Like any major city, Los Angeles has its fair share of ghost stories. From haunted buildings to haunted ships, if you know where to look, this famously sunny city can be a paranormal playground. Even surrounding communities like Pasadena and Orange County have found favor among local paranormal investigators, and have contributed a rise to a variety of spooky tours through crime scenes and celebrity graveyards. Most of these tours take place year-round, but will run more frequently in October when things start ramping up toward Halloween.
The most famous haunted attraction in the Los Angeles area is the Queen Mary in Long Beach, which brought its ghosts along when it cruised into the port in 1970. Not just a ship, but also a hotel and an attraction in its own right, the Queen Mary offers a variety of ghost tours that cater to scare-seekers of all ages. A paranormal investigation with a professional ghost hunter is one of the most popular tours. For a more mild experience, check out the Illusions of the Passed Tour, which includes a special effects show.
On this guided walking tour of hauntings, massacres, bombings, and horrific crime scenes, you can learn about the dark side of Los Angeles. Your guide will walk you through the city's grim history, from the first cemeteries ever built in the city to the famously gruesome murder of the Black Dahlia in Leimert Park. Offered by Downtown LA Walking Tours, this tour runs year-round and although it's open to all ages, parental guidance is suggested.
Starline gives guided nighttime tours of famous death and scandal sites around Hollywood on Fridays and Saturdays in September and October. The bus tour starts at the Chinese Theatre and also makes stops at the Roosevelt Hotel, which is said to be haunted by the spirit of Marilyn Monroe, and spooky filming locations from popular horror movies, such as the "Halloween" house.
Popular psychic and paranormal investigator Michael J. Kouri offers several different tours year-round of his favorite haunted neighborhoods and sites, even taking groups inside the ghostly buildings. For the complete experience, book a tour that includes dinner at a haunted restaurant and a psychic aura reading. Some tours are walking tours, but others are a combination of walking and driving that require participants to have their own car.
Haunted Orange County offers different ghost walking tours in the cities of Orange, Santa Ana, and San Juan Capistrano, as well as the Black Star Canyon. Learn about the dark histories of these towns while visiting Spanish missions, earthquake zones, and sites frequented by restless spirits, such as antique homes and an undertaker's parlor. Tours are offered throughout the year, with extra events added to the calendar in September and October.
Silent film star Rudolph Valentino's ghost has been reportedly seen in 13 different locations around Los Angeles, including at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, where he and scads of other stars of the silver screen are buried. With tours led by Hollywood historians, you'll learn a lot about your favorite stars buried in the cemetery like Judy Garland and Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny. Alternate tours that focus on themes like Jewish heritage and forgotten celebrities can be booked upon request.
On these gruesome tours through Hollywood, the focus is on tragic happenings like suicides, accidental overdoses, mass murders, and serial killings. Dearly Departed tours include the Tragical History Tour, the Helter Skelter Tour, and Nasty Nellie's Hollywood Tour. During October, you can also sign up for the Halloween Horror tour. For those interested in macabre artifacts, visit the Dearly Departed Museum in Santa Monica to see items like Rock Hudson's deathbed and objects from the home of Sharon Tate.
Esotouric is an offbeat tour company that offers literary, music, and architecture tours, but the company is best-known for its crime scene tours. Learn about infamous unsolved crimes like the Black Dahlia murder, as well as many lesser-known but still fascinating killings. Ghosts might be mentioned, but locations of the crimes, victims, criminals, and investigations are the focus of the tours, even if they've been bulldozed and paved over. This is an excellent option for those who enjoy off-the-beaten-path activities.
Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles (GHOULA) is not a tour company. It's actually a social group for paranormal enthusiasts that hosts regular events like movie screenings and free tours for members and non-members alike. On the group's website, you can even find maps of haunted places in Los Angeles so you can design your own self-guided tour.
Tour the Oman House
In 1969, the Charles Manson murders occurred 200 feet away from the Oman House in Beverly Hills, which is reputed to be haunted by a variety of spirits, including a Tongva Indian buried on the property. Believed to be a paranormal hotspot, the house is open for ghost tours and paranormal investigations. Visitors can even take part in a guided seance. You're welcome to bring your own ghost hunting tools if you have them or use theirs.