Nothing makes the month of October more exciting than Halloween and all of the spookiness that comes with it. Los Angeles is filled with such a rich history, dating as far back as the early 1900s, that it comes as no surprise some of the oldest buildings still standing from the prohibition era tend to be most haunted. Many of these buildings have become historical landmarks, but visit these old-time watering holes and decide for yourself whether they’re truly haunted.
901 E 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Rumor has it as many as 30 ghosts haunt the century-old building where One-Eyed Gypsy resides. The most talked-about spooky event occurred when a crown that sits on the head of highly mounted statue, from behind the bar beyond anyone’s reach, flew across the room hitting a patron upside the head. Employees have reported phantom voices calling out to them from empty rooms, unseen hands touching them late at night, as well as lights and faucets turning on and off by themselves. According to legend, One-Eyed Gypsy used to be a brothel that burned down to the ground, killing everyone inside. The staff believes the bar to be haunted by the lady that ran the brothel, but there was also a young waitress who was murdered there sometime in the ’80s when it was a notorious biker bar. It’s also quite possible a man haunts the bar as well, given the frisky nature of unseen hands reported by the female waitstaff whenever they are near the men’s restroom where a man was shot and killed in 1906. No one is quite sure, but one thing you can be sure of is how much fun you’ll have at this carnival-themed bar playing skew ball.
1999 N. Sycamore Ave.
Hollywood, CA 90068
Decked with a mixture of Japanese and Chinese decor, this “Castle on a Hill” originated as an intricately designed palace-like home before being converted into a private club for Hollywood’s finest. Known for having one of the best views in Los Angeles, it became a sought-after wedding venue despite Yamashiro’s resident ghost known as the “Weeping Woman” in the bridal suite on the second floor where there have been reports of sudden chills in the room. A male silhouette has also been seen passing through the windows of the second floor from outside. Some say it’s the ghost of a former bartender who has often been seen in the bar area near the front entrance. Others say it’s the ghost of Thomas Glover, the former owner who died in 1948 and is buried in the garden. Family members believe him to be protecting the property as there were once talks of the family selling the restaurant and plates started mysteriously knocking themselves over.
The Townhouse & Del Monte Speakeasy
52 Winward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
This timeless watering hole is one of the oldest bars in L.A. and was an actual speakeasy during the Prohibition era. Only one ghost is believed to be haunting this historic building: Frank Bennett, the former owner who passed away in 2003 and has been seen sitting in his favorite booth in the back corner overlooking the bar. One woman recently reporting her hair being pulled when she was alone in the bathroom washing her hands. Despite the mystery of such ghostly hauntings, patrons come here for the live entertainment on select nights in the basement of The Townhouse where you will find Del Monte Speakeasy. The ambience has a very 1930s feel, and Del Monte Speakeasy downstairs has a separate cocktail menu, but it’s revealed only in person.
Related: Best Speakeasies in L.A.
King Eddy Saloon
131 E. 5th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
This historical landmark is home to one of the greatest archetypal ghosts in America, the “Vanishing Hitchhiker.” The King’s version of the legend is of one a repeat customer, an awkward, often inebriated woman, who shows up at closing time and talks up one of the male patrons before asking for a ride to her home in the Belvedere Garden neighborhood of East Los Angeles. According to the legend, the man agrees and even offers her his coat to the shivering woman, but on the way home, she demands the driver to pull over at the Evergreen Cemetery where she jumps out of the car with the man’s coat and disappears into the graveyard. When the driver goes to look for her, she is no where in sight, but the man’s jacket is found mysteriously draped over a tombstone with the same name she gave to the driver. Whether this is a true ghostly haunting or an urban legend is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Hollywood Roosevelt’s Spare Room
7000 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Located on the mezzanine level of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Spare Room is unlike any spare room you might be accustomed to. The upscale lounge includes two fancy bowling lanes that make Lucky Strike Lanes look like the neighborhood bowling alley. The historic hotel in which the Spare Room resides is said to be haunted by a list of celebrities who have stayed there. The most notable celebrity ghost is Marilyn Monroe. Witnesses swear they’ve seen her phantom reflection in a mirror that hangs in the lobby near the elevators. Legend has it, the mirror was the same one she used every times she stayed at the hotel in her private suite. It’s not at all uncommon for hotel guests and housekeeping to witness the flickering of lights as they turn themselves on and off or for the front desk to receive mysterious phone calls from vacant rooms. There was one night in the Spare Room when an employee felt a strange presence as he was shutting down the lights for the bowling alley when he started to hear voices and heard a woman’s laugh. When he and security went to investigate, there was nobody there. Perhaps it was a group of celebrity ghosts interested in a nightcap.
Related: Best Historical Spots in Los Angeles
Niki Payne is a freelance writer covering all things Entertainment in Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.