Field Guide Friday – Dead Celebrities Get Their Haunt On

From gentleman Raymond Buckland’s essential volume – The Weiser Field Guide to Ghosts

Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball died in 1969, at age seventy-seven. She had lived at 100 North Roxbury Drive, in Beverly Hills, and there have been reports that she is still there… as a ghost. Objects, including large items of furniture, are moved about the room when no one is present. Voices – hers being easily recognized – are heard coming from the empty attic. Windows are opened and closed; doors are locked and unlocked. Windows have also been broken. All of this may be due to the fact that the house was virtually rebuilt after Lucille’s death, with walls taken out and the whole floor plan rearranged.

James Dean

Since James Dean died such a violent death (in a head-on crash between his Porsche 550 Spyder and a 1950 Ford Tudor), it’s not surprising that his ghost hangs around. The accident occurred in September 1955 near the crossing of California State Routes 466 and 41, a few miles from Blackwell’s Corner. His ghost has been seen at the Fairmount Cemetery in Indiana, where his body lies, as well as at the site of the deadly crash.

Redd Foxx

The star of the popular television series Sanford and Son died of a heart attack in 1991 on Stage 31 at Paramount Studios. His Las Vegas home, on Eastern Avenue and Rawhide Street, has changed hands a number of times, and each of the owners has claimed that the late comedian still appears there, usually pulling pranks. The first owner of the house was plagued by a sliding glass door that would repeatedly open by itself, so he had it replaced…The new door did the same thing! Another owner, who had a real estate business, reported that the computers would turn on and off by themselves and files would disappear.

John LennonJohn Lennon was shot to death at the Dakota Building, 1 West 72nd Street, New York, in 1980. (When alive, John claimed to have seen what he termed “The Crying Lady Ghost” in the building.) Since his death, John’s ghost has been seen many times. In 1983, a musician named Harrow saw the figure in a Dakota entranceway. Amanda Moores, a writer who was with Harrow, also saw the apparition. Other people, including Yoko Ono, have seen Lennon inside the building.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe died of an overdose of sleeping pills on August 4, 1962, at a house in Brentwood. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is a place she often stayed when at the height of her fame, and her ghost is said to haunt that place on a regular basis, as well as the Brentwood home. An apparition of her has also been seen at her grave, at Westwood Memorial Cemetery in Los Angeles, on Glendon Avenue. Several people have also seen Marilyn’s apparition at the Cal-Neva Lodge on Crystal Bay at Lake Tahoe. The lodge was owned, in 1960, by Frank Sinatra, and he and his longtime friend Marilyn often stayed there. She always stayed in cabin #3, close to a tunnel that was a secret passageway during Prohibition. A security guard one time went to see if he could help a beautiful blonde woman who was standing in the tunnel crying. As he approached her, she turned away and walked through the wall.

Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley’s ghost not only haunts Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee (where he died in 1977), but also hangs around the Las Vegas Hilton, where he performed for so many years. His apparition has also been seen in a building off Nashville’s Music Row, where Elvis recorded Heartbreak Hotel. Although the building is no longer a recording studio for RCA, it does house a television production studio. It’s said that if anyone mentions Presley’s name, all manner of strange things occur – lights blow out, ladders fall down, noises come onto the sound tracks. A year after Presley’s death, investigator Hans Holzer held a séance at the Drake Hotel in Manhattan, with Dee Presley, Elvis’s stepmother. During the sitting, Elvis came through and, among other things, made jokes about Colonel Tom Parker.

George Reeves

Some say that George Reeves was frustrated at being typecast in his role of Superman, and that he became despondent enough to commit suicide, in 1959, just days before his planned marriage. However, all the evidence seems to point toward homicide, involving a jealous ex-lover, her even more jealous husband, and others who wanted Reeves dead. It has been said that Reeves’s ghost appears in his old bedroom in Benedict Canyon Drive, dressed in his Superman costume. He stays for a while and then gradually fades away into nothing. Certainly realtors did try to sell his house after his death, to settle his estate, but buyers always claimed that they heard strange noises in the upstairs bedroom where George had been killed. On examination it would sometimes be found that the bedding had been ripped away, clothes were strewn about the floor, an there was an odor of gunpowder in the room. Buyers and tenants came and went rapidly, especially when they saw the apparition of Reeves. There were police reports of flashing lights, of gunshots, and of strange noises; none of it could be explained. In the 1980’s the house was being used for a television show and the cast and crew saw an apparition of Reeves, which appeared and then abruptly vanished. Such reports have continued through to the present.

Rudolph Valentino

Rudoph Valentino was a great believer in the occult and in spirit communication. Speaking of death, he once said, “Why call it Death? If we give it the name Death, why surround it with dark fears and sick imaginings? I am not afraid of the unknown.” He died in 1926 at the age of thirty-one, from peritonitis, but he didn’t leave his home. His ghost still haunts the grounds of Falcon Lair, 6776 Wedgewood Place, in the Whitley Heights section of Beverly Hills. He has been seen in the hallways, bedrooms, at a second floor window, and in the stables. He has also been seen at his old beach house in Oxnard and at the Santa Maria Inn  in Santa Maria. At the inn he frequently knocks on a door, and his phantom figure has been seen reclining on a bed. Valentino’s ghost is extremely active, also being seen near his burial site at the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Forever Park and at various locations at Paramount Studios.

Just a few of the terrific true-life tales in this book!

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