Thursday, January 8, 2015

GHOULA's Annual Report 2014

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


GHOULA has many great things planned for the upcoming year.

But first, let's take a last look back at 2014.

The question that we were asked most often last year was "When is SPIRITS with SPIRIT coming back?" So, let's address this first... We took a break from our monthly meet-ups in historic (haunted) bars to concentrate on other events we wanted to do, namely off-beat ghost tours of our city. The temporary hiatus will continue thru 2015, so that we can focus on other events in mind for 2015. This is not the end however, "SPIRITS with SPIRITS" will return (most likely in 2016), since there are still so many haunted restaurants/bars we haven't been to yet.

That said, it should be mentioned that if a special opportunity arises this year, we might break from form and do an impromptu SPIRITS with SPIRITS. For example, last year, the Magic Castle opened their doors to GHOULA for a special SPIRITS with SPIRITS, which included a discussion of the "Castle's" many ghost, a walking tour of the haunted areas led by magician/author Tom Ogden, some eye-witness accounts from the staff, and of course drinks and socializing. Obviously, if another amazing opportunity presents itself, we will do our best to make it happen.

The big news of last year was our unique "one-time-only" ghost tours of Los Angeles, where we picked a topic, and talked about everything one would want to know about that subject. Despite the very niche nature of these tours, surprisingly just about every tour sold out. Thus, we want to thank everyone who came out and supported the obscure ghost-lore of our city. These tours includes topics such as Houdini, Valentino, Ghostbusters, Laurel Canyon, haunted buried treasure, and haunted mirrors. The second most asked question this year was when are we going to bring back these tours. Unfortunately, there are no plans at this time to repeat those tours (there are too many new events coming).

GHOULA also finally did our ghost tour of Griffith Park throughout the summer months. If you have been following our group for the last couple of years, you know we have wanted to do this tour for the last couple of years, but for some reason we always had to cancel it. Since forces seem to always be against this tour, we called it "The CURSED Tour of Haunted Griffith Park." This year we did it (despite a few new challenges and obstacles).

Last October, GHOULA collaborated with our friends at Captured Aural Phantasy Theater to create a tribute to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion (which had its 45th anniversary last year) called "Tales of the Lonesome Ghost." For the first time ever, performers acted out the original (but never used) script for this beloved attraction when it was intended to be a guided tour of a haunted house. Concept art for that incarnation was also presented throughout the show, and the event was held in a haunted venue that may have a connection to the famous dark ride. Look for more GHOULA/CAPT collaborations next year.

Also in October, GHOULA also brought back the ghost-themed "walking" tour, we initiated two years ago, 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 spot.

Because of our group's LA-centric interest in the phantom folklore of this city, GHOULA participated in Los Angeles' 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.

GHOULA was also invited to participate in the annual "Archives Bazaar : LA as Subject" event at USC to discuss the connection between our city's history and its ghost folklore.

Last, but not least, last year GHOULA published "Hollywood Ghost Comix," a collection of ghost-themed comic strips created by local artist Victor Avila.

2014 was a great year for GHOULA, and judging from the surprises that are in the works, 2015 will be even better.

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