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Buyer Beware: These Hollywood Celebrity Homes May Be Haunted

Hollywood has plenty of celebrity tall tales but not nearly as many tales about celebrity hauntings from beyond the grave. This Halloween, take a look at some of Hollywood’s spookiest urban legends of deceased celebrities and the houses they once called home and are now rumored to haunt.

Keystone, Hulton Archive, Getty Images, Supermanhomepage.com, Flickfacts.com, Fanpop.com, Baron, Getty Images

Keystone, Hulton Archive, Getty Images, Supermanhomepage.com, Flickfacts.com, Fanpop.com, Baron, Getty Images

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Joan Crawford’s House
426 N Bristol Ave, Los Angeles 90049
Crawford was one of the most prolific actresses of her time with a career spanning almost 50 years in classic films like Our Dancing Daughters (1928), Rain (1932), Johnny Guitar (1954), and her Academy Award-winning performance in Mildred Pierce (1945). Her daughter Christina wrote a damning tell-all of her abusive childhood with her adoptive mother titled Mommie Dearest. In that book and in subsequent interviews Christina claimed her childhood home in Brentwood was haunted by malevolent spirits and that whenever something strange happened or a ghost appeared she’d fearfully try telling her mother which only led to further vindictive punishment. Years later when the house was sold, the then owners began to experience odd fires breaking out in the home and even children’s voices crying in the walls. The owners decided to have the house exorcised numerous times. Christina later said, “Every single owner (of the house) has had trouble…The first one was Crawford. She built the majority of the house. It was a small cottage when she bought it, but most of the house, she built. Every single family that has lived in that house has had horrible things happen . . . illnesses, alcoholism, addictions, relationship problems, and now, evidently with the current owner, the walls are breaking out in flames! I’ve heard that in particular it’s the wall that was behind Crawford’s bed.” While over the years exorcists, ghost hunters, and house-healers have claimed not to sense Joan’s presence in the house many believe that the property the house was built on was somehow poisoned by vindictive spirits and that the evil already in the house led to Joan’s neuroses and cruelty against her children. As Christina puts it, “It would not surprise me in the least if the “haunting” spirit that is in the house is Crawford! She was capable of real evil.”

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Lucille Ball’s Home
1000 N Roxbury Dr, Beverly Hills 90210
Lucille Ball’s former 6 bedroom, 8 bathroom mansion in Beverly Hills is estimated to be worth upwards of 15 million if sold today. But buyers may want to beware. The star died in 1989 and
subsequent owners have reported mysterious broken windows, voices heard from the attic, and furniture moving around the house. Prospective buyers should also take note though that Lucy’s a busy gal and travels frequently in death as she did in life. Mystics believe that because Lucy did not die in the Roxbury Drive home her soul is free to wander: her ghost has been seen elsewhere –  the Hart building on the Paramount Studios backlot where “I Love Lucy” was produced and the Jamestown Cemetery in New York where she was buried.

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Harry Houdini’s House
2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles 90046
After magician Harry Houdini died on Halloween night in 1926 his wife Bess organized a seance in order to contact her husband. After all, he had promised that he would contact her from the afterlife. Bess lived in the house for a decade regularly holding seances hoping Houdini would communicate with her. After 10 years of trying she finally gave up and moved saying, “Ten years is long enough to wait for any man.” But her vacation may have angered Harry as the house went through a series of strange and unfortunate events including transfer of ownership to a con man cum evangelist preacher who used the house as a retreat for his followers to a brushfire that swept through the canyon and destroyed the home. The house sat in disrepair for years occupied by vagrants and visited by Houdini fans. The chauffeur’s cottage on the property has been restored by the current owner and the property is now rented out for parties, charity events, and film shoots. Many have claimed they’ve caught a glimpse of Houdini wandering around the grounds but, just like in his magic acts, the apparitions may only be an illusion.

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Marilyn Monroe’s Home
12305 5th Helena Dr, Los Angeles 90049
I’ve written about Marilyn Monroe’s first and last home before, but it wasn’t until research for this piece I discovered Marilyn is said to haunt her former Brentwood house. Some say the cries of her beloved poodle Maf (said to be named after her ex-husband Frank Sinatra’s dealings with the mafia) have been heard from the outdoor courtyard and pool area. Of course, there have been many conspiracy theories about the ultimate cause of Marilyn’s untimely death. Was it a suicide? A murder for coverup by the Kennedy’s? An accidental overdose? A for-hire plot by one of Sinatra’s associates? Whatever the truth may be, no one disputes Marilyn had gone too soon and may have some unfinished business left in Hollywood.

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Pickfair Estate
1143 Summit Dr Beverly Hills 90210
Mary Pickford and and her husband Douglas Fairbanks were Hollywood royalty of the silent film era. To avoid being controlled by the studios Fairbanks, Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, and D. W. Griffith formed the legendary film studio United Artists in 1919. Later that year they purchased an 18-acre parcel in Beverly Hills and built a 22 room mansion they dubbed “Pickfair.” They were known for throwing lavish dinners and parties at the estate and hosted some of the most notable names of the Golden Era. The couple is rumored to have complained about appearances of the spirit of a pesky female servant. Their friends are said not to have known whether or not Pickford and Fairbanks were telling the truth or constructing an elaborate tale to entertain their guests. After Pickford and Fairbanks divorced, Pickford kept the estate and later married Buddy Rogers. When Mary died in 1979, Rogers claimed to have been visited by the ghost of a woman in a long, white gown that he believed was Mary coming to warn him to sell the house. He did just that, selling the estate to then L.A. Lakers owner Jerry Buss. But the spirit sightings allegedly increased and grew more frightening causing Buss to offload the property to actress Pia Zadora who promised to restore the grand estate but instead demolished it without permission from the city. Zadora claimed at the time that termite damage was to blame, but in 2012 it was revealed that Pickfair was razed due to the troubling apparition of the woman in white, which terrorized her and children whenever her husband was away on business. Zadora claimed the ghost was not Mary but in fact was the ghost was one of Fairbank’s mistresses. Zadora went on to say, “This is the first time I’m coming out publicly saying that termites weren’t the real reason we had to raze Pickfair…You can deal with termites. You can deal with plumbing issues. But you can’t deal with the supernatural.”

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Errol Flynn’s House
3100 Torreyson Pl. Los Angeles 90046
Swashbuckling actor Errol Flynn’s home is said to be dwelled in by his spirit. It’s no surprise that he’s still attached to it even in the afterlife, as the actor was said to have built it from the ground up. Flynn initially had a modest ranch-style home put up and he added little amenities a bit at a time through the years. After his death, the property was eventually purchased by singer Ricky Nelson, whose daughter reported many mysterious happenings, as stated in Business Insider. Strange sounds like things being thrown at walls and glass breaking were assumed to be the doing of Flynn’s spirit. 

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Jean Harlow’s Home
9820 Easton Dr, Beverly Hills 90210
Actress Jean Harlow’s 
former rental home is located in a tony neighborhood near UCLA in Beverly Hills. Harlow lived in the home in the early 1930s and married MGM writer and director Paul Bern in the house’s living room. Allegedly on the second night after returning home from their honeymoon Bern flew into a rage and savagely beat the actress in the home’s downstairs bathroom, damaging her kidneys. It is rumored Bern was a closeted homosexual and could not perform in the bedroom. She later showed her bruises to her mother and soon after Harlow claims she was in her sitting room when she heard a gun shot. According to Harlow she ran downstairs and found Bern with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and a note that read, “Dearest Dear,/Unfortunately this is the only way to make good the frightful wrong I have done you and to wipe out my abject humiliation, I Love you./Paul/You understand that last night was only a comedy.” Rumors persisted that it was Harlow who pulled the trigger killing Bern or perhaps even her vengeful mother. Harlow moved out of the house soon after and it was sold to a family known only as the H Family. When the H Family moved in the 1970s on the very first night Mrs. H. felt an unseen presence and heard somebody softly whisper in her ear, “Please help me” in the hallway outside the master bedroom and it only got worse from there. The lights in the kitchen would repeatedly go on and off in the kitchen, heavy and heartbreaking sobs of a woman could often be heard in the living room, unexplained wind drafts were felt throughout the house, and a light knocking on the front door was often heard but no one was ever there. The H Family soon fled. The house was last listed for sale in 2013 for $995,000.

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George Reeve’s House
1579 Benedict Canyon Dr, Beverly Hills 90210
On June 16, 1959 the “Adventures of Superman” star allegedly took his own life with a single gunshot wound to the head. But some believe there’s more to the story. George Reeves was set to marry socialite Leonore Lemmon just days after the night he died. That night he was entertaining his soon-to-be-bride and their guests William Bliss, Robert Condon and Carol Van Ronkel. They claim he abruptly left the party and angrily went upstairs and only minutes later they heard the gunshot. Since then, there have been numerous reports that Reeves’ house is being haunted with inexplicably strange noises in the upstairs bedroom, and the strong stench of gunpowder, as well as personal belongings ending up in places where their owners did not leave them. Some subsequent owners have even claimed that Reeves appears at the foot of the bed dressed as his alter ego Superman during full moons. The home last sold in 1998 for a now dirt cheap $460,000 and hasn’t changed hands since, which has lead some to believe that perhaps Reeves has made peace and moved onto the other side.

Do you know of any homes in Los Angeles haunted by screen stars who died too soon?

Happy Halloween!


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