Monday, November 24, 2014

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination L.A. with Melissa F. Olson

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination L.A. with Melissa F. Olson spooky places in Los Angeles

Come on boys and ghouls!  It's time to hop on Route 666 for a spooktacular Paranormal Road Trip.  This week's stop is Los Angeles, California and our special guide is Melissa F. Olson, author of the Scarlett Bernard series.

The Scarlett Bernard series is set in Los Angeles so it seems fitting that our guide for this week's Paranormal Road Trip be the amazing Melissa F. Olson.  Let's see what terrifying places Melissa has planned for our tour.

L.A.'s Top 5 Spooky Places

5. Downtown at night

Downtown Los Angeles is a hive of commerce during the day, but when it gets dark (and there aren’t any movies being filmed) the streets get a sinister, desolate vibe. It’s not just dangerous; it’s completely spooky—especially in the Toy District, where you might theoretically see abandoned pieces of doll parts in the gutters. Just saying.

4. The Griffith Park Zoo

The history of Griffith Park is a complex saga, complete with plenty of suspicious deaths and even a rumored curse. It’s tough to separate the actual facts from the fantastical gossip, especially in a town as unabashedly invested in self-promotion as LA. But here’s what we know for sure: 1.) Before the Los Angeles Zoo was built, there used to be a small zoo in Griffith Park. 2.) It was abandoned, but many of the structures were left in place. 3.) Because of the Griffith Park Observatory, this is one of the only parks in LA open after dark. 4.) I will never be visiting.

3. The abandoned south campus of Rancho Los Amigos Hospital

Everyone has their thing that terrifies them most. For some people it’s clowns, or small spaces, or demonic possession. Me, I have a thing about abandoned psychiatric facilities. Particularly creepy, abandoned thirty-years-ago kind of places like the former psychiatric wing of the Rancho Los Amigos.

Founded in 1888 as the County Poor Farm, the southern campus of the still-operating Rancho Los Amigos Hospital once served the impoverished, the diseased, and yes, the mentally ill. The earthquake-damaged southern campus was eventually abandoned in the late 1980’s, and used for law enforcement training.  It’s pitch-black in there, the floors are unstable, and of course, rumor has it there are ghosts. To up the creep factor even further, in 2006 one of those training groups found a freezer full of human limbs. They’d just been forgotten.

2. Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Los Angeles is all about selling: selling yourself, selling an image, selling a dream, selling an experience. When your attitude is that entrepreneurial, you don’t balk at things which other towns might consider taboo…like organizing movie outings in the middle of a cemetery. Hollywood Forever takes its name very seriously, hosting concerts and film screenings among the graves -yes, this includes horror movies. Watching a scary movie while surrounded by the dead? Undeniably creepy.

1. The Cecil Hotel (Now the Stay on Main)

Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House raises the possibility that some places are just created bad: malevolent, insidious, and just plain wrong.  LA’s answer to this concept has got to be the Cecil Hotel, the location of a number of murders and suicides, plus the inevitable haunting rumors. In 2013, for instance, a 21-year-old Canadian student disappeared from the Cecil. Days later, after hotel residents complained that the tap water tasted funny, the student’s corpse was found floating in the rooftop water tank. The investigation concluded that her death was accidental, but elevator security footage shows her having a passionate argument on the way to the roof – with an invisible force.

Thank you Melissa for giving us such a haunting tour of L.A.!  

To learn more about Melissa F. Olson and her books, please visit her website.  You can add the Scarlett Bernard series here on Goodreads.

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination L.A. with Melissa F. Olson author of Hunter's Trail Scarlett Bernard

What did you think of Marlene's picks for spooky places?

Last week on Paranormal Road Trip we visited Detroit, Michigan with Amber Lynn Natusch.  Next week we'll be traveling to South Tom's River, New Jersey with Shawntelle Madison.

Join us for another spine-tingling Paranormal Road Trip...
if you dare!


  1. interesting about the zoo

    1. Yes, I'd love to learn more about the curse.

  2. Abandoned psychiatric facilities are top on my list of creepy places too

    1. Yes! There's just something about abandoned psychiatric hospitals..and abandoned amusement parks. These are my Achilles heel, for sure! :)

  3. Movies in a cemetery?! Yes please! I love spending time in cemeteries, at least during the day light. I think it's from reading the Anne of Green Gables series when I was little.