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Hollywood: Famous Ghosts of Yesterday

The iconic Marilyn Monroe


Hollywood: In the glamorous world of Hollywood, where dreams and legends intertwine, even the afterlife seems to have a starring role. Over the years, several famous ghosts have been rumored to haunt the sets, theaters, and mansions of Hollywood’s past, adding a touch of eerie mystique to the entertainment industry. These spectral celebrities have become part of Tinseltown’s folklore, captivating the imagination of fans and skeptics alike. Here are a few examples of famous film stars who are said to haunt old movie sets:

Marilyn Monroe

The legend of Marilyn Monroe’s ghost is one of the most enduring and popular ghost stories in Hollywood. Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926, was a beloved and iconic actress, singer, and model. Her untimely death on August 5, 1962, at the age of 36, shocked the world and led to numerous conspiracy theories and speculations.

The ghost stories surrounding her typically revolve around places associated with her life and career, including her former residences, movie sets, and other Hollywood landmarks. Here are some key aspects of the Marilyn Monroe ghost legend:

One of the most well-known places where Marilyn Monroe’s ghost is said to linger is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Marilyn lived in Suite 1200 during her early modeling and acting career. Guests and hotel staff have reported various paranormal occurrences, such as seeing her reflection in mirrors, sensing her presence, or even hearing her voice softly singing. The hotel’s mirror located near the elevators is particularly famous for being a potential hotspot for Marilyn’s ghostly appearances.

Marilyn’s home was in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. Many visitors and guests have claimed to witness her ghost in and around the residence. Some have reported seeing her figure in the bedroom window or walking through the garden. Her second husband and legendary baseball player, Joe DiMaggio, is said to have claimed that he felt Marilyn’s presence and saw her ghost in their former home. DiMaggio reportedly continued to send roses to Marilyn’s grave regularly for years after her death.

Tony Curtis, a renowned actor who starred alongside Marilyn Monroe in “Some Like It Hot” (1959), reportedly claimed that he felt Marilyn’s spirit on the set of the film, especially when filming scenes that they had together.The movie is one of Marilyn Monroe’s most famous films. There have been stories of her ghost appearing on the movie set, which is said to be haunted by several spirits, including hers.

George Barris, a close friend and photographer of Marilyn Monroe, claimed that he had seen her ghost in his studio following her death. Barris took some of the last photographs of Marilyn before her passing.

Monroe is buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Some visitors to her grave have claimed to see her apparition or report mysterious events occurring in the vicinity of her resting place.

Marilyn Monroe’s ghost continues to be a subject of fascination and curiosity for fans and enthusiasts, contributing to the enduring allure and mystique surrounding her life and legacy in the entertainment industry. Whether real or imagined, the ghost stories keep her memory alive and add an air of mystery to her iconic personality.

Lon Chaney in Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Lon Chaney

The ghost of Lon Chaney, often referred to as “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” is another intriguing legend that has been associated with the world of Hollywood and the film industry. Lon Chaney was a highly skilled actor and makeup artist known for his transformative roles in numerous silent horror films during the early 20th century. His most iconic roles include “The Phantom” in “The Phantom of the Opera” (1925) and “Erik, The Man Who Laughs” in “The Man Who Laughs” (1928).

Following his death in 1930 at the age of 47, rumors and stories of his ghostly presence have emerged. In 1925, Universal Studios released “The Phantom of the Opera,” starring Lon Chaney as the disfigured Phantom haunting the Paris Opera House. The film was a critical and commercial success and became an enduring classic of the horror shows. To create an authentic and atmospheric representation of the Paris Opera House, a lavish set was constructed on the Phantom Stage. The set featured opulent interiors and the haunting underground lair of the Phantom. It has been said Chaney’s spirit haunts the old movie set. Some have reported seeing a mysterious figure resembling the Phantom wandering around the studio, especially near the areas where the movie was filmed.

Unfortunately, in 2014, the Phantom Stage’s long-standing history came to an end when the soundstage was demolished as part of Universal Studios’ ongoing development and renovations. Despite this, it’s believed that some parts of the original Paris Opera House sets, which had survived for nearly 90 years, were preserved, making them possibly the oldest surviving movie sets in the world.

Rudolph Valentino and Vilma Banky in “The Shiek,” 1921

Rudolph Valentino

The silent film heartthrob Rudolph Valentino passed away at a young age of 31 years old in 1926. One of the places associated with Rudolph Valentino’s ghost is his former residence at Falcon Lair, located at 1436 Bella Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210 The mansion was designed in a Mediterranean Revival style and served as a glamorous retreat for the actor during the peak of his fame. Valentino furnished the home with expensive antiques and collectables.

According to the stories, after Valentino’s death in 1926, strange and unexplained occurrences were reported at Falcon Lair. Doors would allegedly open and close on their own, and some claimed to have seen the actor’s apparition roaming the hallways, bedrooms, and stables of the estate. The fact that Valentino’s dogs reportedly did not react to these occurrences as if their master were present has added to the eerie and mysterious nature of the stories.

Actor Harry Carey, who owned the residence at one point, supposedly encountered the ghost or experienced difficulty retaining staff members due to their belief in the haunting. Actress Millicent Rogers is said to have spent only one night in the house before deciding to leave due to the supposed spirit.

The property eventually came into the possession of Dora Duke, a wealthy collector with an interest in antiques. She reportedly acquired and displayed pieces from Napoleon’s war room, adding to the historical allure of Falcon Lair. However, Duke’s death in 1993 under mysterious circumstances, coupled with the rumor that her butler may have been involved, further fueled the ghostly tales surrounding the property.

After Dora Duke’s passing, Falcon Lair changed hands and various renovations. The home’s tumultuous history only fueled the ghostly tales surrounding the location. However, in 2006 a new owner purchased the property and demolished the house. Perhaps the ghost of Valentino can move on now.

Bela Lugosi in his famous role as “Dracula”.

Bela Lugosi

Bela Lugosi, born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó on October 20, 1882, in Lugos, Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania), was a prominent stage and screen actor. He gained worldwide fame and iconic status for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 film “Dracula,” based on Bram Stoker’s novel of the same name. Lugosi’s captivating performance as the vampire Count Dracula left an indelible mark on the horror genre and made him synonymous with the character.

Following his portrayal of Count Dracula, Bela Lugosi became forever associated with the role, a distinction that earned him a dedicated fan base and the moniker “The King of Horror.” However, despite his initial success, Lugosi’s career later faced challenges, as he struggled to break free from typecasting and secure diverse roles in Hollywood.

Tragically, Lugosi’s personal life was also marked by struggles with drug addiction and financial difficulties. He passed away on August 16, 1956, at the age of 73, leaving behind a legacy that continues to be celebrated in horror cinema.

Bela Lugosi lived in this glamous mansion between 1934-1937 nearly the Hollywood sign in the Los Angeles area.

In the years following his death, stories and rumors of Bela Lugosi’s ghost haunting the set of “Dracula” and his former residence in Los Angeles began to circulate. According to these accounts, his spirit is said to roam the halls and rooms, creating an eerie and unsettling atmosphere reminiscent of his famous portrayal.

Regarding “Dracula,” the film’s set was located on the Universal Studios lot in Hollywood. Given the enduring popularity of both the movie and Lugosi’s character, the ghost stories associated with the set have become a part of Hollywood lore. The legend of Lugosi’s ghost is particularly intriguing to fans of horror, as it adds an element of supernatural fascination to the iconic movie’s legacy.

As for his former residence in Los Angeles, the stories of Lugosi’s ghost are tied to the romanticized notion of the haunted Hollywood mansion. Tales of ghostly encounters and unexplained phenomena often emerge around properties associated with iconic figures from the entertainment industry, and Lugosi’s home is no exception.Popular psychic Sylvia Browne is said to have visited the home, which rests under the iconic Hollywood sign, and claimed seeing the Bela’s ghost roaming the halls in his Dracula cape

The legend of Bela Lugosi’s ghost continues to intrigue and captivate fans of classic horror films. As a pioneer of horror cinema, his contribution to the genre remains celebrated, and his portrayal of Count Dracula remains a hallmark of the golden era of Hollywood.





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