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.
Much has been written about the ghosts of Universal Studios. Not only are there spirits and phantoms roaming the lot, but they also seem to invade the touristy theme park portion of the property as well. And yet, one never reads ghost stories about the entertainment and dining district adjacent to the Studio Tour’s main entrance on top of the hill.
GHOULA is happy to report that even Universal’s much maligned “City Walk” has a ghost…
Specifically, there is a sad woman dressed in an outfit similar to that of a pioneer woman (a simple long-sleeved blouse, with a dress that goes down to her ankles), who haunts the Saddle Ranch Restaurant at the west end of the “Walk” (next to the main gate). The restaurant is a huge place built to accommodate the summer crowds, but during the slower season, much of the restaurant is closed off to the public, and yet this woman will be seen wandering through the empty rooms. When a member of the staff goes to investigate, she will vanish.
Other than her visual description, no one seems to know anything about her, or why she is so sad, or why she haunts this tourist hang-out. When employees tell each other about the ghost, they use vague allusions to her untimely death due to an unexpected tragedy, and yet no one knows what that tragedy was.
However, what is interesting about her tale, like most theme park ghosts, is that because employees of this Old-Western-themed establishment wear obviously Western-themed costume/uniforms, its hard to determine weather her spirit is attached to this tavern, or does she predate the restaurant, and is psychically connected to something on the hill from over a hundred years ago.
This watering-hole/rib-joint began its life in the early 1980s (Before City Walk existed) as a last-resort restaurant, known as “Whomphoppers,” but best known as the place where TV star John Stamos was a waiter before he hit it big. During its construction, in an attempt to make the inside of the building look old and weathered, actual 100 year old barns from California were used to build the structure’s interior. Then, they decorated these historic walls (and ceiling) with Western Americana from the 1880s (like old wagons and farm equipment).
So is this mysterious frontier female phantom attached to the restaurant, or perhaps to one of the barns used to make the restaurant (Or maybe even one of the objects hanging on the walls)? we may never know the answer…
It is also worth pointing out that before City Walk came on the scene, and changed the layout of this area, The restaurant used to have the “Mark of the Beast.” It’s address was 666 Universal Terrace. Coincidence?
So, come out to probably the only restaurant in Southern California that sits on top of a hill, and yet has no view of the city below (maybe that’s why she’s sad), to toast Universal’s least known ghost … If you dare.