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Shocktober: The Griffith Park Curse

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Griffith Park is primarily known as a much-loved pastoral retreat from the ills of urban life, where city folk can hike, beat the hell out of pinatas, and have sex in the backseats of their cars.

But lying just beneath this innocent seeming surface lies a dark secret: The Curse of Griffith Park, a hex that dates back to the days of the Californios.

In 1863 Don Antonio Feliz, the first non-aboriginal owner of what was then the Rancho Feliz, lay in the shadow of death, the victim of small-pox. His friend Don Antonio Coronel allegedly took advantage of his weakened state, convincing him to will the 3,000 acre rancho to him.

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Unfortunately for Sr. Coronel, the move left Feliz' 17-year-old blind niece penniless, and very, very angry. Dona Petranilla, apparently a verbose young woman, placed an extremely quotable curse on the heads of Coronel and his lawyer, saying:

"Your falsity shall be your ruin! The substance of the Feliz family shall be your curse! The lawyer that assisted you in your infamy, and the judge, shall fall beneath the same curse! The one shall die an untimely death, the other in blood and violence! You, senor, shall know misery in your age and although you die rich, your substance shall go to vile persons! A blight shall fall upon the face of this terrestial paradise, the cattle shall no longer fatten but sicken on its pastures, the fields shall no longer respond to the toil of the tiller, the grand oaks shall wither and die! The wrath of heaven and the vengence of hell shall fall upon this place."