Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Stage fright...

The Pasadena playhouse is one of the most charming landmarks from past Pasadena glory days. It's stage productions has launch some of the great careers of old Hollywood, one being (I'm told William Holden and many more). It's been saved many times from being torn down and it's well worth attending their many performances. Now, I've been told it's also haunted. Many stage hands have reported being pinched while working on the catwalk alone. Lights can been seen turning themselves off & on , as well a toilets flushing when no one is in the bathroom. (Odd, you mean you have to GO even when you're a ghost?) Voices reciting Shakespeare can be heard after midnight my the cleaning crew staff. Once an actor always I say.
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Monday, October 29, 2007

Ghost Rider...

It's difficult to imagine a time in Southern California when the automible didn't dominate our landscape but there are signs (if you look for them) that once we were a horse and buggy town. There are some old houses that still have a concrete carriage step in front of their sidewalks. Even a few hauntings that involve a horse rider.

At the Mountain View Graveyard there is such a ghost. His name is William Cooper and he has only one arm. Story goes Mr. Cooper was born in England and lost his arm when he was nineteen, fighting in the Crimean War (1853 - 1856). He left his native England and relocated to Pasadena at the ripe old age of 55 in 1888 and lived to a very old age of 85 when he died in 1920. He may be dead but not gone. His ghost can be found riding on an old looking and tired horse around the graveyard. People have claimed to have seen a rather old looking man with dirty, unkept white hair and with only one arm, riding a horse around the grounds. He has been seen stopping in front of an angel statue holding a book near the enterance of the graveyard and taking off his hat and putting the hat over his heart and bowing down his head. A gentelmen even in death.
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

A tomb with a view

I ventured out yesterday to view one of the two mausoleums on the Mountain View Cemetery. As you can see it's a beautiful, grand building that looks from the outside more like a fine art museum than a tomb for the dearly departed. I have visited to many mausoleums with great interest and delight but when I entered this one I was overcomed with a heavy feeling. It wasn't cold and quite lovely and pristine with it's white polished marble halls, plus the stain glass windows are simply enchanting and brillant in colors. But still the minute I walked into it I was overcomed with a feeling of great sadness! Odd for me, for I'm not a silly woman of nervous emotions, I rather pride myself on being quite logical. Still, the feelings were real and rather overwhelming! I didn't stay long there, despite the beauty of the place. The minute I walked out I was quite fine and upbeat again. I was told that it is haunted by more than one unrestful soul but I didn't see anything odd or hear the weeping of a lady that is legend to haunt the cold white halls with her weeping of despair.
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Enterance staircase in mausoleum

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Stain glass in Foothill Mausoleum

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Faster than a flyiing bullet ...part duex... the rest of the story...

As I wrote before the first actor George Reeve is buried in the main mausoleum, I did further research and according to one book about the graveyard , at the time of his death is mother wanted to assure her son would rest in peace. The story stirred great public interest at the time and she didn't want the press or over zealous fans to disturb her son's final rest, so she purchased two sparate tombs. The first was place is the first section of the mausoleum where the plaque with his name is placed but not his body, the second was placed further away under a different name and his body was interred feet first!Maybe that's why the actor can be seen haunting the grounds in his Superman outfit, being an actor he wants people to know where he is buried. Still, the haunting is hard to believe, but then there is more to heaven and earth! Read below for the full story.
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Is it a bird, is it a plane....

I wasn't able to visit the main mausoleum but I plan to for I hear the art work is beautiful inside. While walking the grows a very sweet old woman spoke to me about the many legends and things she has seen. She called herself a spiritualist and often visits the grave yard after dark, (when I asked her how she got in for it's locked at night, she gave me a sly smile and said "I have my ways".), she then told me something that sounded too silly to believe. She said she use to see a man jump over the chainlink fence in a strange outfit and cape. Then she said that she learned that the actor George Reeves (the first film Superman) was buried in the main mausoleum there for his mother lived in Pasadena and had him placed there. Interesting don't you think? They didn't put that it the film "Hollywood Land"! There is a great mystery about the actor's death and the case is still open in the Los Angeles police department. Still, I find it hard to believe that a ghost will want to go through time dressed up as Superman! Can you read my mind?
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A man's home is his castle or temple?

As I wrote before, there is a lovely small graveyard under the foothills of Altadena. It's small but a jewel of architecture and history of the founding families of Pasadena. I loved this mausoleum for it looks like an Egyptian, inside is a beautiful Tiffany stain glass window, need to do some research on the Buckley family and their love for Egyptain architecture. They certainly had a lot of money. Will post information once I get the proper information. While picking up a booklet at the information desk an old man told me that the people in neighborhood caim on seeing people walk through the chainlink fence in the evening. "Have you seen such thing?" I asked. "Cutie, we lock up at dusk and when those gates closed I get out of here fast!" He then told me once that he saw two poeple on the grass having a pinic. They had a basket and a blanket. I went out to them to tell them this was a cemetery not a park and we don't allow people to eat their lunch out here. But when he went closer to them he said he saw right through them and the closer he got they disappeared into the air. He claims that he never heard any stories of people being harm by any ghosts. As a matter of fact, most people report they've had friendly encounters, "Still if ghosts frighten you I wouldn't advice walking the grounds alone cutie." He winked and said he'll keep an eye on me in case I needed help just yell out. I thank him and I left hoping for an encounter of the third kind. Didn't see a ghost but it was a lovely venture and plan on returning soon , plus got some real good stories! Still, wondering where are those ghosts going at night when they walk through the fence?
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California here I come...

Well, now I've heard everything. The owner of Nobu in Malibu has offered free food to all the firefighters. Only in California would they give out free sushi to firefighters. How Californian can you get? Well, it is a kind gesture.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The last days of Pompeii....

The people who live in or near the fire zone areas must feel like it's the last days of Pompeii! I'm far from the fire zone but the air is so heavy, hot, humid, smells of burnt wood and peppered with white ash. My car is covered with white ash and breathing is difficult, I keep coughing. I've been trying to stay indoors which is so much cooler than the outdoors. The skies are gray like a very over casted day as if it's eternal dusk. The twilight of the Gods
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Monday, October 22, 2007

City on fire...

Sunday while most people go to malls, the beach, sports bars I was out in one of the oldest grave yards in Southern California in the foothills of Altadena. I went and got a booklet that pointed out some points of interests and the place was lovely, with graint gravestones, marble angels, lovely mausoleums and spreading oak trees. Because it's so old I had the place pretty much to myself, except for the barking of the squirrels. I pick up a booklet at the information desk and spoke to a few poeple and got some real cool ghost stories , one including a famous actor of Hollywood past. So stay tune.

Still, it was so ironic, it was such a beautiful clear day, hard to believe that wild fires were blowing through Malibul and the foothills of the Valley. Now they've spread more, going as far down as San Diego!

Today the air was thick, heavy and smelled of burnt wood. It was had doing yoga today for this thick air effected my lungs. Pary that these Santa Anna winds die down soon.
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Friday, October 19, 2007

Goulish Bookworm

It appears that ghosts can appear in the most public places such a public library, even during the bright light of day. One is reported to huant a public library just north of Pasadena in the foothills of Altadena. Children have reported an old, evil witch has appeared to them while they browsed around the children's section. An employee has claimed to seen an old woman grabbing a frighten little boy in the corner of Children's Section. She had wrinkled arms, but couldn't see her face and there was a strong smell of orchids. The woman let go of the boy and the woman is reported to fade away. People often report feeling very cold and the sick sweet smell of flowers sometimes. Other workers report seeing an old lady appearing and fading after smelling a strong scent of orchids. Once a worker saw a little girl crying and said she was afraid of a wicked witch without a face was going to take her away and eat her. Kids say the cutest things.
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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Goose bumps

I drive by Rose Hills cemetery everyday and this week when I drove by I saw about 200 geese, taking a break from their flight down south for the winter. It was so cute seeing them sleeping on top of the gravestone and some were eating the flowers left on the graves, hey, those flowers won't be missed.
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Goose step

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Working 9 to 5

Of all the stories abouth the ghosting hauntings at the Holly Street Bar & Grill the most amusing happen to a workalholic who had an office on the second floor. Story goes that a woman who worked at the marketing firm on the second floor not only worked long hours but was anal about her office neatness and order. She wouldn't even give the janitor a master key to her office and only allowed him to clean her office while she was in it, fearing that some file or paper work may be missed place. No one was allowed to touch her computer and she was known as a bit of a pain in the ass but brought in a lot of cash to the firm so she was allowed to be anal about her office space. One Friday she told the office staff that she was taking a long weekend and wouldn't be back to work until Tuesday, which was very rare for a woman known to come in and work during the weekend. She locked up her office as usual to assure no one would have access to her files or computer. When she returned to work early Tuseday morning she was shocked to find that her office had been ransacked. The lock file cabinets had been opened and papers and files thrown all over the floor, the onced guarded computer was broken, screen broken , hard drive burned out, the keyboard crushed. But what was really stranged the wooden desk and leather furniture had been scratched and torn with what looked like teeth marks and claws. (Maybe a werewolf broke in?) She called the policed to fingerprint the office but not one print could be found. No other office had been touched that weekend and no one who worked with her had access to the office. A police report and investigation was made but no one ever found out who or what broke into the office that weekend.
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Sunday, October 14, 2007

All in all, we're just another brick in the wall...

Of all the tales about the hauntings at the Holly Street Bar & Grill my favorite goes, when the second floor was being remodeled for office spaces an urn was found hidden in a wall. There was no name on the urn but after research it was believed to be the ashes of a past Mayor of Pasadena during the 1920's that was rumored to have been kidnapped and killed by the gangsters who ran the Speak Easy at the Holly Street Mortuary. It is told that he found out that the mortuary was a front for the Speak Easy and he wanted to muscle into the action with the gangsters. One evening he disappeared and was never seen again. Or at least until his ashes were found hidden in the wall. The room where the urn was found is reported as being icy cool. It's an area no one likes to be alone at after dark.
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Children's Hour

Not only 1920's gangsters and ladies of the night haunt the Holly Street Bar & Grill but among this motley crew children have been known to haunt the Holly Street Bar & Grill.

In the courtyard that leads into the "Insight Yoga Studio" the voices and giggles of children have been heard. On the grand stairway, people have reported seeing a little girl with red hair playing on the staircase.

And in the patio /courtyard where brunch is served on Sunday, people have reported seeing a little girl with red hair looking down on them from a window on the second floor.

Also, if you enjoy a drink at the bar, women have reported seeing a man dressed like an old time gangster lifting a glass and toasting them in the bar mirror. But when they turn around to see him he is not there!

Spooky don't you think?
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

I see dead people

Of all the great questions of life we ask :"What is the meaning of life?","Where do we go when we die?", "Is there sex when we die?" I can answer one. According to the ghosts that haunt the Holly Street Bar & Grill there is indeed sex when we go beyound.

The second floor of the once mortuary / Speak Easy was not only the crematorium but also where the working girls practiced their trade.

According to a janitor who worked at the once Marketing Firm on the second floor, he claims to have seen people having sex on an invisible table (he said table not a bed). He is recorded stating once he saw a very ugly woman riding on top of a dead looking man. Other members of the now closed firm claim seeing people looking very real but dressed in strange clothes disappear in thin air. Women scantely attired have been seen walking up and down the stairs. Voices have been heard as well as laughter. Sounds as if they ghosts are having a good time.

The Marketing Frim closed down due to reports of cold spots and no one wanting to work there late at night. But the restaurant is doing a booming business. I guess diners don't mean seeing dead people.

More tales from this crypt to come. (hallway and enterance to the courtyard that leads to the yoga studio Insight Yoga)
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Monday, October 8, 2007

Tales from the crypt

Where else but America can a once mortuary be turned into a Bar & Grill, Yoga Studio and marketing firm? The Holly Street Bar & Grill is one of the finest restaurants in Pasadena. Brunch can be charming, sipping champagne in one of the courtyards and listening to a live music from classical harp or guitar. At night the place sparkles with white tea lights in the wisteria bushes and is enchanting. The food is excellent and if you don't want to pay for wine on their wine list your can bring your own bottle with no corking charge!

Next door in the same building is a the Insight Yoga studio, a beatiful studio with polished hard wood floors. This studio was once the chapel of the mortuary. It's odd to sit and chant sanskrit in front of a stained glass window with a white robe Jesus with arms opens stands in front of you. But the studio is lovely!

Plus, the place is haunted!

I won't tell all the stories in this post but I promise to post more tales from this crypt in future posts.

It's believed (but not exactly proven) that the mortuary acted as a front for a "Speak Easy" during the 1920 Prohibition Era. And they were selling more that illegal drink but female company as well. The restaurant area was once a carriage house and garage where gangsters hung out. People have stated seeing a huge black man dressed in overalls and a yellow shirt walking around, as well as a well dressed man in fancy gangster clothes of the era with his arm around two very scantily dressed women looking like working girls from the period. People have claimed while using the resturant's bathroom in the evening have be locked in.

Voices have been hear in the resturant and courtyard area in the very late evenings.

Talk about food for thought!

Keep coming back for more tales from this crypt!
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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Legends of the fall

Ghost of Pasadena City Hall

Legend has it that during it's construction a worker had fallen off a scaffolding and died. Now it is told that this poor unfortunate man haunts the halls of City Hall. People claim to hear his heavy booths as he climbs an invisible scffolding situated near the great fountain in the center plaza area. However, this poor dead worker is not alone, others have claimed hearing spirits that making booing & hissing sounds as they fly through the rotunda. The buidling is beautiful and charming and I've been there at night, still haven't seen a ghost. But if you ever worked for City Government you can understand why there would be restless spirits wanting to haunt the all halls that drove them wild with frustration!
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Saturday, October 6, 2007

The road not taken...

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be a traveler, long stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth:

The took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Becuase it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
I took the one less traveled by,
And that thus made all the differences.

- Robert Frost

One of my yoga teachers brought up this poem and got the meaning all wrong. The road less traveled is the lament of a poet, an artist. One who doesn't follow the common path of marriage , children and middle class norms. It's not always a happy life but once we chose we can not go back. I thought I had plenty of time for a husband, children and a normal life, so I I dived for that bride's bouquet or search Mr. Right I was far too busy being my own Ms Right. Now, I told I have more chances being killed by a terrorist that finding the right life partner. Sigh. I took the road less traveled and it's a lonely road by the scenery is beautiful!
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Thursday, October 4, 2007

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea

Yesterday took a long drive with mom up the 101 highway and enjoyed a great breasfast at Paradise Cove in Malibu, it's a small private beach past Pepperdine College. There' s a great resturant there, that not at all expensive, plus you can eat outside on the beach. It's a romantic place to take a date, if I was dating. Being a bit of a loner these days. Relationships have left such a bitter taste in my mouth that really could care less if I died a spinster! Rather enjoy being a free agent. After breakfast drove up to Camarillo to shop at the great outlet stores. Really a lovely day!
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Monday, October 1, 2007

Who you gonna call? GHOST BUSTERS!

When people think of ghosts, what comes to mind is usually large dark houses, white phatoms appearing in the middle of the night. What people don't realize is the fact that ghosts can appear any time they chose or even in the outdoors, not just graveyards. One urban legend ghosts of Pasadena appear along the Arroyo Seco Canyon riverbed. Seen above. (The riverbed not the ghosts. Sigh!) Story goes during the year 1835 a group of male settlers had gone out beehunting (you read correctly bee hunting!). There had always been uneasy feeling between the settlers and the California native Americans known at the time as the Cahuillas Indians. The natives would steal their live stock even horses for food! On the day the settlers went bee hunters some of the Cahuillas tribesmen were seen dressed in full war gear. In the late afternoon when the settlers didn't return the families and friends organzied a search party. They found the poor men , all dead with arrows through their hearts and no other signs of robbery for all the men had their valuables on them. A few months later a father and son were fishing along the river bank when they saw two men riding on horseback and the men stopped and asked if they had any luck catching fish , when they answer they watched them ride away into thin air. Thirty years later two boys were fishing by the river bed when two men dressed like cowboys rode by asking if they wanted to join them for a bee hunt then a pack of indians appeared and shot the two men in front of the frighten boys but didn't harm the boys. The boys ran home in terror and told their parents what they had seen the parents and police went to the sight and found nothing. It is often reported that people have seen either the two men on horseback or the Cahuillas men dressed fully in a war headress. Looked and looked but didn't see them.
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