The Haunted

Joseph Stefano, most well known for authoring the iconic Psycho screenplay and many Outer Limits episodes, will have the pilot for his series, The Haunted, deemed "too frightening" for the American public, shown at the UCLA Film And Television Archive. In it, Martin Landau stars as a Los Angeles-based architect-cum-paranormal investigator who specializes in assessing and exorcising old homes. Stefano here weaves together vengeance, hallucinogens and a “bleeding ghost” in a gothic telefilm that was deemed too terrifying to air by network executives. Stefano's only directorial effort, this extremely rare pilot never aired in the U.S.

February 25, 2011 at 7:30
Billy Wilder Theater
Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90024

Walk Among The Dead

This is your chance to get inside the 100 year old historical landmark - normally closed to the public. The property is considered one of the most haunted locations in the world and has been the featured subject on a plethora of paranormal related TV shows.

Join the Boyle Heights Paranormal Project for a lecture on the fascinating history of Linda Vista Community Hospital hospital- of course we'll be including the site's paranormal history. We'll even play you some of the EVPs that have been captured here. Guests will then be led on a tour of Linda Vista by some of the most well known and respected paranormal researchers in the Los Angeles area. Along the way they will demonstrate various tools and techniques paranormal investigators use and you will get a chance to participate! You will also get to hear first hand the experiences from the investigators who have spent countless hours in Linda Vista's darkend hallways.

There will be the obvious rules and regulations if you are intoxicated in any manner you will be bounced by security, plain and simple. You may bring your cameras, however, there will not be any video/filming permitted unless you use your cell phone to do so.

$20.00 per person - arrive promptly - bring a small flashlight -dress warmly - no one under the age of 18 will be admitted. NO SNAPPERS.

Linda Vista Community Hospital
610 S. St. Louis St.
Boyle Heights, CA. 90023
Saturday, December 18th 2010
7:30 PM
$20 per person

*Photo by Ransom Riggs from the Mental Floss blog.

Scary Christmas

Hmm...maybe I can get excited about Christmas this year...

Cinefamily, (who went from #1 on my love LA list and fell from grace to the untouchable list for various customer service related reasons - so it pains me to throw them business but, I'm making an exception), is offering a free screening of Rare Exports:

It’s almost impossible to shake the old-timey Norman Rockwell-esque image of a jolly, roly-poly man with white hair in a big red suit, whenever the name of “Santa Claus” is invoked -- but Rare Exports, the brand-new Finnish fantasy film based upon the popular short of the same name, shows you that the secret history of Father Christmas is far darker, far creepier and waaaaaay cooler. It's the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and a mysterious "archeological" dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. When all the local children begin disappearing, a young boy, his father and their reindeer hunter friends capture the mythological being -- but Santa's elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. A wild, nightmarish cross between The Goonies, Gremlins and Let The Right One In, Rare Exports is a re-imagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing!

To attend one must RSVP. One RSVP per person. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Your RSVP does not guarantee you a seat. You will receive a confirmation email about your RSVP 24-48 hours before showtime. Early arrival is highly recommended. Doors will open 30 minutes before showtime. No one will be admitted after the film has begun.


The Discovery Channel has a new show, Oddities, centering on New York shop, Obscura - which seems almost like a sister store to Los Angeles' Necromance on Melrose. The pilot episode features a decomposed cat, an enormous gall stone, a coffin and a two headed calf, yet they almost serve as a supporting cast to the customers - none of them more fascinating then Edgar - who is not to be missed.

Many thanks to Morbid Anatomy for featuring Obscura and Oddities.

Photo from the Obscura blog -

And The Winner Is.....


Congratulations to Wendy, who will soon be the owner of the new documentary, The Haunted Boy - which examines the case The Exorcist was based on.

American Spirit: A History of the Supernatural

I enjoyed this episode of the Backstory:The American History Guys I thought I'd share.

Halloween – despite its solemn Celtic roots – has become a safe way for Americans to transgress social norms and toy with the idea of ghosts in a family-friendly fashion. But for some, spirits from another plane have always been a very real part of life on this plane.

You get to hear a partial story about the Fox sisters, but you can listen to the entire story on one of my favorite podcasts, The Memory Palace, right here:

Museum Of Mystery

The Museum of Mystery is a collection of odd items that Pat Wheelock, (an electronics engineer that has always been interested in the paranormal. Pat founded Beyond Investigation Magazine to investigate claims of paranormal activity and to publish those investigations and associated research). Pat has displayed the collection at various venues over the years.

Life casts of horror film's most notable actors, haunted portraits, fortune teller machines, a reportedly haunted doll, a Bigfoot footprint casting from the Patterson film, Harry Houdini’s death certificate, macabre medical devices including a shock therapy device, the historic live radio broadcast of the JFK assassination, death certificates of Titanic survivors, and letters sent to Scotland Yard by Jack the Ripper are just the few of the displayed items.

I conducted an EVP session with the doll alas, as the placard states - she doesn't like to talk to paranormal investigators

Murder Ballads

Not many are familiar with the genre of murder ballads. Musical tabloids of the day recounting true crime stories of serial killers, horrific butcherings and of course...the supernatural.

He stabbed her in her heart till her heart's blood did flow
Down into the grave pretty Polly did go

They used to be just like me and you
They used to be sweet little boys
Then something went horribly askew.
Now killing is their only source of joy...

Of course, here at Blackwood, we have to give a nod to Shirley Jackson's character James Harris - The Daemon Lover - inspired by the Scottish poem -who is referenced in The House Carpenter.

There are many great covers of this song - Bob Dylan, Pentangle, Judy Collins and my favorite, Nickel Creek - also, this guy (whose name is unknown to me).

Tonight, at the Echoplex, the dark side of folk music is celebrated.

October 26, 2010, 8:00pm, $8
1154 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 413-8200


Greetings, dear guests of our favorite pagan house goddess. Welcome to Blackwood. Since we are meeting for the first time, an introduction is certainly in order...

We used to live in a duplex when I was little. My mother's parents lived on one side of the structure and my father on the other side. My bedroom was in the middle of the two houses. While my father was out at work, which was every weekday twelve to eighteen hours a day, my grandparents were my primary caretakers. So, at bedtime if my father was still at work, I would be put to bed at the proper time by my grandmother.

On this particular night I had been put to bed and my father, just arriving home from work, came in to see me and tell me goodnight. I remember his silhouette moving across the room in the dark, around the bed and kissing me whilst reaching over to turn on the light. Turning on the light was a mistake.

As the light from my little lamp flooded the room and my eyes adjusted, I saw my father standing over me, covered , from head to foot, in blood.

I was told I screamed and cried. I don't remember that, (I was slightly more than a toddler and my family is amazed I can remember anything at all), but I do remember the feeling of fear. It took him a few moments to understand my reaction as he had forgotten all about his appearance.

My father had just come home from filming the famous pig blood scene in the movie Carrie .

As a child, and even now as an adult I have grown up among the most amusing images. Some tangible, some pictorial. There is a series of photographs, (my father has a couple of them and I know some of the others appeared in magazines), of my father and Sissy Spacek, covered in blood, arms around one another, big smiles, looking as though they are posing for their prom picture.

I am told that the following day, I begged to be taken to the set. So began the macabre fancies of a little girl, now grown, living in LA. Today, I hunt down evidence of things paranormal, and long for a place where its always Halloween.

Feel free to roam about as you like or you can select something from the list to your right, The Best Of Blackwood.

I also have a treat to offer. For those of you who leave a comment on this post before the day of Halloween, I will draw a name on the 31st. The winner will get a copy of the new documentary, The Haunted Boy. You can see the trailer below.

Happy Halloween!

Stay Human

UDAZ-DO is a system created by Gidmo Taylor, of the Taylor zombie wrangling dynasty, especially focused on self-preservation in a worst case scenario (unarmed encounter) with the walking, carnivorous dead. Seminars will be available in Los Angeles throughout October.

Dear Los Angeles, I love you.


Hometown Haunt - The Haunted

There have been numerous weeks this year where I have spent more hours at Linda Vista than I have in my own home. We are friendly now, she and I and like all close friends we know each others secrets. As soon as I enter I know when she is agitated and when she is at peace. We still have plenty more to share...

Unexplained shadows, whispering, voices, full and partial body apparitions, growling, shuffling and walking are common experiences to those who venture inside these walls.

There are three entities most commonly experienced here - they are:

The Doctor(s) - most commonly referred to as "Dr. Edwards" In 1981 this doctor had a patient that was a gang member who was critically injured and because he wasn't able to save the man's life, members of his gang killed Dr. Edwards in the parking lot. One psychic told me that there was also an older, male doctor and that some workers called him Dr. Frank behind his back. He was nicknamed Dr. Frank because he had a habit of saying things like "Let me be frank with you," and "Be frank with me," a lot. He was generally disliked, or more precisely, feared. He sometimes touches people or "chases" people.

The Female Patient - A female patient is seen and heard wringing her hands and repeatedly asking for help, she is dressed in a hospital gown. She has been seen in numerous locations in the main hospital.

The Little Girl - The voice of a little girl can often be heard laughing, humming or talking on the first floor. People believe that she wanders the hallways and the surgical suite areas searching for her mother.

My favorite story involving the little girl comes from a local team. Two female investigators were walking around the the surgical suite and coming around a corner going from one room to the next and there was a small room off to the side and one of the women put her hand on the doorknob, and just as she did they started hearing a little girl humming. At this same moment the doorknob was forcibly pulled from her hand and slammed against the back wall. As the door was bouncing back toward them, the woman that had put her hand on the doorknob saw a shadow figure in the room. Both women say it then felt like an energy or force moved past them. At first they thought the other two male members of their team had played a trick on them but when, after hearing the women scream they came racing down the hallway toward them it was evident they had not. The entire thing, including, very clearly, the voice of a little girl humming was all caught on audio.

There are few locations in the hospital that do not have a story attached to them, however, this is a blog and not a book, so I am choosing to relate a few.

The Fourth Floor - There have been reports of people hearing water splashing on this floor. I have checked every single faucet, toilet, sink, bathtub or suspect water source on this floor myself and none of them run water. During one investigation. my team's boss was relating this information to some investigators and we captured an EVP of someone saying over him "water, water..."

While on the 4th floor one night, in a wing that looks like it is a radiology room myself, Mr. Blackwood and a fellow teammate conducted numerous EVP sessions throughout the night in this locale. Each time we would leave and walk a few feet into the hallway, we would hear a distinct shuffling/walking sound behind us as though something were trying to follow us. There was no evidence of movement, and we tried repeatedly to recreate the sound from where we heard it. We only did so when I walked very slowly, directly in front of the doorway into the radiation room allowing my too long pants to drag on the floor, (I'm a shortish girl so most of my pants drag).

We were here helping to facilitate an investigation a couple weeks ago. During the investigation of the 4th floor I was told by the lead investigator that everyone was hearing disembodied voices, shadows, that he saw a huge apparition starting to manifest in front of him and others saw it too, that there were very intense cold spots, and an empath in their group got so overcome near the nurse's station and was crying uncontrollably and had to be taken out.

Mental Ward – It wasn't always a mental ward. For periods of time this wing of the property was used to house family members of long term care patients. There is a little unattached staircase in the basement where members of my team have seen a little girl manifest.

A friend saw an apparition of a man walking down the stairway of the mental services building. Seconds after he saw it he and my boss ran onto the hallway and no one was there. The custodians were in their rooms and I was outside with everyone else on the premises and can account for everyone's whereabouts.

Friends from another team had placed an audio recorder on a little table that stands in the hallway of the third floor and have seen it move.

The Main Floor Lobby - One night, when we were conducting an investigation I had left some equipment up on the 4th floor and was on my way up to go retrieve it. As we were approaching the elevator to go up, something with a male voice audibly called my name at the end of the opposite hallway leading to the solarium.

During another investigation as we were rotating teams from the main building into the mental ward, a dear friend and investigator, along with members of the team that had the experience with the little girl, caught an incredible EVP of what sounds like a woman's voice saying, "Get me some medicine." as though she is standing right there.

While mopping up the main lobby, my team's boss saw the half apparition of a man, from the lower back up to the back of his head in the pink room, just off the lobby. He was the only person there at the moment so he ran to head it off at the doorway and when he got there, which was seconds after he saw the apparition, it was gone.

Another one captured just a couple weeks ago when we were here - two well known and seasoned investigators were leading a group that night and they were in the hall waiting for a couple people to come out of the bathroom. They had only gone into the hospital for a few minutes when the lead investigator was trying to prime everyone in the group for what they were going to encounter - and he got an answer from one of the "residents" who says, "I Could Tell You That!" This is one of my favorite EVPs.

Earlier that night, I had escorted a psychic to the bathroom who was visibly shaken. As she emerged, she told me that an entity was in the room with her and was watching her.

Although most likely not paranormal in nature, it disturbs me greatly. There is a resident clown in the form of a pinata. Every single time we go to Linda vista - which can be several days in a row sometimes, that horrid clown is not where it was last seen. The thought that it is moving around of its own accord is not something I like to think about.

This last story was told to us by the current caretaker - 22 years ago, the caretaker, Francis, while in the office, knowing he was alone at the time save for a single security guard - saw a woman dressed as a nurse walking by on the third floor and go into a copy room. As he listened he could hear the sounds of the old copy machine as if it were making copies. He called out to the security guard and as they arrived, they both could see a light on in the copy room and hear the sounds of the machine. The guard reached out to turn the door handle and all of a sudden the light turned off and the sounds stopped. When they entered the room it was empty.

Sadly, the scariest story I have to tell about Linda Vista is one I cannot yet tell. It will probably be many years before I do. My friend, who was also there at the time, just told me today that, months later, she is still having nightmares....

The Haunted Haunt

A roaring fire in the fireplace, a blanket, a small, warm dog and a cup of hot chocolate with the sounds of rain outside, while Sam is terrorizing Mr. Creeg on my TV again...this was supposed to be my night.

Instead I'll be investigating a haunted....haunt?

The haunt is operated out of a vacant lot that used to be home to an apartment with a history of suicides. Then, it being California and all, an earthquake hit demolishing the building.

Haunt actors and employees report hearing voices, footsteps and have seen shadow figures.

I hope the clowns have the night off!

Image from

Hometown Haunt - The History

See the old smoke rising 'round the bend,
I reckon that she knows she's gonna meet a friend,
Folks around these parts get the time o' day
From the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.

In 1900 a piece of property covering nearly four acres on the east side of Hollenbeck Park was purchased by the The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Company, to construct a full service hospital for their employees or anyone suffering an injury due to their railroad.

Boyle Heights was one of Los Angeles’ first suburbs, first being developed in the late 1870s, populated mainly by Russian, Jewish and Japanese immigrants. With the construction of a horse car line, a cable car line, and finally, electric street car lines, it became a desirable place to build large mansions, with fresh air and a great view of Los Angeles from the heights above the east bank of the Los Angeles River. The development of picturesque Hollenbeck Park with its lake made that area especially attractive.

In December of 1905 the beautiful new hospital was completed - built and equipped at an expense of $147,000.

"So complete and unique are the automatic features of the new hospital that it will not be strange if all who enter therein for treatment are healed automatically," announced a 1904 newspaper article.

From a newspaper article that appeared in 1916 - I suggest you read it carefully:

Making a most beautiful home for those who are sick and injured while in the service, with the privilege of a fine park to be enjoyed by convalescents. Amid such delightful surroundings, and with every care and attention by skilled hands, no wonder the occupants of the various wards cheerfully battle back to health and strength. In February, 1914, an annex to the hospital was completed. This contains a laundry in the basement, beautiful recreation rooms on the first floor and a dormitory on the second floor for the help. An exceptionally well appointed operating room, complete in every detail, is a feature of the Los Angeles Hospital, and the layout of the building, as to the location of the Wards, nurses' quarters, dining-room, etc. is excellent. One section of the building is devoted to Mexicans, who receive the same tender care as do their English speaking co-laborers. They have attractive quarters with a pleasing outlook, and there usually is a full quota around the table in their private dining-room.

Unbelieveable..and yet, not.

Near the hospital one spies a number of tents, heated, lighted and furnished for the comfort of those suffering from tuberculosis. And then we notice that the hospital has its own Jersey cows, a nice flock of chickens and a well cultivated gardens, so that patients may be assured of the freshest milk, butter, eggs, poultry and vegetables. Attached to the staff of the hospital association is a full corps of specialists in every line, which enables members to secure the very best medical and surgical skill without extra expense. This staff is selected from the most prominent physicians and surgeons in the City of Los Angeles

The hospital remained quite unchanged, save for a complete remodeling in 1937, until the advent of the postwar freeway building frenzy. The Santa Ana Freeway cut through the Heights above the Los Angeles River, while the Golden State Freeway cut right through Boyle Heights. Hollenbeck Park was no longer picturesque or peaceful and its lake was a place to dump corpses. It was, however, a great place for gangs to hang out and for people to shoot up drugs. Santa Fe Hospital Association members began to complain about having to go to the hospital on St. Louis Street. 1969, the Santa Fe Memorial Hospital Corporation was formed as a non-profit entity and purchased the hospital from the Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital Association. It was about this time that the hospital got a name change - to Linda Vista Community Hospital.

An account from an employee who worked as a nurse in the mid to late 70’s stated that much of the main hospital was unused and had restricted access by this time. She said sometimes when it was slow she would coax a security guard to take her into these areas of the hospital and described them as resembling something out of a mad scientist, Boris Karloff movie. Filthy, aged and falling to ruins with tons of apothecary type jars containing bizarre samples and preserved body parts. She also said that during this era and into the 80’s the Mental Health Services building had been converted into temporary housing for families of long term stay patients.

Early on in the 80's the emergency room was shut down - contrary to rumors, mostly propagated by a popular TV show, Linda Vista did not get a lot of gang victims dying here for this reason, they were taken to another hospital. It is much more likely the most frequently seen patients here were from the massive nursing home facility, Hollenbeck Palms.

I found another unverified account from a gentleman who claimed to be the Associate Administrator of Linda Vista in the late 80's just prior to its closing. He said that, "...many of the deaths were caused by ineptness of the staff. I recall one instance when an elderly patient died between shifts and was just placed in a dirty linen closet until she turned very ripe and the smell made them take her out." Of course this is all heresay...for now. We have keys to the records room and will be looking for verification of this person's employment in the coming weeks.

Next up - The "Ghosts" Of Linda Vista


Please note - If you are researching this location I have a great deal of information that would be quite relevant, including photographs, that I have omitted from this entry. I have also made a documentary on the subject that regularly screens at Linda Vista. Feel free to contact me if you are interested. If you use any of my research, please, PLEASE credit - I am the Official Historian for Linda Vista - thank you.

To Do List

1) Haunted Films In Haunted Places
Date: October 17 -Sunday at 7:30
Movie: "House on Haunted Hill" (1999)
Location: A real Haunted Hospital

I'll be there to talk about the history and "ghosts" of this reputedly haunted location! Come bring me some candy! Please?

GHOULA is working with the EPFC's Filmmobile to present a series of free outdoor screenings every Sunday in October at a different haunted site. Each evening will consist of a "haunted" movie, guest speaker, a discussion of the location's ghost(s), and maybe some other activities. (Don't forget to bring a chair.)

(Note: GHOULA and the EPFC Filmmobile will only disclose the actual location 24 hours before showtime. So, just check out the GHOULA site the day before.)

2)Wicked Literature: A Halloween Theatre Festival

This looks like a great alternative to the incredible productions they used to do each Halloween at the Huntington Library!
The annual event features world premiere stage adaptations of classic gothic literature performed in alternative venues. This year’s festival will take place October 21-30, 2010 (7 performances only) at the Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena, CA (2400 Fair Oaks Avenue). The evening of short works will be comprised of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado, H. P. Lovecraft’s The Unnamable and Charles Dickens’ The Chimes.

3) River Cities Paranormal Society - Southern California's Paranormal Dinner At Hunter Steakhouse
Saturday, October 30 at 9:30pm - October 31 at 4:30am - $50
Meal seating to begin 9:30 PM. There will be a 4 course dinner, champagne and wine.
RCPS Southern California paranormal team will take you through how they investigate the haunted Hunter Steakhouse and tell you the chilling history of the location.

4) Nightmare Before Christmas - in 4D!
El Capitan Theatre October 21-31st and Danny Elfman will be introducing the film on the 21st
So what does the 4D movie experience involve? According to, “they’ll have special effects in the theater itself, such as wind and fog” to coordinate with scenes in the movie.
This makes me a little giddy.

5) Walk Among The Dead - Tour Of Linda Vista Hospital
Boyle Heights Paranormal Project brings you yet another great event inside historic, haunted hospital Linda Vista.
Friday, October 29 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm - $25 donation
RSVP on their Facebook page

6) Seeing Things : Ghost Polaroids
drkrm gallery
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm; Sunday 1pm - 4pm & by appointment
Special Halloween hours Oct 31 - 7 p.m. - Midnight
Most paranormal enthusiasts know the story behind the series of polaroids taken at the house in Mt. Washington and most recently profiled (and deemed probably authentic), on Fact Or Faked . Here is your chance to see them in person.

7)Haunts of Angelino Heights Scavenger Hunt
October 23 and 24th, 4pm to 6:30 $30
Are you familiar with the "evil of the thriller" house? Perhaps you prefer to be "charmed" by the ghosts of this Victorian neighborhood. Grab some friends and a flashlight and join us for some spooky fun (and prizes) in one of Los Angeles' oldest neighborhoods.

8)All Hallows Eve Ball at The Edison
108 W. Second St. #101
Los Angeles, CA 90012
The Edison presents goblins, phantoms, apparitions and demons at their finest. Helios Jive, Stilt Circus, contortionists and dancers on hand for your entertainment.

9)Haunted Midnights at The Comedy Store
The Comedy Store has been long renown for being one of the most Haunted places in Hollywood. This October, get a behind the scenes look at all the creepy stuff that has happened at the Comedy Store. See the results of our paranormal researchers, see a live seance to draw out the spirits that may reside in The Store, hear first hand accounts from Comedy Store staff of hauntings by "Gus" and "The Lady In White". We will also screen rare documentary footage about the hauntings in the Comedy Store and we will culminate the evening with a super scary flashlight tour of The Comedy Store with a visit to our notorious basement the blue door and other haunted spots. This is an opportunity for a ghostly tour unlike anything available in Los Angeles or this in this life.

The House That Drips Blood. On Alex.

Oh, hai Tommy.

Writer, director and star of cult favorite, (favorite for all the wrong reasons), The Room stars in The House That Drips Blood On Alex - premiering tonight on Comedy Central at 3 A.M. PST.

I know you have a lot of questions like, "What kind of blood, Merricat?!" and "What kind of house?!" and will there be scotchkas? You'll have to see for yourself....

Many thanks to fellow spooky bloggers and who introduced me to the man who resembles a hunk of spam.

Ghost Stories

Grab a blanket and a cup of something warm Gentle Readers, and cozy up to the glow of your computer - tonight on Conversations Through The Veil paranormal investigators are telling their own, true "ghost stories" for your enjoyment. Of course, I'll be telling a tale myself.

Tonight - 7:00 P.M. PST
Just click on the Listen Live button

Evil Children, Monsters and Ghosts - Oh My!

Just then a young boar came dashing by, and the huntsman stabbed it to death. He took out the lungs and liver and brought them to the queen as proof that the child was dead. The cook was ordered to boil them in salt, and the wicked woman ate them and thought that she had eaten Snow White’s lungs and liver.

Singing mice and poofy dresses are surprisingly absent in real fairy tales. Instead they are rife with monsters, deceit, cannibalism, murder. Real fairy tales belong to the horror genre.


About four years ago I was aimlessly channel surfing. Of course, with hundreds of choices I couldn't find anything worth watching. I would often scan past the Korean channels, noting the curious titles of the programs - Mom's Dead Upset, The Coffee Prince, Pretty Lady Chit Chat, My Precious You. This day I finally settled on some program called Mom's Dead Upset and found it to be far better than anything on American television. So began my adoration of Korean tv.

Fast forward to the now. I'm not sure how I found it - maybe it was this trailer commercial on KBS or perhaps I just turned it on one day this past summer. Either way, Grudge: Revolt Of Gumiho mini-series, is currently consuming my life.

A traditional Korean fairy tale concerning a Gumiho, (or Kumiho) is the foundation for this historical drama. Propelling the story is the nine year old daughter of nobility, who is described as being cursed and suffers a "strange disease." The father is told the only cure to save his beloved child, Cho Ok, is to "... find the child born the same year, same month, same day." When this child turns ten years old, his daughter must eat the liver of the child in order to live.

Evil children, monsters, ghosts, zombies, cannibalism, possession - Grudge: Revolt Of Gumiho has it all , against a lush backdrop of period costumes, beautiful scenery, wonderful FX, an unforgettable soundtrack and some of the greatest acting I've ever seen anywhere.

This show and the horrific, yet achingly beautiful imagery depicted in Gumiho is something American tv or film would never touch, and even if we attempted it, it would not be done with so much depth and beauty. There are so many moments of visual horror in this series that will haunt me for years to come - not to mention the emotional horror evoked. I do not get emotional easily - there are only three film moments that can elicit tears from me, yet I was sobbing on my couch and clutching at poor Mr. Blackwood during more than one episode.

We were like children during our Gumiho viewing marathon yesterday, gasping and yelling out loud - jumping up on the couch and yelling "OHMYGOD!!!" - Mr. Blackwood says he can only compare it to Lost or Star Wars in it's epic storytelling style and I have to agree. We have two episodes left - I cannot bear for it to end.

The Great Million Dollar Ghost Hunt

If you are up for the challenge, come be a part of the biggest "ecto-experiment" ever attempted in Los Angeles (and possibly the world).

On Halloween (Oct. 31st) @ 2:30pm, the doors to the historic, haunted Million Dollar Theater will open, and everyone will have exactly two and a half hours (til 5:00pm), to document anything "out of the ordinary." From electro-magnetic anomalies to shivers down your spine, if you feel it, witness it, or record it, we want to hear about it, and we want to know exactly where it happened. So bring your EMF meters, your EVP recorders, your cameras, or just yourself.

Each participant will receive their own individual map, which will be used to record the location of any "activity." Please keep your info confidential until after the experiment, to discourage copy-cat contamination. The maps will then be returned at the end of the event to GHOULA (The Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles). Based on everyone's data, "hot spots" will be determined and posted online with the actual stories associated with this location's ghost(s). Those that have devices that need time to be reviewed (i.e. digital recorders, infra-red video, etc.) will have one week (til Nov. 7) to report any additional "places of interest" to be included before our big reveal at GHOULA's monthly "Spirits with Spirits" mixer.

Photo by Robert Berger from The Last Remaining Seats: Movie Palaces of Tinseltown


I am seriously considering employment opportunities in St. Louis, Missouri, just so I can live here, at Castle Park Apartments - the asylum formerly known as Saint Vincent's Institution for the Insane.

The asylum was in operation through the 1980's by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. When they sold the property one of the conditions the Sisters insisted upon was that the fifth floor was never, ever to be inhabited. Rumor has it that the boy who was the "real life" subject of the Exorcist stayed here for a time....his room was located on the fifth floor.

According to an interview from the recently released documentary, The Haunted Boy,former apartment manager, Judy Perry states that during her employment there, three gentlemen paid her a visit - one of them was Father Halloran. They requested a tour of the building, specifically the fifth floor. Perry obliged.

While on the fifth floor Halloran showed her a room and told her that it used to house a metal bed frame and a desk and that this was, indeed, the room he assisted and witnessed Father Bowdern carry out repeated exorcisms on the thirteen year old boy.

Perry cites frequent and unusual complaints from the tenants who often "Come flying out of their apartments." Drawers and cabinets open of their own accord, faucets run randomly, dishes break, people come home to find someone sitting on their couches and sometimes awake to "something" sitting on their beds....leaving a distinct imprint behind.

Now, those are the amenities I'm looking for...

For Man And Beast

While researching a story on a beauty product marketed and used to murder numerous husbands and beaus, (which I will share with you shortly), I discovered these...

Bottle photographs are from

I Will Follow You Into The Dark

Or, rather I invite you to follow me.

Short notice yes, but, little imps like us love spontaneity. I saw Nicole Strickland's talk last weekend at Ghost Fest Expo 4 and her collection of Queen Mary EVPs are wonderful. Louis Gonzalez is a joy to hear speak, especially when it is about EVP work and the rich history of this field of work. Then there's me - Merricat. I'll be happily sharing my research on the history of Linda Vista Hospital. Following all this chatter, we get down to business and investigate the historic Aztec Hotel. We'll have a time.

So Cal Para Con - October 2nd - mark your calendars. Look for more details in the coming days.

Silent, Secret Deeds

With their solemn, mournful gait, their melancholy litters, their bat-winged, black hats flapping, their black masks, their sunken eyelids like the visionless sockets of skeletons, their long, shroud-like draperies concealing alike figures and faces, their black stockings, ascetic rosaries, and leather purses at their girdles, in short their entire paraphernalia of death and disease as they go noiselessly through the busy streets, the spectators making way for them and standing aside with hat in hand as they pass.

James Jackson Jarves for The New York Times - February 8, 1880

As penance for their sins or to fulfill a vow, the mysteriously shrouded figures—who belonged to the Brethren of the Misericordia—carried the sick to hospitals, buried the dead. The society was so secret that members hid their identities even from each other.

Photograph by G. G. Hubbard, circa 1910

She'll Get You

"Be home when the street lights come on!" Was an oft heard directive during many of our childhoods, as we anxiously ran out into the world to play. However, in my neighborhood and for most of us who lived out our childhoods on the East Side of Los Angeles, we also heard, "Or, she'll get you."

Six year old me would warily begin to eye the diminishing light and sneak glances at the streetlights between games of tag and our cherished game of "circus." When the lights turned on I was running up the stairs and into the house at full speed. Sometimes, I would dare to look back half hoping to see her - a woman all in white, her long, dark hair wild and blowing out behind her. She would be clutching a claw hammer and you would hear her coming for you, screeching like an owl, her countenance contorted in a mask of insanity and looking for kill.

The stories vary. Some say a local woman in the 20's or 30's had gone mad and killed her children with a hammer. They caught her up in the hills around my neighborhood, (El Sereno). As these stories so often go, the woman escaped and is still roaming the hills seeking her next pint sized victim.

As we grew up, we obviously recognized it as a cautionary tale, but, as I am sure you know, sometimes  the truth can be found in our elder's stories.

In the 1920's, Clara "Tiger Girl" Phillips, a 14 year old chorus girl was wed to Armour Phillips. She was a suspicious and jealous girl who frequently accused her husband of infidelity. Her suspicion turned to Alberta Meadows, a 20 year old widow who she considered a "love rival." Clara set her plans in motion.

Clara, along with her friend, Peggy Caffee, convinced Alberta to give them a ride. At some point during the drive Clara asked Alberta to pull over so that they might converse privately and proceeded to brutally beat her with a claw hammer and then a rock. With her rival now out of the way, Clara returned home to her husband, where she informed him that she would make him the best dinner he'd ever had.

Thanks to Kim Cooper - who first proposed the possible link to this urban legend -

Let The Right One In

The supernatural is something that isn't supposed to happen, but it does happen. - The Haunting (1963)

These compelling photographs were taken by artist Shannon Taggert. Her body of work focuses on fascinating subjects, including voodoo, exorcism and the spiritualist movement.

Dolls - Possessed - Part II

Ralph: I can remember every toy I had as a kid.
Gabriel: And they remember you, Ralph.

I've always hated dolls. My first doll was a monstrosity called Baby Beans, which I continuously rejected by "losing" it on outings, tossing it under my bed to whatever ghoulies lurked there after goodnight kisses were exchanged, and repeatedly placing it in the kitchen garbage can. Much to my dismay, I'd discover it, sitting on my bed the following day. It was unnerving to say the least. Of the very few photographs in existence of myself as a child, there is one, wonderful black and white shot of me chocking that doll. To this day, I consider it to be the best photograph of me ever taken.

Like most little girls, (although, I was certainly not at all like "most little girls" ), I, too had a Raggedy Anne doll, like the one pictured in Lorainne Warren's arms. Annabelle was a gift to one of two nurses who resided together. According to the women the doll began to move on its own. First, arms and legs would change position, soon after, it could be found in different places all together. It even began leaving them notes, written in pencil, in handwriting that looked like a young child's. This was even more odd, as the women claimed there were no pencils in the house or the type of parchment paper the notes were composed on.

”It sounds like someone had a key to your apartment and was playing a sick joke on you,” Ed Warren concluded. “That’s exactly what we thought,” said Donna. “So we did little things like put marks on the windows and doors or arrange the rugs so that anyone who came in here would leave a trace that we could see. But never once did it turn out that there was a real outside intruder.”

Then one night they returned home to find the doll sitting on a bed with what appeared to be blood on the back of it's hand and on it's chest.

A psychic was called in, who told the women that the spirit of a little girl named Annabelle, who used to live where their apartment now stood, was the one moving the doll. Annabelle liked the women and wanted to know if she could stay with them and "move into the doll."

The nurses said yes. From then on they called the doll, Annabelle.

One night, Lou, a friend of the ladies, was with Angie, (one of the two nurses), at the apartment." It was about ten or eleven o’clock at night, and we were reading over maps because I was going off on a trip the next day. Everything was quiet at the time. Suddenly, we both heard sounds in Donna’s room that made us think that someone had broken into the apartment. I quietly got up and tip-toed to the bedroom door, which was closed. I waited until the noises stopped, then I carefully opened the door and reached in and switched on the light. Nobody was in there! Except, the Annabelle doll was tossed on the floor in a corner. I went in alone and walked over to the thing to see if anything unusual had happened. But as I got close to the doll, I got the distinct impression that somebody was behind me. I swung around instantly and, well….”

“He won’t talk about that part,” Angie said. “When Lou turned around there wasn’t anybody there, but he suddenly yelled and grabbed for his chest. He was doubled over, cut and bleeding when I got to him. Blood was all over his shirt. Lou was shaking and scared and we went back out into the living room. We then opened his shirt and there on his chest was what looked to be sort a of claw mark!”

Annabelle's story continues to get stranger. You can read more about this case on the Warren's site:

EVP specialists, Mark and Debby Constantino have caught some interesting EVPs from haunted dolls. You can hear the EVPs, and some of the history behind the dolls right here on Altered States Para Radio -

Sweet dreams, gentle readers.

Possessed - Part I

Each year around this time I begin work on what is probably my favorite feature of the transformation our house makes every Halloween, The Museum Of Haunted Objects. New haunted objects are added every year, necklaces that choke the wearer, paintings that emit whispers and cries, stolen idols that bring bad fortune.

Our pop culture is littered with such references. "Living Doll" and "The Dummy" are two of the most recalled Twilight Zone episodes. On film, there's Chucky and Christine and of course, one of my greatest guilty pleasures, The Puppet Master series.

With the advent of Ebay, one can even buy and sell supposedly haunted objects, the sale of which often make headlines.

Although fascinating, this subject is not relegated to books and movies - it may be all too real.

John Zaffis has been involved in the paranormal community for 35 years. During this time he has amassed a collection of hundreds of haunted objects and placed them in a Museum - Museum Of The Paranormal
In addition, he's made a film about the museum and the stories behind the objects themselves.

Listen to Altered States Para Radio's episode with John Zaffis as he tells the stories behind some of the objects in the collection and the very inherent dangers involved.


With the release of the film, The Last Exorcism, capturing our attention, Blackwood will be focusing on stories of possession this week.

Oh, The Places You'll Go!

Hell A, Boyle Heights in particular, is serving up some deliciously twisted fare for your enjoyment.

1) Fright Night In The Heights - hosted by the Boyle Heights Paranormal Project

Join BHPP to watch everyone's favorite ghost film, The Haunting (1963), in very abandoned, certainly haunted Linda Vista Hospital, in Boyle Heights. Following the screening, guests will have an opportunity to tour both the main hospital as well as the mental ward, which is not open to the public.

The event is co-hosted by:
Ghost Hunters Of Urban Los Angeles
3AM Paranormal
Antelope Valley Haunts

Saturday, August 21st at 8:00 - doors open at 7:45
Suggested donation for the movie - $5 - $20 per person for the tour

610 S. St Louis St.
Boyle Heights, CA, 90023

Although the event is SOLD OUT - I am offering two Blackwood readers a space on the guest list. Comment before Midnight on Friday, August 20th, leaving your name and an email addy I can send you instructions to.

2)25th Anniversary Of The Night Stalker Capture Tour

To commemorate the 1985 capture of the infamous Los Angeles serial killer Richard Ramirez, Eastside Desmadre Tours will conduct a guided walking/public bus tour to explore the downtown L.A. haunts and dwellings of the “The Night Stalker.” Included in the tour is a visit to the East L.A. street where he was captured, as well as interviews with local witnesses involved in his apprehension. Hosted by Crimebo The Clown.

August 29th, 12:00 - 4:00 P.M.
Hubbard Avenue
Los Angeles, CA, 90023

3) All About The Hollywood Pantages Theatre

The Pantages is a beautiful, historic theatre, more importantly, it is reportedly haunted. This tour covers it all, behind the scenes, art deco magnificence, history.

August 28th, 10:00 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.
6233 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, CA, 90028

4) Maja's Magic School : Electricity, Ectoplasm & Spirit Rapping

September is here yet again and that means its time to go back to school - Magic School!

September 12th, 6:00 - 8:00 P.M.
Annie Besant Lodge
2560 N. Beachwood Drive
Los Angeles, CA, 90068

5)The Hotel Horrors And Main Street Vice - Esotouric

I cannot say enough regarding my adoration of Esotouric. If you haven't yet adventured with them - better put it on your list.
The Hotel Horrors portion is a true crime and oddities tour featuring some of the wildest, weirdest, goriest and most memorable happenings in historic hotels.The Main Street Vice portion is a social history tour celebrating the ribald, racy, raunchy old promenade where the better people simply did not travel, but kicks were had by all who did.

September 11th 12:00 - 4:00 P.M.
Cafe Metropole
923 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA, 90013

Was That You?

It started about six months ago, in a small, church and private school located in the San Fernando Valley. It started by pulling the clothing and hair of the fourth grade teacher who would arrive in the mornings to prepare for her class earlier than her colleagues. It would creep in the stairwell, (see photo above) and in the little hallway area outside of the girls' restroom, sometimes slamming the stall doors shut or making other knocking or scratching noises on the walls. Her classroom was at the top of the stairs and she could hear it sometimes during could the children.

It's attention turned to a couple of the fourth grade girls in the class, pulling at their clothes and hair. One girl even said it "chased" her up the stairs, but would go no further than the fourth or fifth step.

In June, a visitor, who claims to be sensitive, was going through this area on a tour of the campus. He said there was something there and described it as being "prickly," that whatever it was, wasn't very nice.

Every evening, when the little school isn't in session, two churches inhabit the buildings. One of them, could be described as...intense. On Friday nights, they hold service which includes a great deal of screaming, wailing, crying and writhing on the ground, even an occasional snake.

A couple of the teachers offered it flowers and a blessing one morning. They say it's presence is much weaker now. I wanted to find out.

Mr. Blackwood and I ventured over a couple weeks ago at night. The buildings and grounds were completely empty. We set up a camera outfitted with an external IR illuminator and a couple of digital voice recorders with the new mics. Set out the Mel Meter, the Natural Tri Field Meter, settled onto the floor and talked to it.

About half an hour into our vigil, Mr. Blackwood, who was sitting to my left, poked me and pointed toward the stairs, his eyes wide. Something was breathing in the darkness, a few feet away. We inched up the stairs, clutching a temp gague and an EMF detector...nothing.

We resumed our place on the floor. Minutes after, we distinctly heard footsteps followed by a shuffling sound near the doorway that opens up into this area from an anteroom. We ventured toward the doorway, into the empty anteroom. Again we sat, asking, "Was that you? Could you please do it again?" Whatever it was, granted our request.

A few days later I saw the teacher and told her about the footsteps and the shuffling. "Oh, the kids say that is what they hear. Footsteps and that walking/shuffling sound. They think its coming after them."

So what exactly is there? Why did it manifest only six months ago? Did someone bring it with them or manifest it? Maybe we will never know, but for now, I'm rather determined to get some answers.

All Hail The Queen

I recently watched some footage captured by a paranormal research organization I highly regard, the American Paranormal Research Association. It has been one of those few pieces of possible evidence that I cannot explain away, nor can I forget about it.

A.P.R.A founder, Brandon Alvis, was kind enough to elaborate on the story behind this footage., captured on the RMS Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California. "The video was collected by myself and my wife in the winter of 2008. We were conducting an EMF sweep of the changing stalls, when the footage was taken. The only people present in the First Class Pool was Melissa, a security guard and myself." It was almost three months before they discovered the footage.

Alvis' constant striving to adhere to a policy of presenting the, "cold hard facts, to prove or disprove," of course led him to look for an explanation from experts in various fields. “Upon reviewing the video I sent a copy to multiple Engineers, Medial Doctors and other various professionals from technical industries, given the situation could not explain the footage presented. One Medical Doctor did mention the way the "eye" of the figure is reflecting should not react in that manner, if it was a living person. He said the way the human eye reacts to IR light is in two ways...the pupil and the cornea. The reflection of the "eye" of the figure is reacting in only one way ... the pupil, he said when the human body dies that the pupil becomes completely dilated... this is how the "eye" of the figure seems to be reflecting.”


You can visit A.P.R.A at or visit their You Tube channel to watch their new documentary series, A View From The Other Side

You can do your part to help support continued paranormal research on the historical Queen Mary by signing this petition, graciously spearheaded by Bob Davis, founder of Planet Paranormal Investigations


Thanks to the Ghost Hunters Of Urban Los Angeles organization, I participated in an investigation of the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood. The building itself houses the theatre, the Hollywood Wax Museum and the Snow White Cafe, all of which have their own fascinating stories to tell, paranormal and otherwise.

This building has been home to a variety of businesses over the years. Before the Wax Museum moved in, the building was home to a luggage company, and the museum's current Operations Manager, was told that the luggage company might have been a front for organized crime. "And during the 1920s," he said, "the basement of the building was used as a speakeasy, so who's to say who might be buried beneath us that we're not aware of."

The Embassy Club was opened in February of 1930. A new, exclusive club where the celebrities would not be mobbed by unruly fans. The Embassy featured a rooftop promenade and a glass enclosed lounge with a sweeping view of the Hollywood Hills.

Membership was restricted to 300 of the proprieter’s closest friends including Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, and Sid Grauman. As the years went on the Embassy was run by Bruce Cabot who brought in Delores Del Rio and David O Selznick and Mary Pickford hosted all of the Motion Picture Relief Fund dinners here. Soon after, Embassy owner Brandstatter allowed the public entry ensuring it’s failure.

The Stella Adler Theatre moved into the location in 1993. Students, teachers, staff and guests have claimed to experience numerous, possibly paranormal phenomena.

In Studio C a smoking man wearing highwater pants and suspenders has been spotted numerous times, especially during classes. They say he looks a lot like a waiter, on his break. People report finding him upon entering the theatre. Fearing they have taken him by surprise they apologize and say "...I didn't know anyone was in here." The man does not respond but instead, vanishes. Apparently, the man isn't always quiet. In a small hallway that runs alongside Studio C, the man was spotted again and informed passerby, "I've got to find the Freedman party."

In the back hallway, near the freight elevator unexplained banging is often heard as well as footsteps when there is no one around. The freight elevator call button also goes off when no one is present to push it.

In the front main theatre, the Gilbert, which used to house the old ballroom, there is frequent knocking on set walls, the crying of a child has been hard many times not just in this room but in many places in the theatre complex. At one point so many things were going on that a psychic was brought in, who stated that the spirit of a little girl as well as an evil spirit could be found in the two dressing rooms to the rear of this main theatre. People have also said the dressing rooms evoke a feeling of "bad energy."

A few years ago some renovations took place. At this time a wall was knocked down to reveal what could be considered the crown jewel of the building, a hidden speakeasy, frozen in time, as it were. It is a small room, complete with bar and a revolving secret bookcase that, when spun, reveals an escape ladder. In here, visitors have experienced unexplained severe drops in temperature and have described a variety of "weird feelings."