Haunted LA

Haunted LA

Words + Photos: Erin Rivera

With Halloween days away, it’s in the spirit of the month that ghost stories be shared and heard. I can’t promise actual paranormal activity, but I can promise you some spooky stories and creepy vibes – let me be your resident paranormal investigator and give you a show and tell of LA’s most haunted places:

Colorado Street Bridge: 504 W Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91105

Colorado Street Bridge – so beautiful in design, yet so dark in its history and existence. Unfortunately known as “Suicide Bridge,” this hauntingly beautiful road in Pasadena was built in 1913 and claimed its first suicide in 1919. The bridge is now guarded with high fencing, but ghost stories continue to circulate of the many who met their demise here. Many report seeing figures at the top of the bridge at night, walking the rails and crossing the street, and then vanishing when people stop to help. The tales continue from the well-lit walking path underneath the bridge, where people have given accounts of lights turning off as they walk by.

Hotel Cecil: 640 S. Main St., Los Angeles CA 90014

This infamously creepy downtown LA hotel was built in 1924 as the Cecil Hotel. In 2011, the Hotel tried to rid itself of its bad vibes and rebranded as the “Stay on Main Hotel”--but a rebrand could never wash away the gruesome stories that remain. Now permanently closed, all of the lights in the hotel are turned off except one room on the 6th floor. Did someone forget to turn the lights off? Or does a lost soul still haunt this hotel? For the purpose of this article (and my love for a good scare), I’d say it’s the latter.

The Linda Vista Hospital: 630 S St Louis St, Los Angeles, CA 90023

The original Linda Vista Hospital was built in 1904 and holds the title of the "Most Haunted Place in Los Angeles." The hospital’s doors closed in 1991 and the building remained abandoned for several years, becoming a hot spot for paranormal investigators who reported ghostly activity from past patients and staff. In 2012, the building was converted to a senior living home called Hollenbeck Terrace, where current residents and employees still experience activity in certain areas – some of which remain closed.

Lincoln Heights Jail: 421 N Ave 19, Los Angeles, CA 90031

The East LA jailhouse opened in 1931 and housed infamous convicts like Al Capone and William Edward Hickman. In 1951, the jail was part of a deadly scandal known as “Bloody Christmas,” involving seven brutally beaten civilians. The jail closed in the 1960’s and was abandoned, with the exception of being used as a film set for notable favorites, like Nightmare on Elm Street. During production of the many movies and TV shows filmed here, casts and crews experienced all sorts of paranormal activity. Stories are still told of ghostly encounters by the brave souls who snuck by the security guards and entered the jail. Word to the wise… enter at your own risk!

Cobb Estate: 3302 Lake Ave, Altadena, CA 91001

The Cobb Estate dates back to 1916, when it was simply a huge mansion with vast land surrounding it. The haunted stories didn’t begin until the Marx Brothers purchased the estate in 1950 and then demolished it in 1960 – it was then that the abandoned location became known as the “Haunted Forest.” Well-known by hikers and locals for its many trails and secluded location, the Cobb Estate has been gaining a new type of visitor – thrill-seekers looking for paranormal curiosities. The area where the home foundation was laid is where most of the ghostly activities occur. Many have reported feeling like they were being watched and followed, and hearing strange noises while walking throughout the forest. As quiet as a forest can be, the “Haunted Forest” has been known to be the noisiest at night. Stay spooky, LA!