Hollywood’s Most Haunted Film Studios: From Culver to Paramount
Hollywood has a long and interesting history and even a few ghosts. Many of those ghosts are located in the place you’d least expect: the movie studios.
Universal Studios is supposedly haunted one of their greatest film stars, Lon Chaney. Chaney was known as one of the best horror movie actors of the 1920s. One of their locations, Stage 28, was created just for the filming of Phantom of the Opera. The movie became the greatest hit of his career and he spent so much time on the set that some think he never moved on.
Stage 28 is where a number of people claim to have seen a shadowy figure in a dark cape walking through the building. The man appears as if out of nowhere and vanishes in much the same way. There have been hundreds of reports of this ghost inside Stage 28 and some people who don’t know the story sometimes tell folks that the figure looked slightly like Lon Chaney in Phantom of the Opera.
Thomas Ince is the man who haunts Culver Studios in Hollywood. Ince was celebrating his birthday onboard a yacht owned by William Randolph Hearst when he died under mysterious circumstances. The official cause of death was acute indigestion, but some on the boat claimed to see a strange bullet hole in the man’s head.
Hearst had been dating a lackluster, but beautiful actress by the name of Marion Davies. Davies disappeared that night with ladies man Charlie Chaplin and Hearst followed suite. Those who believe this story claim that Ince accidentally ended up catching the bullet meant for Chaplin.
Ince supposedly haunts Culver Studios, which he built in the late 1910s. The ghost of the former studio owner appears walking up the stairs of the administration building and in a small area where he once had a private projection room during the 1910s and 1920s. Those who have seen him claim that he’s always clad in his trusty bowler hat and sometimes he even speaks to those in the building.
Ince is far from the only ghost spotted here. There is also the ghost of a woman on the third floor, cold spots reported, wind when all the doors and windows are closed, and several other spirits.
Another haunted studio in Hollywood is the Paramount lot. This studio has more than its fair share of ghosts and many believe that’s due to the proximity of the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery. People claim to see a large number of ghosts in the buildings nearest to the cemetery. There are also people who have heard someone knocking on the wall or walking around the building when the building is actually empty. In addition a number of people have experienced equipment malfunctions, especially in Stage 29, 30, 31, and 32.
There are also tales told of the entrance located on Lemon Grove Avenue nearest to the cemetery. This is where night guards claim to have seen the ghost of legendary actor Rudolph Valentino actually walking out of the cemetery and back onto the Paramount Lot. Others have seen what looks like flesh and blood humans walk right off the lot and disappear into the wall of the cemetery.
Another story is told about the Hart Building on the Paramount Lot. According to local stories there’s a female ghost in this building that some people have actually seen, though she only appears to men and not women. People claim she makes her presence known by a rose scented perfume and isn’t above moving things around to get attention.
The next time you’re in Hollywood, make sure to pay a visit to the haunted film studios in town if you can gain access. You never know what you might see or experience