completely cut out of a RKO movie that was to be her big break in Hollywood. (Incidentally, there will be a free outdoor screening of that film in the parking lot of the Beachwood Market at 7:30pm). On that treacherous hike, that probably took her most of the night, she eventually made it to her destination, the fifty-foot letter "H" at the beginning of the internationally recognized Hollywood sign (then the Hollywoodland Sign). She climbed a ladder that was attached to the backside of the flat metal structure, and leaped to her death once she reached the top. It is thought that she did not die instantly, but instead lingered for hours in the brush below, where her corpse was eventually discovered by hikers. For a short time she was simply known as "The Hollywood Sign Girl," until her published suicide note was recognized by her uncle. Her name was Peg Entwistle.

When people tell her tale, they always point out the ironic twist that occurred shortly after her death, a letter arrived at her address, stating that she had landed the lead role in a new play about a woman who commits suicide.  However, there's the bigger (more obvious) irony. This act of desperation over the lack of a show-biz career, ended up making her more famous (or infamous) than any of her working contemporaries. Not everyone can easily name the stars of the early 1930's, but most people know the Hollywood Sign Girl.

Her legend seems to grow with each passing year, and as it does, so do the stories of her restless ghost near the famous landmark. Most people describe her apparition as a young woman dressed in a 1930's style white gown walking along a trail (sometimes dazed). She is most commonly seen by hikers (not unlike those that originally found her body) and dog walkers in the very early or very late hours. Witnesses claim that she is accompanied by the strong scent of the gardenia flower (her favorite perfume). Some accounts even describe her reenacting her final moments stepping off of the top of the "H" only to vanish as she falls. She seems doomed to repeat the last moments of that last night over and over again, just as we also seemed doomed to repeat those last moments with each retelling of her story. (for more info about the ghost of Peg Entwistle...)

NOTE (and updated directions): Because the surrounding neighborhood has complained about traffic, the city has cut off the closest access points to the public trails (even for pedestrians). As a result, currently one can not access the Hollywood Sign from Beachwood Canyon, so please consult a map. It appears the next best way to get to the Hollywood Sign is to follow Canyon Dr. up the hill to the end, and park in the lot (as if you were going to the famous Bronson Cave). That paved road turns into a trail. Follow the trail extension from Canyon Dr up the hill til it dead-ends at the Mulholland Hwy (trail), and go left on this trail as it zigs-zags across the mountains until you get to a split in this trail. Follow the right-side trail that goes up hill (and not the left downward one). Once on that new trail, follow it (going towards the Hollywood sign) until it dead ends at a paved road (Mt. Lee Drive). Turn right on the paved road, seemingly away from the Hollywood sign. The road will take you up the backside of Mt. Lee, offering great views of the San Fernando Valley and Forest Lawn, to the top of the mountain and a dramatic reveal of the Hollywood sign, the same view Peg Entwistle had before she jumped (incidentally Peg's studio, RKO, is dead center in this view). Below is a link to a map, which you should study, before going out there, since its very easy to get turned around out there on the trails (and there is limited cell reception up there.) There's another route that's shorter but more difficult... Park on Lake Hollywood Dr. (at Wonder View Dr.). Walk up Wonder View Dr. to Trail Head, and take the "Tree of Life" Trail along the ridgeline to the Hollywood Sign. Again, consult a map before attempting.
(for more info on alternate ways to the Hollywood Sign...)

DIRECTIONS:  (See "NOTE" and updated directions above) Follow N. Beachwood Drive up the hill to the end (just before the "Sunset Ranch Hollywood" stables). You'll see cars parked around a trail head, so park anywhere you can. Follow (on foot) the dirt trail up and along the ridge adjacent to the stables. Cell phone reception is not very good up there, so note the directions before you set off on foot. This trail will merge into a larger trail (Mulholland Hwy). Make a hairpin turn left (South-West) on this new trail, and follow it (going towards the Hollywood sign) until it dead ends at a paved road (Mt. Lee Drive). Turn right on the paved road, seemingly away from the Hollywood sign. The road will take you up the backside of Mt. Lee, offering great views of the San Fernando Valley and Forest Lawn, to the top of the mountain and a dramatic reveal of the Hollywood sign, the same view Peg Entwistle had before she jumped (incidentally Peg's studio, RKO, is dead center in this view). Below is a link to a map, which you should study, before going out there, since its very easy to get turned around out there on the trails.

View Larger Map

Two More Tours Added!

GHOULA presents...
The CURSED Tour of

NOTE: This tour will be coming to an end in September. These are the last tours of the year. It is uncertain whether this tour will return next summer, because GHOULA has another project planned for next summer. This may be your last chance to see it.

Not only is Griffith Park one of the largest urban parks in North America, it is also the most haunted public space in the United States, and the site of some of the oldest ghost stories our city has to offer, including the infamous 150 year old curse! Even today, it is said that there are so many sightings still, that the ranger's office has a "special occurrence" form just for citizens that want to report their ghostly encounters.

Those of you that regularly attend GHOULA events may already know that we have been talking about doing (and attempting to do) this tour for the past few years, but due to circumstances beyond our control... it never happened. Its almost as if the "Los Feliz curse" itself was preventing us. Well this summer, GHOULA is defying the curse, and finally making good on our promise.

So, come join us if you dare... for this unique bus tour as we explore 4,310 acres of haunted history.

DATES: September 28, 2014
: 12:30pm, 3:30pm, (7:00pm SOLD OUT)
(tour runs 1 1/2 to 2 hours each)
PRICE: $35.00
MEET-UP LOCATION: The Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
(follow signs up the fire road to Lot #1 next to the Merry-Go-Round) (map)

Eventbrite - The CURSED Tour of Haunted Griffith Park

For more ticket info...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Real Ghosts with REEL Ghosts!

: September 12 (Friday)
Time: 7:30pm
Theater: The Bing Theater (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
Admission: $5.00

This is your chance to see this movie about ghosts in an actual haunted theater! (Note: this event is not hosted by GHOULA, and is just an event we feel our members should know about. Thus, the event staff may not answer any questions regarding their ghosts.) The whole square block containing LACMA (and the Bing Theater) are said to be haunted by a few ghosts, as well as an ancient murder victim (LA's oldest unsolved murder), known locally as "The La Brea Woman."

NOTE: This screening is the first part of a William Castle double-feature. The second film will be the classic "13 GHOSTS," which will be screened using a new print that allows patrons to "see" the ghosts without the "ghost viewers" that were issued during its original release. This evening is part of the "Let There Be Fright: William Castle Scare Classics" festival in September.

"House on Haunted Hill" (1959) is the first of William Castle's Horror "gimmick films." When it was originally screened, a plastic skeleton (sometimes an inflatable skeleton) was hoisted over the audience in effort to scare the patrons. Most of the time, people just threw popcorn at it (but had great fun all the same). This trick would later be employed at Disneyland's Haunted Mansion (it's debatable whether its any scarier there).

This classic horror film has a special place in GHOULA's black heart. The very first GHOULA event was a screening of this movie (with Emergo) as a fundraiser for the preservation of the Ennis House (the movie's "House"). Also, this film was in the line-up of GHOULA's first year of its "Haunted Films @ Haunted Places" free outdoor film series.

Now, GHOULA is pleased to announce its involvement with this special screening of the film at LACMA. GHOULA has been asked by the Motion Picture Academy to provide the EMERGO for this screening.

(To read about the ghost of this haunted theater...)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Ghosts of Laurel Canyon Tour

GHOULA presents...
Ghosts of Laurel Canyon Tour

NOTE: This specialty tour is part of a series of tours GHOULA is conducting this year (and only this year), where we take a theme and run with it, telling only ghost lore that fits the theme. This gives us an opportunity to visit locations or tell stories that are not typically heard. These are one-off tours that will not be repeated. We are only doing these "bus tours" this year. Past tours have included... The Haunted Houdini Tour, The Ghost-buster Ghost-Bus-Tour, The Many Ghosts of Valentino, and The 13 Richest Ghosts of Los Angeles, and now this tour...

DATE: Sunday, August 24, 2014 (SOLD OUT)
TIMES: 12:30pm and 3:30pm
(tours run 1 1/2 to 2 hours each)
PRICE: $35.00
Cat and Fiddle Pub
6530 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles (map)
NOTE: The Meet-up will be in the court yard at the entrance.

Eventbrite - The Ghosts of Laurel Canyon Tour

“When I got home I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of traffic on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut."
-- Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye (1953)

For little over 100 years local outsiders, eccentrics, and artists have sought solace in this seemingly isolated canyon (5 minutes from Hollywood). Unfortunately, this idyllic refuge has also been the site of many murders and violence over those same years. Whatever it is that attracts these alternative personalities to this enclave also seems to provide the perfect recipe for paranormal activity, because it seems that Laurel Canyon's ghost lore also goes back almost as many decades, giving it a reputation in Los Angeles as the place where the spooks dwell.

If you have taken one of our specialty tours this year, you have most likely already heard a story about a haunted place in Laurel Canyon. Richard Carradine, our tour guide, grew up there, and loves this local lore, and thus tries to work in at least one Laurel Canyon ghost in each tour. Think of that individual story as an appetizer, for this main phantom feast presented in this tour. If you haven't been on one of our tours, here's is you chance to hear more stories and lore from a man who lived in the canyon for 40 years collecting such stories. This tour will provide Mr. Carradine a chance to tell stories that have never been told publicly (and do not appear in print or online) including his own person encounters with the unknown.

Seating for this bus tour is VERY limited. Only 24 seats!
(12 guests per tour. 2 tours. 1 Day)

or for more ticket info click on this link...