It is customary for me in Spring,
as those of you who have suffered through this column these eight
long years, to ruminate on the merry rites and rituals of Spring.
Well, I think we've pretty
much done that subject to death, don't you? You'd much rather
have another installment in our occasional series on local ghosts,
I thought as much. Here we
go, then - and if any of you happen to actually locate either
of the two haunted houses (both located right here in the Los
Angeles area), please please PLEASE drop us a line!
We'd be ever so much obliged
. . .
Here we go:
In 1932, a family rented a
house at 3rd Avenue and 12th Street in Los Angeles. It was, at
the time, the only house on the north side of the block. As the
mother and her twelve year old daughter entered the house for
the first time, the daughter saw what appeared to be the figure
of a woman bending over a box in the breakfast room.
Assuming the woman had been
hired to help with unpacking, the girl called out a greeting.
At that moment the "woman" began to grow into a large
dark shape, spreading itself over the box like a coat. It then
reared up into the shape of a dark, hooded thing - with no face.
The girl called to her mother,
who took one look at the ghastly thing and screamed, whereupon
the shrouded black shape reared backwards, and disappeared around
It was never seen again.
Near the Los Angeles International
Airport, in Westchester, there is (or was) an old, small wooden
house, situated three feet from a paved alley, at the rear of
a 135 foot lot on 96th Street. In 1948 it was purchased by a
woman who soon had cause to regret her decision.
On her first night in the old
house, she was awakened by the sound of groaning coming from
her very bedroom! This continued for several nights, and then
things took a disturbing turn for the worse: as the poor woman
lay awake one evening, trying to ignore the horrible groans,
unseen fingers began to caress her hair, and lightly poke her
in the ribs.
It was all downhill from there
. . .
Over the next decade, the unseen
tenant made itself felt in increasingly disturbing ways. One
night, the woman and a house guest distinctly heard the sound
of footsteps walking all the way through the house. This in itself
is, of course, fairly typical ghostly behavior, but in this case
the footsteps were followed by the sound of the front door opening
On another occasion, the customary
nocturnal groans were replaced by the sound of female weeping.
The woman was horrified to discover she could actually FEEL someone
kneeling next to the bed!
She drew up the covers, and
tried to ignore it, when suddenly she felt something like a man's
fist wrapped tightly in a sheet push as hard as it could into
Once she was awakened by what
she first took to be an earthquake, as something heavy had hit
the bed. She immediately turned on the lights, only to discover
absolutely nothing there.
Well, almost nothing. As the
horrified woman looked toward the foot of the bed, she saw, quite
clearly, the still fresh indentation where the unseen object
had struck the bed.
This house was still standing
as of 1963, but as for now . . .