spooky places illustration

(Jocelyn Andrade / Daily Titan)

Some sites in Southern California are already creepy, but knowing their spooky backstories enhances the fear factor. Here are five local landmarks with a haunted history.

The Queen Mary 

The Queen Mary is a living landmark in Long Beach. Launched in 1934, the ship took its last cruise to transport U.S. troops during World War II, before reopening as a floating hotel in 1967. The Grey Ghost, its nickname after a gray paint job, is believed to be one of the most haunted hotels in America.

Stateroom B340 earned infamy as the most haunted room after the mysterious death of a passenger in 1948. Guests complained about lights flickering and knocking in the middle of the night, so much so that hotel staff closed it down for three decades. 

Room B340 has reopened if you want to try your luck and experience the eerie atmosphere of the Queen Mary. Reservations for this room start at $499 per night, but there are plenty of other rooms available to experience paranormal activity. 

The Cecil Hotel

The Cecil Hotel is Los Angeles’ most horrifying and haunted hotel, known for its history of tragic suicides and serial killers. The most well-known story was the disappearance of 21-year-old Elisa Lam in 2013. After a series of strange events, an employee found her body floating in the water tanks on the hotel’s roof. The mystery of how she got there still remains unsolved.

Although the Cecil Hotel went through some recent renovations, it’s currently not open to the public. However, driving by or visiting the front of the hotel will still give you a hair-raising experience. 

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is a luxurious holiday destination known for its old Hollywood style and design, but it’s also known for ghost stories involving many Hollywood celebrities.

Most notably, Marilyn Monroe is believed to haunt the hotel after living there for two years. Guests claim Monroe’s restless soul still roams parts of the hotel, including the suite she lived in. One common apparition involved a mirror in Monroe’s room which has since been removed and relocated to a hallway. 

Today, the Roosevelt Hotel has named a suite after Monroe, which you can book on their website. If you dare, book Monroe’s room for a spookier experience. 

Colorado Street Bridge

This haunted Colorado Street Bridge was completed in Pasadena in 1913 and tragically became known for the multiple suicides that followed. 

There are numerous reports of people seeing strange activity, such as creatures lurking under the bridge.

One creepy apparition involves a woman who leaps from the guardrail to her death and disappears mid-fall. Visitors have also claimed to see a man who approaches them and tells them, “It’s her fault,” without further explanation.

Though this bridge has a dark history, its antique style is enough to give you the creeps.

Greystone Mansion

This mansion is L.A.’s most notorious murder mansion. The Beverly Hills mansion is surrounded by the loveliest gardens and ponds in Greystone Park, a jarring contrast to the murder of Ned Doheny by his long-time friend Hugh Plunkett on its grounds. 

When visiting Greystone, expect to encounter mysterious footsteps, whispering voices and doors opening and shutting. The estate is open daily to the public, while the mansion only opens for special events and occasions.

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