10 Haunted (Maybe) Los Angeles Restaurants and Bars for Celebrating Halloween
Masked monsters -- or actors -- may be screaming and grunting for our attention at theme park-style events around town this Halloween, but there are plenty of places in Los Angeles for a trip into the city's past. Back in the days when "trunk murders" caught the public imagination and it was easy to buy poison -- and get away with murder.
J. Bartlett The Magic Castle
Police were once searching for a "Ghost Woman" who'd given her husband cyanide coffee for lunch at the Alexandria Hotel, and long-gone owner Thomas O. Glover Sr. gets angry when there's talk of change at Yamashiro.
Are these places really haunted? Maybe order a drink or dinner and then decide. Turn the page for 10 of L.A.'s bars and restaurants that may have more than alcoholic spirits.
10. Yamashiro -- Hollywood
James Bartlett Yamashiro
In 1948 Thomas O. Glover bought this exotic hillside Japanese bungalow -- pagoda, gardens, black swans and all -- from the previous owners. Today he's still keeping an eye on his investment -- literally, since his (and his wife's) ashes are buried in the inner court area. It's no wonder security guards don't last very long here, especially since the ghost of a woman sits eternally waiting at one of the tables -- and it's not to get served. The view across L.A. is worth the risk though ... or it is it?
9. Union Station -- Downtown
James Bartlett Traxx
The funky Traxx bar will serve you some damn fine cocktails here, but in Oct. 1931 inspectors found something very nasty in two trunks: the dismembered bodies of two women. Found guilty of their murders -- apparently in a catfight over a man called "Happy Jack" -- was Ruth Judd, a woman the press named "Velvet Tigress" and "Tiger Woman." She charmed the jury and despite being found guilty, was sent to an asylum -- from where she continually escaped. She was eventually released in the 1980s. Where's her TV movie?
8. Roosevelt Hotel -- Hollywood
Tammy Melhaff Roosevelt Hotel
A grand dame on the Boulevard, it's famous for its Hockney swimming pool and starlet-spotting, but also for "Marilyn's Mirror," a large mirror that reflected an image of the actress soon after her death, and has re-appeared many times since (but is apparently in storage right now). Suicides happen here too, including former child actor Tom Conlon who checked in one afternoon in 1940 to make his second attempt of the day ...
7. Oviatt Building/Cicada Restaurant -- Downtown
James Z. Oviatt was a flamboyant designer, and in the early part of the last century he lived in the penthouse of the Art Deco building he designed with business partner James Alexander. Their style emporium dressed the male movie stars of the early Hollywood, and Oviatt is still seen in his home (people smell his pipe smoke too). The ground floor was converted to a restaurant, but the big haberdashery drawers and reservation book are often found open, while chairs and doors move on their own. As for Oviatt, he fell down a step in his apartment at night and never really recovered from his injuries; in a way his building killed him.
1999 N. Sycamore Ave., Los Angeles, CA