Haunted Hollywood: More Than Meets the Eye


The Curse of 'The Exorcist'?

The controversial horror film played part in many weird and unexplained phenomena. The set was ravaged by a fire, save for the bedroom of the possessed Reagan, and a priest was asked to bless the Washington D.C. portion of filming after the New York shoot turned out to be a disaster of accidents. Additionally, many religious leaders who opposed the film's subject matter claimed that all those who participated in the production would be cursed for life: Ellen Burstyn suffered permanent spinal damage from a stunt in the movie, while actors Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros both passed away before the film's release. Eerily enough, both their characters in the movie die.

The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut & Original Theatrical Edition) [Blu-ray]

The Phantom Stage?

Lon Chaney -- the Man of a Thousand Faces -- is eternally connected to one of his most famous performances, in more ways than one. Filming for his silent classic 'The Phantom of the Opera' took place on Soundstage 28 of Universal Studios, which has since been re-dubbed "the Phantom Stage." You can still find a piece of the Paris opera house set on the Phantom Stage after 80 plus years, and legend has it that you can also hear strange voices throughout. Crew members working on new projects have claimed to see a man in black resembling Chaney in his 'Phantom' garb roaming the catwalk.

Phantom of the Opera (1925) (Silent) [Blu-ray]

Houdini's Halloween Storm?

On Halloween night 1936, Bess Houdini, the widow of famed escape artist Harry Houdini, attempted to hold a seance to contact her dead husband. Harry, a well-known skeptic, claimed that if a supernatural crossover was possible, he would be the one to attempt it. So, Bess gathered their closest friends and fellow magicians and converged onto the rooftop of the hotel in attempt to contact the other side. Legend has it that after about an hour of the ritual, a violent thunderstorm broke out -- but only over the hotel and nowhere else in L.A. The group quickly scattered and they never attempted an official seance ever again.

The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America's First Superhero

The Ghost of Howard Hughes?

Though it now stands as a landmark of the Los Angeles theater community, the Pantages Theatre once stood as the city's premiere movie house. When Howard Hughes bought the Pantages in 1949, it became the flagship theater of his RKO Productions and was home to the Academy Awards. Since Hughes' death, his ghostly form can be seen roaming the second floor hallway where his offices were located. Witnesses claim that you can sense his arrival by the smell of cigarette smoke, and can hear him fiddling with brass handles on desk drawers. Ghost hunters can expect him to appear on opening night of a new production.

Howard Hughes: His Life and Madness

James Dean's Killer Car?

The circumstances surrounding the death of James Dean have become the thing of urban legend. The story goes that Alec Guiness warned Dean that his Porsche 550 Spyder -- dubbed "the Little Bastard" -- looked "sinister." Within a week, Dean would be dead from a head-on collision on the California highway. Afterward the car was stripped for parts and has apparently cursed anyone who was unfortunate enough to own a piece. The effects of this curse range from simple blown-out tires to fatal accidents; Troy McHenry died during an auto race at the Pomona Fairgrounds in his own Porsche Spyder, which may have run on the engine from Dean's car. The only piece of the "Little Bastard" that remains is the shell of the car, which was stolen from a road safety exhibition and has yet to be recovered.

The Complete James Dean Collection (East of Eden / Giant / Rebel Without a Cause Special Edition)

Marilyn Monroe's Haunted Mirror?

Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel has stood as a Tinsletown landmark for almost a century and has housed some of the greatest names in showbusiness, including the first Playboy cover girl, Marilyn Monroe. The blond icon lived at the hotel for two years while her modeling career was beginning to blossom; after a series of renovations, a mirror from her suite was moved to the lower level elevator landing. Since that time, guests have claimed to catch the reflection of a beautiful blond woman in the mirror... a blond that resembles the 'Some Like It Hot' star. Other occupants have claimed to see her dancing in the Blossom Ballroom.

Marilyn Monroe Special Anniversary Collection (The Seven Year Itch / Gentlemen Prefer Blondes / Niagara / River of No Return / Let's Make Love / Marilyn - The Final Days)

Ghostly Music at the Hotel Roosevelt?

In addition to Monroe, the Oscar-nominated Montogmery Clift allegedly haunts the hotel. While filming 'From Here to Eternity' the actor was a resident of suite 929 and frequently paced the hallways, reciting his lines. Even in death, he can still supposedly be seen roaming the same hallways reciting the same lines -- and if guests are lucky, they may even hear him practicing his bugle.

Haunted Hollywood: Ghosts Of The Dead Famous

Jayne Mansfield Killed by a Satanic Curse?

The busty bombshell was notorious for publicity stunts, but one grab for attention is rumored to have cost her her life. Maynsfield took part in a photoshoot and held meetings with Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan. At the time, LaVey was becoming a noted counter-culture figure on the West Coast, and Jayne used his notoriety to gain more publicity for herself. After her gruesome death in a 1967 car accident, LaVey claimed that he was having an affair with the actress, that she was a high priestess in the Church of Satan and that he put a curse on her lover Sam Brody which is what caused the fatal wreck. - moviefone

Diamonds to Dust: The Life and Death of Jayne Mansfield

Hollywood Ghost Stories



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