Los Angeles, the City of Angels... and devils, demons and ghosts. A city this large is bound to have its skeletons, and our job is to throw open the closet doors and acknowledge them. Below is a list of 13 terrifying locations. Some are fictional and some are very, very real. Like it or not, these scary places will always be a part of our history. Proceed with caution.
For those who want to take a deeper dive into the dark side, be sure to check out our guide to LA's True Crime Locations.
American Horror Story House
“Welcome to… murder house.” A historic landmark, the Rosenheim Mansion was built in 1902 and took five years to complete. It was a private home until the Sisters of Social Service, a Catholic organization, owned the house for over 50 years. When American Horror Story was looking for creepy houses, the castle-like exterior made it a perfect choice for the horrifying first season of the hit FX show.
Bela Lugosi's Apartment
Universal Studio’s legendary Dracula, Bela Lugosi died in 1956 in this modest apartment near Western Avenue. Lugosi would walk daily to his favorite cigar shop at 6423 Hollywood Blvd. When the hearse with Lugosi’s body drove from the funeral home (where the W Hollywood is now), the driver inexplicably lost control of the vehicle and couldn’t regain it until he passed the cigar shop, convincing many that it was Lugosi’s final farewell to Hollywood.
Beverly Hills Bermuda Triangle
The immediate properties around this strange triangle of land in Beverly Hills have taken on a mysterious aura. In 1946, a plane piloted by Howard Hughes slammed into a row of houses and came to rest at 808 N. Whittier. Bugsy Siegel was murdered at 801 N. Linden in 1947, and Jan Berry of Jan & Dean was nearly killed in a real life Dead Man’s Curve accident in 1966. In November 2010, Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was shot in her car at the corner of Sunset and Whittier. Chasen hit the gas and careened into a street light at 815 N. Whittier, adding to the legacy of one of the most sinister intersections in Los Angeles.
Boris Karloff's Rose Garden
Frankenstein’s monster thespian, Boris Karloff was a gentleman who had a passion for gardening. He was especially proud of his rose garden. Legend has it that several of Karloff’s friends willed their cremains to him, so they could permanently reside in his rose bed.
"The Entity" House
The repeated abuse and violent assault of resident Doris Bither in this house by poltergeists in the early 1970s became the subject of the horrifying 1981 film, The Entity. Her sons witnessed these horrors. When the family fled, the force followed them.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Founded in 1899, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the permanent home of hundreds of Hollywood’s legendary players, from Cecil B. DeMille to Dee Dee Ramone. The weeping woman heard near the lake is said to be the spirit of young Virginia Rappe, whose death will always be linked to the infamous Fatty Arbuckle scandal from the silent era. Half of the cemetery was sold off by 1920 to create what is now Paramount Studios, which is built on former cemetery property. Studio staff often see people in “period” clothing walking towards the wall of the cemetery and disappearing into the brick. Hollywood Forever was added to the National Register of Historic Places in May 1999.
Hollywood Pacific Theatre
Located on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Hollywood Pacific Theatre originally opened in 1928 as the Warner Bros. Theatre (aka Warner Hollywood Theatre). Sam Warner reportedly cursed the theatre when it wasn’t completed in time for the premiere of The Jazz Singer, the first talkie. Warner died from a cerebral hemorrhage the day before the film’s New York premiere. Warner’s ghostly figure has been glimpsed in the theatre’s lobby and offices. Now closed, the theatre was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1993.
Hollywood Wax Museum
Looking for real haunted places in LA? Since 1965, hundreds of thousands of people have traveled the Hollywood Wax Museum’s halls, coming face-to-face with the famous effigies. The Last Supper display seems to attract the most paranormal attention, including a simple woman who is seen silently praying at the bench in front. A teen that died young was very fond of the Chamber of Horrors, and returns often. Experts say the museum is just as busy with the dead as it is with the living.
Linda Vista Hospital
A hospital had been at this site since 1904 – the structure that would become Linda Vista Hospital was built in 1937 for railroad employees. By the late 1980s, the use of the hospital declined and it closed in 1991. After the closure, it was investigated by almost every paranormal television program and group. Many spirits, including patients and staff alike, were seen roaming the hospital corridors. Its sinister appearance made it the perfect backdrop for the Day of the Dead and Insidious films.
In October 2015, Linda Vista Hospital was converted to Hollenbeck Terrace, an affordable apartment complex for seniors. Designed by KFA, the $18-million project received a 2016 Preservation Award from the Los Angeles Conservancy.
The Old Zoo - Griffith Park
By day this is a delightful throwback to one of the first zoos in LA. Lions, bears and monkeys were all residents of the cave-like facades and cages of The Old Zoo, which is now a picnic area. By night the feeling is much more sinister. The spirits of the unhappy creatures that once inhabited these tiny dwellings can often be felt and heard.
Wonderland Murders House
Porn legend John Holmes was implicated in the 1981 lead pipe Wonderland Avenue murders of four known drug-dealing thieves in this house. Revenge for robbing and embarrassing drug kingpin Eddie Nash was the inspiration for the brutal homicides, which were made infamous by the 2003 Val Kilmer film, Wonderland.