GHOULA meets for cocktails in haunted places on the 13th of each month. “SPIRITS with SPIRITS” is a casual social gathering of regional ghost hunters and those that just like ghost stories. Open to all, from the curious skeptic to the passionate phantom pursuer. Make friends, and toast a ghost! Let’s put the “Boo!” back into “booze.”
All those who attend will receive a free (square) G.H.O.U.L.A. button. If you already have one, please wear it so others can find you, without asking the staff about our group.
Like the other buildings that line Colorado Blvd in Pasadena’s Old Town district, the building at 55 East Colorado Blvd, was built in the later part on the 19th century (1885). Because of Pasadena’s rapid growth rate, and the large influx of vehicular traffic, in 1929, roughly 13 feet was chopped off of the fronts of the buildings that lined both sides of Colorado, and new facades were created for the remaining portions. Because of this unconventional Public Works project, many basements and tunnels are said to still exist under the asphalt of Pasadena’s main drag. This idea has given rise to legends of secret rooms, tunnels, and skeletons (and ghost stories) that are inadvertently discovered during construction/maintenance projects.
One such ghost story involves the above mentioned address, now the home of Intelligentsia Coffee. Employees of this respected coffee house claim that there is a male ghost that haunts their basement, specifically their kitchen/lab and the stairs. Although his appearances may surprise the staff, he is by all accounts harmless. Exact descriptions of him are vague, and generally he appears as a black form. The popular belief is that this poor soul was the victim of a fire in this building’s history. It is unclear whether his darkness is from his flesh being burnt black (like Ojai’s “Char-man”) or whether he is what Native American Folklore refers to as a “dark watcher” (aka a “shadow person”).
It’s also interesting to note that a few doors down on the same side of the street, there is another historic building with an almost identical ghost story. However, that location’s male phantom is said to be the victim of a robbery-gone-wrong that occurred when a bank occupied the ground floor. Pasadena’s annual “Old Town Haunt” haunted attraction operates out of that same haunted basement.
Although legends of ghosts connected to Spanish catacombs under Colorado Blvd (as mentioned on the attraction’s website) seems a little far-fetched, it is possible. In the 1920′s a series of tunnels in the hills around Downtown Los Angeles were discovered and thought to have originally been created by early padres. Then, there are persistent rumors about a secret tunnel that ran under Pasadena, whose opening was covered over when the Pasadena Freeway was built (not to mention the Lizard People who may have dug tunnels as far as Pasadena).
Could these two ghost stories be connected by those lost tunnels? Could these separate stories actually be the same ghost that travels between these two locations by an underground passage that no longer exists? So, if you like your ghosts like you like your coffee (black), come out and experience one of LA’s best cups of Joe (or a glass of wine), and perhaps experience one of Pasadena’s darkest spirits at the place where he dwells… if you dare!
Note: If anyone is interested in seeing the “Old Town Haunt” haunted attraction, at 10pm, we can put a group together to go over and take advantage of the group discount ($12 instead of $15).