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Ghost Stories : Notable Haunts in the World's Fantasy Capital

September 04, 1990|CECILIA RASMUSSEN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There have been other strange sightings as well, particularly in the ship's galley. It was there a cook was said to have been thrown into a heated oven during a wartime brawl. Some have reported lights going on and off by themselves, utensils disappearing, dishes moving on their own and a stranger who enters and then vanishes.

Only a few of the ship's resident ghosts have ever been identified, and the incidents that bind them to the ship--whether truth or fiction--are mostly lost to history.

Hollywood Memorial Cemetery

6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles--Legends lie buried with many Hollywood stars and famous Los Angeles pioneers. Among those interred here are Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Peter Finch, John T. Gower, Jayne Mansfield, Harrison Gray Otis, Tyrone Power, and Rudolph Valentino.

According to legend, two portions of the park are haunted, including the vicinity of the Abbey of the Psalms, where strange night lights and sounds have been reported. The park's main ghost is said to be that of actor Clifton Webb who, as the story goes, walks the marble floors in the Sanctuary of Peace, where he is entombed. Webb, who died of a heart attack in 1966 at age 73, is reputed to haunt his old house in the Hollywood Hills as well.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday September 15, 1990 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 2 Column 4 Metro Desk 2 inches; 50 words Type of Material: Correction
Burial sites--On Sept. 4, The Times reported that Charles Chaplin and Jayne Mansfield are buried at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery. Charles Chaplin is buried in Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland; his son, Charles Chaplin Jr., is buried at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery. Mansfield is buried in Pennsylvania, while a cenotaph honors her at Hollywood Memorial.

Parker House

1631 S. Wilton Place, Los Angeles--Marion Parker, a 12-year-old twin, was strangled and dismembered in 1927 by a 19-year-old college student named Edward Hickman in his room at the Bellevue Arms, now known as the Brownstone Apartment Hotel, on Bellview Avenue.

Michelle Pelland and Steve Daley, who in 1988 purchased and then sold the house, said they believed that the ghost of Marion Parker lived with them. According to many parapsychologists, ghosts seek places they were happiest at or attracted to during their earthly lives. The reason they bought this house, they said, was because it felt like there had been a lot of love in it. They reported hearing footsteps on the stairs and finding certain objects displaced at times, lights going on and off for no known reason. They said they felt they were sharing space with a benevolent, childlike and non-threatening spirit.

Leonis Adobe

23537 Calabasas Road, Calabasas--In 1878, Don Miguel Leonis, a powerful Basque immigrant who was feared and hated for the dictatorial way he controlled his massive ranch, moved to this house with his Indian wife, Espiritu. After Leonis' death in a wagon accident in 1889, rumors about murder began to spread, but nothing was ever proven. Espiritu held onto the ranch until her death in 1906. Later it was sold to a couple named Agoure--from whom the town of Agoura got its name.

New owners reported hearing the sound of heavy footsteps upstairs at times when the only people known to be in the house were downstairs. Doors are reported to have shut by themselves. Visitors said they have seen ghostly forms and heard crying, while residents reported hearing the heavy slamming of things and footsteps above the dining room. Back in the 1930s, a woman living in the house reported that she was saved by an unseen presence. She leaned on a second-floor porch railing, heard a creaking sound, then she said she felt hands grip her shoulders and pull her back. The next day an inspection revealed rotted railing. The woman insists that if she had leaned a tiny bit farther, it would have broken.

Point Vicente Lighthouse

Rancho Palos Verdes--The white stucco lighthouse with its red tile roof--which stands in relative isolation on a point of land--has warned ships away from the dangerous Peninsula cliffs since 1926 and was a key lighthouse and communications station during World War II.

Its lore includes a female ghost in a flowing gown seen walking near the lighthouse. Legend has it that she is searching for a lover who was lost in a shipwreck. Those more skeptical of the story say the apparition was created by an unusual reflection from the rotation of the lighthouse lamp.

Sources:

"This is Hollywood, An Unusual Movieland Guide," by Ken Schessler.

"Mysterious California, Strange Places and Eerie Phenomena in the Golden State," by Mike Marinacci.

"Fallen Angels," by Marvin J. Wolfe and Katherine Mader.

"The Ghostly Register," by Arthur Myers.

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