Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SPIRITS with SPIRITS is BACK!!!


GHOULA meets for cocktails in haunted places on the 13th of the 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) GHOULA. button. If you already have one, please wear it so others can find you, without asking the staff about our group. (i.e. LOOK FOR SOMEONE WITH A GHOULA BUTTON)

THE DATE: May 13th, 2018 (Sunday)
THE PLACE: The Tonga Hut
12808 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (Map)
THE TIME: 8:00pm to ? (4:00pm - 8:00pm is Happy Hour)

THE GHOST(S):

The Tonga Hut is considered the oldest "Tiki bar" in Los Angeles, opening in 1958. Much has been written about Tiki bars and their exotic rum-based fruity cocktails. There are many fans, books, and websites devoted to the artifacts and lifestyle associated with this post World War II era craze. So, the history and the facets of this topic can easily be found elsewhere. What is worth mentioning however is that some believe the resurgence of its popularity is because of this humble bar, which became a lightning rod for the preservation of this culture when fans discovered how far it had sunk in the 1980s with electronic dart boards and neon beer signs. Thankfully, as a result, The Tonga Hut has been restored and reimagined into this magical oasis in the desert of the San Fernando Valley.

This bar has also been on GHOULA's radar for more than a decade, so we are very glad we can finally visit it. A long time ago, when we started doing these meet-ups in haunted bars, we were given a tip that this North Hollywood gem may be haunted. So one night, two of us from GHOULA dropped in to do a little "research." After some time at the bar, we asked the bartender about ghosts. We were informed that "This bar is not haunted and there are no ghosts here." We pressed a little more, mentioning that most historic places have legends and rumors connected to them that add to their colorful history and so on. Again, we were told that "This bar is not haunted and there are no ghosts here."

We were about to drop the subject, when the patron sitting next to us (an elderly man) asked if we were looking for ghost stories. When we answered affirmatively, he told us that there was a long time regular of the bar that we should meet. With that, he called over an elderly woman with a drink in her hand. The man introduced us, and pleaded with her to tell us her ghost stories about the bar. As she was about to sit down and spill the beans, the bartender interrupted and said in a louder voice "This bar is not haunted and there are no ghosts here" and then added "and anyone who says otherwise... will be banned from the bar!" The older lady, scared from this threat, scurried away disappearing into the crowd. Our new friend turn his back on us and pretended we weren't there. The bartender then turned to us (GHOULA) and said these final words "I'm going to ask you to leave now." Not wanting trouble, we left without a ghost story.

Clearly we touched a nerve with this bartender, and clearly there was a ghost story. Henceforth, the Tonga Hut had always represented the one that got away. It was a great tavern that was apparently haunted, but we just couldn't get the story. We never did find out what those stories were, but thanks to the investigative work of James T. Bartlett, author of Gourmet Ghosts 2 (and friend of GHOULA), we finally have a ghost story to pin to this exotic landmark. As he published in his book, it seems that a long time regular of the establishment named Dottie passed away, and subsequently, after hours, a cleaner would have long conversations with Dottie's spirit while she did her nightly chores. One can not help but wonder if that patron we talked to so many years ago was this Dottie. Did the woman who was going to tell us a ghost story end up becoming the story herself? If so, sadly we may never find out the details of that original ghost story. So, whoever else might be haunting the Tong Hut will have to remain a mystery. In the meantime, let's celebrate the ghost we do have, and have a drink at one of the most unique watering holes in LA. By the way, a seat is reserved for Dottie (the resident spirit) at the bar during Happy Hour.

So come out, join us, share ghost stories, and toast this ghost... If you dare!


(to read about the last haunted location... )
(to see a map of previous SPIRITS with SPIRITS locations... )

Friday, May 4, 2018

HAUNTED HOUSE TOUR!


(Above-the William H. Perry Residence as it appeared a century ago in Boyle Heights.)

GHOULA'S HAUNTED HOUSE TOUR!

(Who wants to go inside a haunted house?)

THE DATE: May 26th, 2018 (Saturday)
THE PLACE: The Perry Mansion
3800 Homer St, Los Angeles, CA 90031 (Heritage Square Museum) (map)
THE TIMES: 6:00pm, 7:15pm, 8:30pm  (All Times SOLD OUT!)
(The tour is about an hour long.)
ADMISSION: $13.00

Due to the restrictions of this 142 years old historic landmark, we will only be able to bring small groups into this house, and we only have allowed access to three haunted areas inside the walls of this protected building. 

NOTE: This is not a themed "haunted attraction" with special effects and costumed actors, nor is it a "ghost hunt" with psychics and equipment to record the presence of spirits. This is an evening of story-telling and an exploration of the buildings haunted lore... Simply put, This is an actual tour of an actual haunted house.

In a city known for its architecture, "house tours" are a common occurrence in Los Angeles. Although, there are many historic homes throughout the South-land with docent-led tours (who may mention rumors of hauntings), this in the very first "house tour" conducted in our city, where the focus is entirely on the ghostly inhabitants.

The "residence with the phantom presence" in question is the stately former home of William H. Perry (the largest house in Los Angeles when it was built in 1876), which is currently part of the Heritage Square Museum in the Arroyo Seco corridor. If you have ever taken the Pasadena Freeway (The 11O) between Downtown and Pasadena, then you have most likely seen it against the hills, next to the parkway, with the protected cluster of Victorian-era buildings. If you have ever wanted to pull off the freeway, go beyond those gates, and hear the strange stories the docents don't tell you. This is your chance...

Come join us on this one-of-a-kind HAUNTED HOUSE TOUR... if you dare!
...And if you dare, that house you normally drive past, will never look the same again!

Friday, March 23, 2018

BEYOND the STRINGS That Go Bump in the Night!



GHOULA and the 3D Space
present an ALL NEW evening of marionettes and movie manifestations!

"13 GHOSTS" (1960) presented in ILLUSION-O
(Each attendee will receive a GHOST VIEWER absolutely FREE!)


DATE: April 28th, 2018 (Saturday) ONE NIGHT ONLY!

TIME: 6:00pm and 9:00pm (two shows)
WHERE: The Bob Baker Marionette Theater 

1345 W 1st St Los Angeles, CA 90026 (Downtown) (map)
ADMISSION: SOLD OUT

In 196O, showman William Castle unveiled one of the greatest Los Angeles-centric haunted house movies of all time. Although this horror film went on to
 influence Stephen King, Scooby Doo, and Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, it's true claim to infamy is it's use of "ILLUSION-O." Theater patrons were given a "Ghost Viewer," which promised to "make ghosts appear and vanish before your very eyes, and at your command." Sadly, after its initial release, the Illusion-o gimmick was retired... Until now... 

Now you can experience this unique (or rather BOO-nique) piece of cinema history. Not only can you see this 
masterpiece (or rather "macabre-piece") as William Castle intended with GHOST VIEWERS being made for this event, but also for the  FIRST TIME EVER ANYWHERE audience members will receive a GHOST-SHAPED viewer like the one promised by Mr. Castle in the movie's trailer (see trailer). For unknown reasons, when the movie was released the viewer 's design had changed to a more rectangular shape.  Don't miss out on this ghostly collector's item!

Like our previous "STRINGS That Go Bump in the Night" events, there will be a LIVE horror-themed marionette performance by the master puppeteers of the historic Bob Baker Marionette Theater preceding the screening of a film connected to the theater. Not only is this local enchanted oasis (while it lasts) the oldest indoor puppet theater in the United States, and just blocks away from the site of the Victorian West Addams mansion used in the film, but this humble showplace was one of William Castle's favorite spots in our city. Yes, these innocent marionette shows thrilled this famous thrill-maker. So, is there a better place to screen one of his classics? Also, did we mention that some say it may be... haunted. (for more about the theater's ghosts)

So, please Join us for this evening of eerie 
ectoplasmic entertainment with... 

1.) Dr. Zorba
2.) The clutching hands
3.) The screaming woman
4.) The executioner
5.) The floating head
6.) Emilio
7.) His wife
8.) Her lover
9.) The flaming skeleton
10.) The lion tamer
11.) The lion
12.) The hanging woman
13.) ? (Will it be you?) 



Wednesday, February 28, 2018

GHOULA's Annual Report


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

We're Back! As many of you have realized, GHOULA has been pretty quiet the last couple of years with the notable exception of having a presence at GHOULA's favorite Halloween Convention MIDSUMMER"S SCREAM. In 2016, we even curated an exhibition of haunted/cursed objects (Click here to see pictures of the exhibit).

Founder/organizer/guide/host Richard Carradine needed a little break from all these spooky events we were doing. Well, the break time is over, and its time to get back to work. GHOULA will be up and running again in 2018 with more new events (and some old favorite events). This is largely due to the help from another local ghost expert, Connor Bright (aka "The Paranormal Pixie"). Many of you met Connor on our resurrected Haunted Red Line Subway Tour last October. Richard will be taking a more behind the scenes role organizing the upcoming events, while Connor will take on the hosting/guiding duties.

The question that we are asked most often at GHOULA HQ is "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 events that celebrate the twisted history our city. That temporary hiatus continued when all events went on hiatus, and GHOULA took a break. This year we will bring back SPIRITS with SPIRITS in the six months leading up to October on the 13th of those months (starting May 13th).

As for the other planned events for 2018, you are going to have to wait and see. So, keep checking or blog (www.ghoula.org) and our facebook page, this is where we will announce these upcoming events. You can also sign up on our mailing list, and we'll send you an email with the info. Hope to see you soon.