Wednesday, January 1, 2014

GHOULA's Annual Report 2013


(Alhambran F.E. Ormsby, creator of the 13 month calendar, 1929)

HAPPY BOOOOOOOOO YEAR!

GHOULA has many great things planned for the upcoming year.

But first, let's take a last look back at 2013.

This year we said "good-bye," to "SPIRITS with SPIRITS" after five+ years of meeting every month at a different haunted location. GHOULA will be taking a temporary hiatus from this event, so that we can focus on other events in 2014. The is not the end however, "SPIRITS with SPIRITS" will return, since there are still so many haunted restaurants/bars we haven't been to yet. (To revisit the 2013 "SPIRITS with SPIRITS" locations see below)

Speaking of SPIRITS with SPIRITS, it should be mentioned that last year, in May, we reached a milestone, the 60th monthly gathering (the five year mark). To honor this anniversary, we celebrated in the (private) Oviat Penthose, Los Angeles's first Art Deco Residence. This historic landmark graciously opened their doors to us for the night, allowing us access to all the haunted areas. There were also live performances from the Captured Aural Phantasy Theater and The Noble Gasses.

Last Year, in addition to letting Angelenos know about ghost-themed events that are happening in their own back yard, GHOULA continued events like...

Our "Haunted Films in Haunted Places" film series in October. In a partnership with the Echo Park Film Center's Filmmobile. For a fourth year, we screened a spirit-themed movie in actual haunted location that corresponded thematically with that film. We showed the cult classic "Plan 9 from Outer Space," which is about an aliens plot to take over the Earth by bringing the dead back to life, on a screen inside the haunted Pioneer Cemetery in the San Fernando Valley (where the movie was filmed).

That same evening GHOULA also hosted a "GHOULA Challenge," where we let people explore the cemetery with a a mini-map, and asked them to mark down locations that they "felt" or "experienced" ghosts (or the willies). Maps were collected before the screening, and the results were revealed (with the actual ghost story) after the movie. Interestingly, the majority of those present not only indicated the location of the ghost, but they also found the two mass (and unmarked) grave sites (as confirmed by a historian present). The experiment was such a success, we plan to do this again at another location.

GHOULA also continued its tradition of honoring one of Hollywood's most famous ghosts with the "Peg Entwhistle Memorial Hike" to the Hollywood Sign, on the anniversary of her suicide (jumping off of the "H"), along the very same trails that hikers claim to have seen her ghost.

Last October, GHOULA also brought back the ghost-themed "walking" tour, we initiated last year, the "Haunted Red Line Tour," where we take groups along the Metro's Red Line. stopping at various stations to talk about the ghosts and haunted sites at that location.

This was also the year of "STRINGS that Go Bump in the Night!" a celebration of one of Los Angeles' greatest (haunted) treasures, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater. It was an evening of spooky puppet shows, a discussion with the legendary Bob Baker, ghost stories about the theater from the staff, a back stage look, and a dark and twisted puppet film (BLUEBEARD) with Bob's puppets, which were on display. We had so much fun that evening that a couple of months later, we did the "Return of STRINGS that Go Bump in the Night." This time we featured a different dark and twisted puppet film (SHANKS), had a discussion with the daughter of the film's director, the legendary William Castle, more ghost stories from the staff, a backstage look, different spooky puppet shows, and the film's puppets on display.

Because of our group's LA-centric interest in the ghost folklore of this city, GHOULA participated in Los Angeles' first ever Halloween Convention, ScareLA, where other groups and companies that create spooky content and events in October, got together under one roof to share (and promote) what would be happening in October with each other and the public. It was so much fun, GHOULA plans on returning next year.

2013 was a great year for GHOULA, and judging from the surprises that are in the works, 2014 will be even better.

The SPIRITS with SPIRITS locations of 2013.

January - Taix
February - The Edison
March - Akbar
April - Chimney Sweep Lounge
May - Oviatt Penthouse
June - Ray and Stark Bar (LACMA)
July - Bona Vista Lounge (Bonadventure Hotel)
August - Hollywood Bowl
September - Beachwood Cafe
October - Saddle Ranch
November - El Cid
December - El Carmen