SoCal's Most Spirited Locations

Our sunny region is thick with the paranormal, or at least tales of The Great Beyond.

Every "Ghostbusters" fan knows that Dana Barrett's Central Park West building is "Spook Central," thanks to an excess amount of paranormal activity due to a long-ago gateway built for Gozer.

But could all of Los Angeles be described in a similar fashion? True, we don't have the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man stomping down Sunset Boulevard -- well, not yet, anyway -- but we do have a caboodle of otherworldly locations known for cold spots, strange sightings, and enough lore to out-lore most other cities' scariest tales.

Not to get competitive over the supernatural realm, of course; stories of the Other Side belong to all places.

Is it the presence of Hollywood, and all of those horror films made here, that ups our eeky ante over other major metropolises? The oodles of vintage buildings? The ocean air, which can lend an atmospheric fog?

Whatever whimsies-up our region, it is plentiful. But not always public; while you can drive by some purported-to-be-haunted spots, they're often located inside apartment buildings or on private property.

There are, however, a few places that can be explored, for free or for a ticket or after a dinner or lunch. No Slimers or Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men have been seen at the spots below, but the same cannot be said for other ethereal entities at...

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: The historic stay-over, found plunk in the middle of the heart of Hollywood Boulevard, is not only said to be haunted, but haunted by movie stars: Both Montgomery Clift and Carole Lombard have been seen, or heard, about its halls. (Mr. Clift practices trumpet for a role, still, in the stylish hotel, the story goes.) The lobby itself looks like it hails from a Hollywood film. But did that couch cushion, over there, have that impression just a minute ago?

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The Queen Mary: When you sail across the Atlantic Ocean over a thousand times -- 1,001, to be precise -- and you play a role in the second World War, surely you'll have some layers to you. And so this Long Beach landmark does. It's now a hotel, but you don't need to stay overnight to see if there are spirits about. A tour will do, and you can book a Sunday brunch, too, in one of the most Art Deco spaces in all of California. Where's the ghost action at? In several places, but the First-Class Swimming Pool is a hotspot.

The Pantages Theatre: Pretty much every cinema house or vaudeville venue built prior to 1930 has a shiver-inducing tale attached, and Los Angeles as plenty of those. But The Pantages, in all of its grandeur, might have something a little ghostly around its edges. Will you see an extra performer on stage, one who isn't actually there in corporeal form? Some say you might. The gorgeous landmark boasts a lightly supernatural sheen that befits its Tinseltown address.

Want more ghost stories, even after Halloween wraps? Try Ghoula for all things that levitate locally.

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