GHOULA meets for cocktails in haunted places on the 13th of each month. “SPIRITS with SPIRITS” is a casual social gathering of regional ghost hunters and those that just like ghost stories. 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 (square) G.H.O.U.L.A. button. If you already have one, please wear it so others can find you, without asking the staff about our group.
THE DATE: April 13th, 2012 (Friday the 13th)
THE PLACE: The Coral Cafe,
3321 Burbank Blvd. Burbank (Map)
THE TIME: 8:00pm to the witching hour
"I still get the creeps, I still get a funny feeling driving over to Burbank"
--Tim Burton (2006)
Despite its seemingly benign, 1950's suburban appearance, beneath the sunny surface of Burbank lurks the twisted dark place that shaped the childhood of filmmaker, Tim Burton (which he lampooned in "Edward Scissorhands"). Additionally, it is the unlikely home of Halloweentown and Dark Delicacies. In 1952, the California Crime Commission singled it out as a hotbed of Mafia activity. Plus, due to its ties to the aero-space industry, it probably has had more airplane crashes than any other city in the world. Also, it is home to a few haunted locations...
The most famous of which is probably a neighborhood coffee shop named The Coral Cafe (a fixture of Burbank since 1957), and known locally as the "Haunted Cafe" because of its appearance on the Biography Channel's "My Ghost Story" (and other TV shows) and the rather dubious "security camera" video tape of a supposed ghost following a staff member around the restaurant that has been circulating for the last few years.
That famous "ghost caught on video" footage aside, The employees, and some regulars, do believe that this diner is haunted by a harmless spirit or spirits. Although, there has been a sighting of an "old lady" seated in one of the booths, most of the activity seems to occur in the bathrooms. Invisible hands turn on and off the faucets and open and close the stall doors. Why do ghosts and bathrooms seem to go together like cafeterias and Jello?
Are these disturbances from the same ghost, or is it two separated entities haunting different ends of the same building?
Almost a century ago, alfalfa fields occupied this section of Burbank, and they were owned by Burbank's most famous resident, James J. Jeffries aka "Big Jim" or "The Boilmaker" or "The Great White Hope." Jeffries (the namesake of nearby Jeffries Street) was one of the great Heavyweight Champions of all time, but he is best remembered for his involvement in "The Fight of the Century" where (as an older man) he was lured (with money) away from his Burbank farm back into the ring to fight the first African-American Heavyweight Champ, Jack Johnson. This battle of the races was the only time that Jeffries was knocked down, and Jeffries admitted that even on his best day he was no match against Johnson.
Years later, in the 1950's, Jim Jeffries elderly wife was killed in a car accident not far from their home. A few months later, Jeffries followed her with a fatal heart attack at age 77. All remnants of their farm are now long gone. Incidentally, after his death, the Jeffries barn (pictured below) was purchased by Walter Knott and moved to Knott's Berry Farm where it is still used today as the "Wilderness Dance Hall" (and as a maze for their Halloween Haunt), and where employees still see Jeffries' large ghostly figure. But, what about her ghost? Could the old lady seen at the Coral Cafe be spirit of Mrs. Jeffries?
Lastly, there is a "phantom monk" that has been seen in various locations in the San Fernando Valley, who is always traveling in a north-west direction (presumably repeatedly making the journey between the San Gabriel Mission and the San Fernando Mission). The Coral Cafe sits in his path. Could the restaurant's disturbances be connected to him passing through?
So, come out to the historic Coral (haunted) Cafe, and have some dinner, or dessert, or a drink, or just mingle with ghosts.... See you there!
(to read about last month's haunted location... )
(to see the imfamous Coral Cafe ghost tape... )
(to see a map of previous SPIRITS with SPIRITS locations... )