Monday, November 16, 2015

Paranormal Road Trip: Destination Los Angeles with Rachel Marks

Paranormal Road Trip: Washington D.C. with R.S. Belcher

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 and our special guide is Rachel Marks author of The Dark Cycle urban fantasy series, including DARKNESS BRUTAL.

L.A.'s Top 5 Spooky Places

Spooky Places from DARKNESS BRUTAL (Los Angeles Area):

The Hollywood Sign:

Raised in 1923, and probably the most famous spot in Los Angeles, it was only created to last a few weeks. It once lit up the night and read "Hollywood Land", but in 1949 the "Land" was removed. In the between years, 1932, a very tragic story took place at the letter "H". An unknown actress at the time, Peg Entwistle, climbed to the top of the letter and leapt to her death. Since that day there have been literally hundreds of stories about hikers and trespassers spotting a woman wandering the grounds, dressed in the fashion of the 30s.

Houdini Mansion:

At the hight of his fame, Harry Houdini purchased an extravagant home in Laurel Canyon. It was like a fortress, with towers and hidden passageways, and underground tunnels. This is where he supposedly hid his chest of magical secrets. To this day the chest remains undiscovered, even after a fire burned the strange mansion down in 1959. By 1960 a rumor began circulating that Houdini had in fact not died, but had been seen in and around the property. Some people say he can still be seen in the area today.

Magu Rock (PCH):

Legend has it that a young native woman was brutally murdered by a rich land owner on a property near the location of Magu Rock. Her spirit is said to still roam the shore, like a woman in white with dark holes for eyes.

Griffith Park:

The area of land that incorporates Griffith Park is very large, and many ghost stories were born in one or more of the famous locations on the property once owned by the Feliz family and is said to be cursed because of a family dispute about how the land was passed down. Today it consists of the Observatory, the Greek Amphitheater, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Museum of the American West, the Travel Town train museum, two golf courses, a merry-go-around, countless hiking and horse trails, and the Hollywood sign. The most interesting story to come from the cursed land originates in the picnic area. A haunted picnic table to be exact. In 1976 a young couple was making love on a picnic table when a large sycamore tree fell on them, killing them both. The couples ashes were tossed onto the spot by the family in memory, allowing them to be forever together. And to this day the table and tree are still entwined, because when the city workers went to clean up the fallen branches the tree moaned and shook. It's said the couple became a part of the tree that still hasn't been removed.

The Devil's Gate (Pasadena):

If the stories of disappearances and deaths surrounding the land, and the strange rock formation shaped like a devil’s head don’t make you wary, then the story behind the myths most certainly will.

The land has always had the humans steering clear. Before the dam was built in the 1920s the Arroyo Seco River ebbed and flowed over the area on a seasonal whim. At times it would rage, causing serious flooding, then other parts of the year it would be as dry as a bone. The Native Americans believed that the land was cursed and barred their own from going anywhere near it, many saying there was a dark doorway in the area.

In the late 1940s, a very real reason became evident, and many more people began viewing the dam as a porthole to Hell, as one event after another spread the mythos. These events were said to be triggered by the real-life magic workings of the famous rocket scientist and occultist, Jack Parsons, along with the science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. They believed the dam carried magical properties and powers, as the Native Americans had always said. But they also believed they could harness that power to call up something called, a moonchild; an anti-god that could abolish civilization as we know it.

These rituals and magical spells (dubbed the "Babylon Working") performed at the dam, as well as at Parsons' home, were said to have opened a portal to another world, allowing monstrous demons to come and go as they pleased.

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

To learn more about Rachel Marks and her books, please visit her website.  Rachel will also return next month for an in depth Q+A to discuss her writing.  (You can read our Q+A with Rachel Marks here.)  You can add DARKNESS BRUTAL here on Goodreads.

Darkness Brutal urban fantasy The Dark Cycle series by Rachel Marks

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

On our last Paranormal Road Trip we visited Washington D.C. with R.S. Belcher.  Next week we have a special week of Black Friday bookish deals and giveaways planned. The following week we'll be traveling to Inner Sea with Andrew Jones.

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


  1. Some places I have not heard about before. I have seen the Hollywood sign, but not up close and personal. If I am ever in that neck of the woods again, I will be sure to check them out.

    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. Yes, I too want to visit some of these sites. Very interesting! :)