The Ouija Board: Good or Bad?

by on Nov.11, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Stories and Haunted Places | Go to Original Post

 
I watched the movie Ouija this weekend.  It wasn’t a particularly wonderful movie.  It was one of those movies driven by the utter stupidity of the protagonist.  I did enjoy it, however.  It also made me think about the Ouija Board and its history.
 


The Ouija Board was first created during the spiritualist movement of the late nineteenth century.  It was designed as a tool to help communication with spirits.  Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard were the first to patent the device.   In 1966, the device’s patent was sold to Parker Brother’s who still own it.   Ever since its creation the Ouija Board has been controversial.  The most famous case of demonic activity with Ouija Board was the case that was later the inspiration for a book The Exorcist.  I’ve blogged about this case before.   A little boy named Robbie and his aunt attempted to contact a deceased relative and the resulting demon possession was legendary.

I remember my first experience with the Ouija Board was fairly typical.  I was at a slumber party and one of the girl’s brought out the board.  We all took turns asking questions.  I can’t remember them all.  They were mundane girly questions like “will Billy Bob ask me to the dance,”  or “Will I be a doctor when I grow up.”   At the end,  the girl who brought the board out told the spirit thank you and said that she would give it all her Halloween candy as a way of saying thank you for all its help.   She put her bucket of Halloween candy by the board and we went upstairs to play light as a feather stiff as a board.  When we returned,  all the candy was gone.  The wrappers were still there.  They were still  sealed, but the candy was gone.  I’ll admit,  this could be some kind of slumber party prank, but I don’t know how this girl, who was pretty clueless pulled it off.

Almost everyone you talk to has a Ouija board story and almost all of them are bad.  Mine was quiet and stupid, but almost everyone I talk to about the board agrees that it opens doors that shouldn’t be opened.   My grandmother passed away recently,  which had lead to much contemplation on her life.   She was a woman who always dabbled in the supernatural and believed firmly in ghosts.  In fact,  she had a relationship with a ghost named Alonk that lasted years via the Ouija Board.  She forced my mother and her sister to help her continue this relationship.  Alonk told her he loved and sent her love stories.   It really creeped my mother out, although my aunt grew fond of Alonk.

There are a million Ouija Board stories.   One local story, involves a teen that used the board regularly.  One night the sofa he stored the board under burst into flames,  burning down the entire apartment complex he lived in.    Another story I found in a book, describes a young man’s interaction with a spirit via the board.  During this interaction, the spirit said the board was specifically designed to communicate with those in hell.  Only spirits that had been damned could be contacted using the board.

I have heard a few good stories about the board.   One woman at a paranormal meeting I went to said she talked with a playful girl spirit that had lived in her house before her.  She said the interaction was positive and helped bring peace to herself and her daughter who had been afraid of the ghost before the conversation via the board. I know that some people must be having positive experiences with the board, because it still sells very well.  There is even an online version of the game now that allows you to play alone using your mouse.   However,  the overwhelming bulk of the stories are terrifying.   Which brings me to the question.  Is the Ouija Board a gateway only to evil or can it be used for good?  Are people being swayed by the abundance of negative stories or are there any possible good uses for this tool?

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ALL ABOARD!!!

by on Sep.30, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles | Go to Original Post

When: October 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th,
(Every Sunday in October)

Time: Tours start at 7pm

Meeting Place: The palm tree-lined island in front of Union Station
800 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (map)

Price: FREE TOUR (donation-based) + Metro “Day Pass” ($5 + $1 for a “Tap Card”)
Please purchase the Metro Pass (not a “Metrolink” ticket) before the meet-up to save time.

Parking: See below.

Los Angeles’ lore is filled with tales of secret tunnels. Whether its supposed opium dens, rum-running passages, discontinued “Red Car” tunnels, munchkin transports, celebrity/mistress escape routes, or simply chambers belonging to a race of subterranean lizard people, many buildings and homes claimed to be connected to other buildings and homes below street level (if only we could find their openings).

So, is there a better way to explore the haunted history of Los Angeles than by traveling underground from location to location via our very own (dead) Red Line Metro Subway with the other living dead of this city?

We will meet-up at Union Station (the starting point for the Red Line) and then travel through 13 stops to the North Hollywood Station (at the end of the line), getting off and on along the way. In addition to Union Station and the North Hollywood Station, we will stop at few other stations, step off the train, rise to street-level, and discuss the ghosts and haunted sites visible from that spot before going back aboard to the next stop on our tour.

Come out and hear spooky tales about a spirit solider, a vanishing padre, and a ghostly car. As well as many other phantom figures from our past that haunt our present.

Parking: Since everyone participating in the tour will need a Metro Day Pass to ride the subway, it is advisable to park at one of the FREE lots provided by the Metro at either the North Hollywood Station (our end point) or the Universal City Station (or any other free lots on connecting Metro lines), and then just take the Subway to Union Station to meet-up with the group (The lots around Union Station are expensive and they may close early).

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The Ghosts of the Golden Gate Bridge

by on Sep.18, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Stories and Haunted Places | Go to Original Post

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LAST GHOULA BUS TOUR!

by on Sep.17, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles | Go to Original Post

GHOULA presents
The CURSED Tour of
HAUNTEDGRIFFITH PARK

NOTE: This tour will be coming to an end in September. These are the last tours of the year. It is uncertain whether this tour will return next summer, because GHOULA has another project planned for next summer. This may be your last chance to see it.

Not only is Griffith Park one of the largest urban parks in North America, it is also the most haunted public space in the United States, and the site of some of the oldest ghost stories our city has to offer, including the infamous 150 year old curse! Even today, it is said that there are so many sightings still, that the ranger’s office has a “special occurrence” form just for citizens that want to report their ghostly encounters.

Those of you that regularly attend GHOULA events may already know that we have been talking about doing (and attempting to do) this tour for the past few years, but due to circumstances beyond our control… it never happened. Its almost as if the “Los Feliz curse” itself was preventing us. Well this summer, GHOULA is defying the curse, and finally making good on our promise.

So, come join us if you dare… for this unique bus tour as we explore 4,310 acres of haunted history.

DATES: September 28, 2014
TIME: 12:30pm, 3:30pm, (7:00pm SOLD OUT)
(tour runs 1 1/2 to 2 hours each)
PRICE: $35.00
MEET-UP LOCATION: The Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
(follow signs up the fire road to Lot #1 next to the Merry-Go-Round) (map)

Eventbrite - The CURSED Tour of Haunted Griffith Park

For more ticket info…
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-cursed-tour-of-haunted-griffith-park-tickets-12436547047

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The Downtown Huntsville, Alabama Ghost Walk: A Review.

by on Sep.12, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Stories and Haunted Places | Go to Original Post

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It is probably not surprising that I have been on many ghost walks.  Every ghost walk I have been on has a different tone. They have all been brilliant in different ways.  However, there are some unifying principles in ghost walks that I feel makes them all wonderful.  Every ghost walk I’ve been on tells the story of the haunted places on the walk from a perspective that makes that story whole.  That means that there is a history to the haunting and then there are  tales of the haunting itself and those who have witnessed it.  This is always the case.  This was true until I went on the downtown Huntsville Ghost Walk.  This ghost walk was the strangest ghost walk I have ever been on and completely lacked the elements I associate with a brilliant ghost walk.

Instead of having the unifying principles that I mention above, the guide instead told pieces of each ghost story and none of them ever seemed to equal an entire tale.  He told tales of many residual hauntings.  He would tell stories of places where ghosts had been seen but the history was missing or he would tell tales of moments in history a medium had witnessed without any real ghost tales to go with the history.   On some occasions, he would mention hauntings without any history to accompany them.  None of the pieces were a whole story and when I questioned him, my guide he seemed lost.

For example, he told the tale of a place on the street where the ghost of a young girl with a basket of kittens wanders.  The girl’s name is Allison and she haunts Washington Street.  The girl was deaf and her father worked for the railroads.  The Governor gave her a basket of kittens which she still clings to in the after life because she died of cat scratch fever.  It was a medium who determined who the ghost was, but the guide had no idea why she haunted Washington Street or why she would even chose to remain in Alabama since she didn’t live here in life. 

Another ghost story that lacked definition was a story that a medium picked up in the street.  The medium felt someone died there and someone had, but there were no other haunting stories.  No one else had seen the ghost.  No one had been haunted.  A medium could sense a murder.  That was all.

Another example is the haunting of the Yargrow Hotel.  The hotel is haunted by a ghost that is angry about a water heater.  The guide couldn’t say who the ghost was or why he was angry.  There was no history or story to augment the tale. A medium merely noticed that an angry water heater ghost lives there.   Similarly, The Heritage Club Kitchen is haunted by a ghost that bothered staff there, but the guide couldn’t say anything else except that it was haunted.  There was no history to accompany the tale.

There were a few good stories on the tour.  The tragic story of the murder of Molly on the street was a perfectly haunting tale with every component of a beautiful and utterly compelling ghost story.  The story of William Street was also a perfect tale of woe.  

There are four ghost tours run by the same company in Huntsville, Alabama.  Maybe I just took the wrong tour with the wrong guide.  Although some of the tour was interesting, overall I was disappointed by the lack of depth most of the stories had and the guide’s inability to answer 90% of my questions.  I was most frustrated when I asked him about the history of the Hotel Russell Erskin and he couldn’t answer any of my questions.  He didn’t know when it was built or anything else he didn’t say in the tour.  My sister goggled the information we wanted about the hotel’s history on her phone and showed it to him.  After, another person on the tour asked him about the history and he answered with my sister’s information with the authority of a history professor without mentioning my sister’s contribution.  That made me sad.

The best part of this tour was the history and the tour of downtown Huntsville.  The little city was bustling with activity and the history of the city was interesting to listen to.

I am planning on going on all the Huntsville Ghost Walk’s this fall and I am hoping this one was just a fluke and that the rest will be wonderful!

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Real Ghosts with REEL Ghosts!

by on Sep.10, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles | Go to Original Post


HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (1959)
Date
: September 12 (Friday)
Time: 7:30pm
Theater: The Bing Theater (LACMA)
5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
Admission: $5.00

This is your chance to see this movie about ghosts in an actual haunted theater! (Note: this event is not hosted by GHOULA, and is just an event we feel our members should know about. Thus, the event staff may not answer any questions regarding their ghosts.) The whole square block containing LACMA (and the Bing Theater) are said to be haunted by a few ghosts, as well as an ancient murder victim (LA’s oldest unsolved murder), known locally as “The La Brea Woman.”

NOTE: This screening is the first part of a William Castle double-feature. The second film will be the classic “13 GHOSTS,” which will be screened using a new print that allows patrons to “see” the ghosts without the “ghost viewers” that were issued during its original release. This evening is part of the “Let There Be Fright: William Castle Scare Classics” festival in September.

“House on Haunted Hill” (1959) is the first of William Castle’s Horror “gimmick films.” When it was originally screened, a plastic skeleton (sometimes an inflatable skeleton) was hoisted over the audience in effort to scare the patrons. Most of the time, people just threw popcorn at it (but had great fun all the same). This trick would later be employed at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion (it’s debatable whether its any scarier there).

This classic horror film has a special place in GHOULA’s black heart. The very first GHOULA event was a screening of this movie (with Emergo) as a fundraiser for the preservation of the Ennis House (the movie’s “House”). Also, this film was in the line-up of GHOULA’s first year of its “Haunted Films @ Haunted Places” free outdoor film series.

Now, GHOULA is pleased to announce its involvement with this special screening of the film at LACMA. GHOULA has been asked by the Motion Picture Academy to provide the EMERGO for this screening.

(To read about the ghost of this haunted theater…)

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3rd Annual Peg Entwistle Memorial Hike

by on Sep.09, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles | Go to Original Post

On September 16th, 1932, Peg Entwistle committed suicide by hiking up to the Hollywood sign, and jumping of the “H,” not only ensuring her name would live on in infamy, but likewise becoming Hollywood’s most famous spirit. Come out and join us for a self-guided hike along that haunted trail to Hollywood’s most famous haunted landmark (which celebrates it 91th anniversary this year), and meet-up behind the “H,” if you dare…

THE DATE: September 16th, 2013 (Tuesday)
(on the anniversary of her death)
THE PLACE: Behind the “H” of the Hollywood Sign
(Directions to the “H” are below)
THE TIME: 5:00pm – 7:00pm (Sunset)
(meet us at the top)

NOTE: Since everyone goes at their own speed, and everyone will be arriving at different times after work, there is no set meet-up time. We will just be hanging out at the sign during the time mentioned above. The hike is about 3-4 miles (round trip) and takes about 1-2 hours (round trip). Also, there is no organized paranormal investigation included in this hike, but local ghost-hunters are welcome to bring their own equipment, and investigate on their own if they wish.

THE GHOSTS:

“I was hiking near the Hollywood sign today, and near the bottom I found a woman’s shoe and jacket. A little further on I noticed a purse. In it was a suicide note. I looked down the mountain and saw a body….”
— Anonymous call to the Hollywood Police Station

82 years ago, this September, a sad, depressed, possibly drunk, unemployed actress left her home on Beachwood Drive and started walking up the road to the Hollywood sign. She had be completely cut out of a RKO movie that was to be her big break in Hollywood. On that treacherous hike, that probably took her most of the night, she eventually made it to her destination, the fifty-foot letter “H” at the beginning of the internationally recognized Hollywood sign (then the Hollywoodland Sign). She climbed a ladder that was attached to the backside of the flat metal structure, and leaped to her death once she reached the top. It is thought that she did not die instantly, but instead lingered for hours in the brush below, where her corpse was eventually discovered by hikers. For a short time she was simply known as “The Hollywood Sign Girl,” until her published suicide note was recognized by her uncle. Her name was Peg Entwistle.

When people tell her tale, they always point out the ironic twist that occurred shortly after her death. A letter arrived at her address, stating that she had landed the lead role in a new play about a woman who commits suicide.  However, there’s the bigger (more obvious) irony. This act of desperation over the lack of a show-biz career, ended up making her more famous (or infamous) than any of her working contemporaries. Not everyone can easily name the stars of the early 1930′s, but most people know the Hollywood Sign Girl.

Her legend seems to grow with each passing year, and as it does, so do the stories of her restless ghost near the famous landmark. Most people describe her apparition as a young woman dressed in a 1930′s style white gown walking along a trail (sometimes dazed). She is most commonly seen by hikers (not unlike those that originally found her body) and dog walkers in the very early or very late hours. Witnesses claim that she is accompanied by the strong scent of the gardenia flower (her favorite perfume). Some accounts even describe her reenacting her final moments stepping off of the top of the “H” only to vanish as she falls. She seems doomed to repeat the last moments of that last night over and over again, just as we also seemed doomed to repeat those last moments with each retelling of her story.

DIRECTIONS:  Follow N. Beachwood Drive up the hill to the end (just before the “Sunset Ranch Hollywood” stables). You’ll see cars parked around a trail head, so park anywhere you can. Follow (on foot) the dirt trail up and along the ridge adjacent to the stables. Cell phone reception is not very good up there, so note the directions before you set off on foot. This trail will merge into a larger trail (Mulholland Hwy). Make a hairpin turn left (South-West) on this new trail, and follow it (going towards the Hollywood sign) until it dead ends at a paved road (Mt. Lee Drive). Turn right on the paved road, seemingly away from the Hollywood sign. The road will take you up the backside of Mt. Lee, offering great views of the San Fernando Valley and Forest Lawn, to the top of the mountain and a dramatic reveal of the Hollywood sign, the same view Peg Entwistle had before she jumped (incidentally Peg’s studio, RKO, is dead center in this view). Below is a link to a map, which you should study, before going out there, since its very easy to get turned around out there on the trails.

View Larger Map

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Two More Tours Added!

by on Sep.09, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles | Go to Original Post

GHOULA presents
The CURSED Tour of
HAUNTEDGRIFFITH PARK

NOTE: This tour will be coming to an end in September. These are the last tours of the year. It is uncertain whether this tour will return next summer, because GHOULA has another project planned for next summer. This may be your last chance to see it.

Not only is Griffith Park one of the largest urban parks in North America, it is also the most haunted public space in the United States, and the site of some of the oldest ghost stories our city has to offer, including the infamous 150 year old curse! Even today, it is said that there are so many sightings still, that the ranger’s office has a “special occurrence” form just for citizens that want to report their ghostly encounters.

Those of you that regularly attend GHOULA events may already know that we have been talking about doing (and attempting to do) this tour for the past few years, but due to circumstances beyond our control… it never happened. Its almost as if the “Los Feliz curse” itself was preventing us. Well this summer, GHOULA is defying the curse, and finally making good on our promise.

So, come join us if you dare… for this unique bus tour as we explore 4,310 acres of haunted history.

DATES: September 28, 2014
TIME: 12:30pm, 3:30pm, (7:00pm SOLD OUT)
(tour runs 1 1/2 to 2 hours each)
PRICE: $35.00
MEET-UP LOCATION: The Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round
4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027
(follow signs up the fire road to Lot #1 next to the Merry-Go-Round) (map)

Eventbrite - The CURSED Tour of Haunted Griffith Park

For more ticket info…
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-cursed-tour-of-haunted-griffith-park-tickets-12436547047

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The Winchester Mystery Mansion

by on Aug.29, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Stories and Haunted Places | Go to Original Post

Sarah Winchester lost her husband and her baby when she was young. Up until that point, she had lead the perfect life.  She was a rich woman and was surrounded by luxury.  Her husband had been heir to the Winchester fortune and his family had made millions selling and manufacturing the famous Winchester Riffles.  The fortune given to her by these guns was astounding and after her family died, she blamed this fortune for their death.  A medium convinced Ms. Winchester that the ghosts of those killed with Winchester Rifles has contributed to the death of her family.  These ghosts were still angry and would seek revenge on Mrs. Winchester unless she bought a house and never stopped building. 

Thus began construction on the Winchester Mansion.  The Winchester Mansion is one of the most unique

architectural events in the United States.  It is a building that was built by either spirits or madness or maybe a combination of both.  Everyday Mrs. Winchester drew up blue prints for new additions to the eight bedroom farmhouse she bought in San Jose California.   These blue prints were drawn up in her Séance room.  No one but her was allowed in or out of this room.   Once she presented new blue prints to her construction team no one was allowed to question them no matter how nonsensical or impractical they were.  The resulting house is a nest of endless rooms, stairs to nowhere, windows into the floor, upside down pillars, doors that open to nothing, endless chains of strange rooms, and chaos.  It is miles long and truly haunting and labyrinthine. 

 In the small tour of the house we took, we walked for over a mile and we didn’t even take the “grand tour”. 

The house felt haunted to the core and is possibly one of the creepiest and most beautiful places I have ever been.  This bizarre house inspired Stephen King to write Rose Red and it inspired me to marvel at the fine line between spiritualism and mental illness.  The photographs included in the blog are only a glimpse of the oddness that is The Winchester Mansion.  

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The Ghosts of Laurel Canyon Tour

by on Aug.14, 2014, under From the Web

Reposted from Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles | Go to Original Post


GHOULA presents
The
Ghosts of Laurel Canyon Tour

NOTE: This specialty tour is part of a series of tours GHOULA is conducting this year (and only this year), where we take a theme and run with it, telling only ghost lore that fits the theme. This gives us an opportunity to visit locations or tell stories that are not typically heard. These are one-off tours that will not be repeated. We are only doing these “bus tours” this year. Past tours have included… The Haunted Houdini Tour, The Ghost-buster Ghost-Bus-Tour, The Many Ghosts of Valentino, and The 13 Richest Ghosts of Los Angeles, and now this tour…

DATE: Sunday, August 24, 2014 (One day only!)
TIMES: 12:30pm and 3:30pm
(tours run 1 1/2 to 2 hours each)
PRICE: $35.00
MEET-UP LOCATIONCat and Fiddle Pub
6530 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles (map)
NOTE: The Meet-up will be in the court yard at the entrance.

Eventbrite - The Ghosts of Laurel Canyon Tour

“When I got home I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of traffic on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut.”
– Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye (1953)

For little over 100 years local outsiders, eccentrics, and artists have sought solace in this seemingly isolated canyon (5 minutes from Hollywood). Unfortunately, this idyllic refuge has also been the site of many murders and violence over those same years. Whatever it is that attracts these alternative personalities to this enclave also seems to provide the perfect recipe for paranormal activity, because it seems that Laurel Canyon’s ghost lore also goes back almost as many decades, giving it a reputation in Los Angeles as the place where the spooks dwell.

If you have taken one of our specialty tours this year, you have most likely already heard a story about a haunted place in Laurel Canyon. Richard Carradine, our tour guide, grew up there, and loves this local lore, and thus tries to work in at least one Laurel Canyon ghost in each tour. Think of that individual story as an appetizer, for this main phantom feast presented in this tour. If you haven’t been on one of our tours, here’s is you chance to hear more stories and lore from a man who lived in the canyon for 40 years collecting such stories. This tour will provide Mr. Carradine a chance to tell stories that have never been told publicly (and do not appear in print or online) including his own person encounters with the unknown.

Seating for this bus tour is VERY limited. Only 24 seats!
(12 guests per tour. 2 tours. 1 Day)

or for more ticket info click on this link…
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-ghosts-of-laurel-canyon-tour-tickets-12661345425

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