Monday, August 12, 2013


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: August 13th, 2013 (Tuesday)
THE PLACE: The Hollywood Bowl
2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles (Map)
THE TIME: 8:00pm to the witching hour

"Playful ghosts have interrupted our tour"
-Haunted Mansion, Disneyland

GHOULA is doing something a little different this month (we just couldn't resist this unique opportunity). We have wanted to do a SPIRITS with SPIRITS at the Hollywood Bowl for years, but since it would be hard to coordinate a meet-up there (parking, seating, tickets, etc.), everyone will be on their own for this 13th. So, if you want to go to one of the great outdoor venues in the world and enjoy an evening of death-themed classical music, bring a bottle of wine (preferably from one of California's haunted vineyards), and go to the Bowl on Tuesday to see Verdi's Requiem. (the same spooky show will repeat on Thursday). Otherwise we will see you all next month on a special Friday the 13th edition of SPIRITS with SPIRITS.


Despite Hollywood's elite shelling out big dough to sit up front near the "shell," GHOULA believes the best seats at the Hollywood Bowl are the ones at the far back, and as high up as you can go (sections V, W, and X). The reasons for this are many. The seats are cheaper. The atmosphere is more casual and laid back. The sound is said to be better given the natural acoustics of the sloping terrain (the reason the Bowl is there). The view of the Hollywood sign and the city is great (which can't be seen from the expensive seats). But, the best reason of all is the "nose-bleed" seats are said to be haunted...

It has been said that late at night, after the concerts, and after the patrons have left, staff members (clean-up crews or security) will see a man sitting alone on a bench at the far end of the Bowl, and naturally according to the tale... when that staff member makes the trek up there to tell the person to go home, the man vanishes into thin air.

Who this spirit is, and why he haunts the top of the hill is a mystery. But what makes him interesting is the possibility that this male apparition may be connected to the Hollywood Bowl's greatest mystery... The Curse of the Cahuenga Pass.

Back in the days before "Hollywood," when the area was just known as the "Cactus Patch," a poor Mexican sheepherder buried a cache of stolen gold and jewelry in the Cahuenga Pass. The only reference points to the location of this hidden treasure is that it was up a hill above a tavern (roughly located where Highland Ave meets the 101), and it was buried in six hole all equidistant from a "Fresno Tree" (also known a Western Ash Tree).

The circumstances behind how this traveling peasant was in the possession of this great wealth is a long and complicated story, and the details can be read about elsewhere on the Internet, or in historian Horace Bell's "On the Old West Coast." However, simply put, the gold and jewelry were stolen from churches in Mexico during military campaigns, and then went through a series of hands (all of whom died under mysterious circumstances) until it was buried in the Cahuenga Pass. It is said that all those that either seek or handle these riches meet an untimely end. The lonely sheepherder, himself, revealed what little info we have on his death bed. Since then, a few others have searched for this treasure, and have met tragic fates before they could enjoy the spoils.

The most colorful legend connected to the curse is that a Basque farmer accidentally discovered one of the packages of gold, and split town. Fearful that someone may rob him, he had secret pockets sewn into his clothes, that equally distributed the jewelry and gold coins all over his body. As he stood against the rail of a steamship as it approached Spain, he accidentally fell overboard, and because of the weight of all the booty in his suit, he sank like a rock and drowned.

Many believe the location of the buried treasure is where the Hollywood Bowl is today. Is it possible that the "X section" marks the spot? Could this male ghost at the top of the hill be one of the many victims of this legendary treasure?

Incidentally, this land was once owned by "Greek George," who is most famous for harboring the notorious bandit (and possible inspiration for "Zorro") Tiburco Vasquez when he was captured and hanged. Did Vasquez hide in this area as well as some believe? Could this site possibly be one of the many places supposedly where Vasquez hid his stolen gold? What are the chances that two famous lost treasures are buried under the Hollywood Bowl? Maybe the ghost is Vasquez?

Additionally, it has been said that on nights when the Bowl was empty, the noted (and notorious)actor John Barrymore, used the deserted seats as his secret drinking spot. His chronic alcoholism most likely led to his death in 1942. Could his ghost be the man seated alone?

So, come out to picnic and enjoy the music at the site once known as "Magic Valley," because of its strange acoustic quality that causes even whispers spoken dozens of yards away to seem as if they were disembodied voices whispering in your ear... If you dare.

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

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