This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
According to marketers, calendar designers and the military-industrial-advertising complex, October is Halloween season. The folklore of many cultures teaches us that October 31st marks the time when the boundaries separating the known and unknown worlds are at their most permeable, permitting the interminging of the dead and the living, conscious and unconscious. LAist will be celebrating this season of all things magical, paranormal and strange by posting entries that reveal the creepier side of Los Angeles and Southern California.
Let's start with the infamous Knickerbocker Hotelat 1714 Ivar Avenue in Hollwood. One of the first luxury apartments to open in the area in the 1920s, it became a playground for the rich and famous. Now called "The Knickerbocker Apartments," the building seems a death magnet for Hollywood types. Filmmaker D.W. Griffith, a Knickerbocker resident, died of a stroke in the lobby in 1948. William Frawley, who played Fred Mertz on "I Love Lucy," had a heart attack and died on the sidewalk outside of the hotel in 1966.
Irene Gibbons, a costume designer at MGM, had the most startling exit. As detailed in the Haunted Hollywoodsection of the online site, Ghosts of the Prarie: Travel Guide to the History and Haunting of America, "On November 15, Irene took a room at the Knickerbocker, checking in under an assumed name. She cut her wrists but when this did not prove to be immediately fatal, she jumped to her death from her window on the fourteenth floor. He body reportedly ended up on top of the hotel awning, where it was not discovered for several days."
Southern California's Snow-Capped Mountains Are Beautiful. Here's Where To Maximize The View (And Snap A Great Picture)It's been many, many years since we saw this much snow in our mountains. Going up there right now isn't safe, but here are some places where you can enjoy the view and snap a pic.
April Valentine died at Centinela Hospital. Her daughter was born by emergency C-section. She'd gone into the pregnancy with a plan, knowing Black mothers like herself were at higher risk.
A look at years past when snows creeped into our citified neighborhoods, away from the mountains and foothills.
In the face of a drier future, that iconic piece of Americana is on its way out in Southern California.
Another Missing Hiker Has Been Found Dead In San Gabriels As Search For Actor Julian Sands ContinuesBob Gregory, 62, went missing the same day as Sands. His body was recovered near Mount Islip.