Saturday, March 20, 2010

Highlights from March's SWS

Thank you to all those who came to the old Duarte school house. Special thanks also to the management of the Old Spaghetti Factory, who not only gave us a private tour of this historic building, and shared their own ghost stories, but also allowed us to stay after the customers had left to explore the empty rooms.
One new story was about a female employee, who was closing up the restaurant alone when she heard someone walking around in the building. Scared, she called the police and waited outside. When the policemen arrived and greeted the woman, all the interior lights were turning on and off inside the restaurant, so they went inside to investigate, but (of course) could not find any one, or any reasons for the flashing lights (which mysteriously stopped shortly afterward).
Additional ghost stories included sightings of a person in the downstairs bathroom, the sounds of a girl laughing over the telephone intercom system, an old man's voice that was simultaneously broadcast over two cell phones belonging to diners in the "principle's office," and a chair that moved by itself one night.
Also, Bobby G pointed out that the Duarte Hanging Tree (where criminals paid the ultimate price) was nearby (behind the 7-11). Perhaps the proximity of this notorious hanging tree is the inadverted source of the rumors about a man hanging himself here.

Staff member talking about the night he went home early because a chair moved by itself.

The wait-staff station where a girl's laughter was heard.

The "principle's office" where the old man's voice was heard (and the possible site of the suicide of a former principle).

The private late-night tour of the old schoolhouse.

A possible "death portrait" of a child.

P.S. The staff told us about two other local Old Spaghetti Factories that have ghost stories. The Fullerton location (a former train station) where phantom people are seen on the tracks outside one of its windows, and the Riverside location (a former orange packing factory) where the lower half of a man has been seen walking throughout the building. Unfortunately, both locations are outside of GHOULA's jurisdiction, so we will not be going there (as a group) anytime soon.

(to read more about the ghost of Duarte's Old Spaghetti Factory...)

Friday, March 5, 2010


GHOULA meets for cocktails in haunted places on the 13th of each month. “SPIRITS with SPIRITS” is a casual gathering of regional ghost hunters. Open to all, from the curious skeptic to the passionate phantom pursuer. Make friends, and toast a ghost! Let's put the “Boo!” back into “booze.” All those who attend will receive a free G.H.O.U.L.A. button. If you already have, please wear it so others can find you.

THE DATE: March 13th, 2010 (Saturday)
THE PLACE: The Old Spaghetti Factory
in the "Hide-Away Room" next to the bar
(1431 Buena Vista, Duarte) Map
THE TIME: 8pm to the witching hour


The Old Spaghetti Factory is one of the few restaurant chains in America that goes out of its way to occupy historic buildings (many of which were abandoned or no longer in use), and thus they should be recognized for their work saving these old properties from the wrecking ball, and adding another chapter to their unique histories. As an unintended byproduct of this business practice, there are many Old Spaghetti Factory's around the country that are haunted, and the one in Duarte is no exception.

Duarte's own Mission Revival-styled Old Spaghetti Factory began its life in 1909 (over a century ago) as a 5 room school house , and it was Duarte's only school until 1925. It remained an active school until the early 1950's, when it was converted to an administration building for the Duarte Unified School District (until the early 1990's). The Old Spaghetti Factory moved into the empty building in 1997.

Much of the inside is still intact, even though the class rooms, principle's office, and auditorium have now been converted into dinning areas. Along the walls, there is memorabilia pertaining to the building's life as a school, including old photos of former students from bygone eras. The little faces staring out at the diners are appropriate considering this building is haunted by their ghosts. Late at night, when the customers have left, employees will hear the pitter-patter of giggling children loudly playing in another room. When that employee investigates, there is always no on there. Who are these children? Why do they haunt this building? It turns out this cool school was the third one built at this location. The first one was moved to Monrovia (where it still stands today) because it became too small. Then, the second larger one burnt to the ground in 1908. It is unknown if anyone died in that tragic fire. Could these ghosts be children burnt alive at this site? It's something to think about as you enjoy your spumoni and stare at the little faces in the old photos.

Lastly, there is an urban legend connected to this building that is worth mentioning. It has been said that a male principle hung himself in his office, which is ironically the most popular dining room in the restaurant. The Duarte Historical Society has never found any documentation to support this claim. Plus, according to the Old Spaghetti Factory's own research, their records show that all the school's principle's were female. Then again, just because there is no documentation that doesn't necessarily mean it never happen. Perhaps the "truth" was covered up by the townspeople then. Either way, the rumors of this horrific death continue to this day.

(to see last month's SPIRITS with SPIRITS location...)
(to read more about the ghost of this location...)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Haunted Hospital Meet and Greet

The good people of the Boyle Heights Paranormal Project (in collaboration with Linda Vista Hospital) invite all family, friends, and fans to the Iconic (and very haunted) Linda Vista Hospital to celebrate their Website Launch Event. Dare to experience the mystery and lore of one of Paranormal world's most famous haunted places. There will be guest speakers, BHPP team members, and snippets of the new documentary by BHPP titled " My Boyle Heights Ghost Story."

THE DATE: March 12 (Friday)
THE TIME: 9:00pm-Midnight
THE PLACE: Linda Vista Hospital
610 S St Louis St, Los Angeles(map)


When this hospital (originally built for Santa Fe Railroad employees) opened in 1904, it may have had a simple design on the outside, but it was all state-of-the-art on the inside. Among the many (then) high-tech gadgets found here were automatic elevators (push-button), automatic fire escapes (using body weight to lower slowly), and automatic wheelchairs (???). Some of the revolutionary design elements used in the construction (and now commonplace) were individually heated/cooled rooms, park lands surrounding the hospital, large interconnected halls on each floor and passages to each building (which created one overall structure), so beds and bath tubs could be rolled easily from any room to any other room. Also, within this maze, the walls were curved at each intersection (to make turning easier for wheel chairs). The Hospital also featured tiled surgical rooms so cleaning could be done simply with a water hose. These features made it the most sanitary and best equipped hospital on the Pacific Coast, and one of the largest hospitals in the country at that time.

Unfortunately, these improvements (as with any hospital) are never enough to keep patients from dying within their walls. In over a hundred years, there has been a lot of death and sadness at this site. So, it is no wonder that just about any kind of paranormal experience that one can imagine has happened within these buildings. The most famous phenomena (because of its appearance on the TV's "Ghost Adventures") is the disembodied laughter (sometimes humming) of a little girl echoing down the halls.

For more info on the event:

Free (Haunted) Lighthouse Tours! (Pt. Vincente)

The Date: The 1st Saturday of March
(for the schedule the rest of the year...)
The Time: 10:00am-4:00pm
The Location:
Point Vicente Interpretive Center
31501 Palos Verdes Drive West. [MAP]
Parking is available at the Rancho Palos Verdes City Hall
30940 Hawthorne Blvd. [MAP].

Note: This event is not hosted by GHOULA. This is just a local (ghost related) event that exists independently that GHOULA wants its members to know about. As such, docents and staff at this event may not wish to discuss this landmark's haunted history.

The Ghost(s):

The Point Vicente Lighthouse in Palos Verdes has been helping visiting ships navigate these local rocky waters since 1926. However, it's the lighthouse's role with something else visiting this coast line that has intrigued ghost hunters for decades. Apparitions of a woman in an old-fashioned white dress (blowing in the wind) have been seen (most often during heavy fogs) inside the glass-encased lens room on top of the lighthouse, or pacing along its exterior catwalk, as well as wondering (sometimes running around) the grounds surrounding this historic landmark and near the cliffs. Sometimes her long black hair is described as "tangled."

Over the years, two separate stories have developed as to her identity. She is either the depressed wife of a sailor (killed in a shipwreck at that location), who committed suicide from the tower (or nearby cliffs), or she is the wife of a former lighthouse keeper, who accidentally fell from the tower (or the nearby cliffs), or she is actually two different female ghosts (one haunting the tower and one haunting the grounds).

Also, it is commonly believed that this phantom is connected to two events in the lighthouse's history. Some say this "woman" first appeared after WWII when the window panes on the land-side of the lighthouse were painted, and that she disappeared (and has not been seen since) when the same panes were repainted in 1955. There may be truth to these claims, but then again the U.S Government generally frowns on such stories. So, any recent sightings by federal employees would most likely go undocumented. The real story surrounding this well-known local ghost (and her issues with painted glass) may be unknown, but that doesn't stop ghost hunters from visiting this lighthouse for themselves, looking for any lingering proof of her existence.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


THE DATE: March 12-17
THE TIME: 7:30 pm, 9:45 pm
THE PLACE: The New Beverly Cinema
(7165 W. Beverly Blvd.) map
THE MOVIE: House (1977)

Your chance to see this movie about ghosts in an actual haunted theater!
(Note: this event is not hosted by GHOULA)

The New Beverly Cinema is said to be the home of a phantom projectionist, and an audience member apparition... (read more)