var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXXX-X'); pageTracker._trackPageview(); FORGOTTEN GHOSTS OF HOLLYWOOD BLVD WOOD SISTERS!

Saturday, September 8, 2007







This show would have an inclusion of a very detailed photograph album of the Woods Sisters and even their ghosts on film. It goes along with it. I also wrote a song about Donna Wood called Songbird in Heaven, the words taken from her eulogy and some of the newspaper clippings written about her when she passed away. Even the guitar I play tunes into the Woods and has their images and their photos through their lifetime on the guitar front!

Leslie Siegel has a photo album that would be of great interest to those involved in this site! It's of DONNA & GLORIA WOOD, two big band singers of the 1940's. I have photos of the birth of them, the death of them, and the rebirth of them! It's an amazing assortment of photos and a very interesting ghost tale indeed! I hope to share that with you all. I have photos of their ghosts, or impressions...and many photos where they took photos 70 years prior! See you all there with my Wood Sisters...

Leslie Siegel, has first hand knowledge of ghost hunting and even belongs to The Int'l Ghost Hunters Society. I have been tracking two sisters from the 1940's, Donna & Gloria Wood for almost 10 years. I have shots of their spirits and many interesting facts about strange things that have happened to me since I came in contact with these very little known sisters who sang in Horace Heidt’s band during the 1940’s. They struck me as very real ghosts that never finished what they intended. I wrote a novel about them called WHERE THE WOODS WERE. As the years passed they still stayed with me and I wondered if I was destined to spend my entire lifetime mooning over dead people, dead memories, dead folks I’d never met in life! I kept asking myself, “Is this how it was going to be? Indulging my graveyard quick fix? Sometimes, especially lately, I began secretly resenting the new sensations and intuitions I was receiving from the Wood Sisters. It was no longer simple gestures and actions people did. Now it encompassed the gestures and actions behind the gestures and actions people did -- What did it mean subconsciously? A simple phrase in a sentence said a certain way was revealing all sorts of innuendoes in my mind of communication from Donna & Gloria Wood.

This is a story connecting the physical world of reality to the spiritual universe beyond most people’s comprehension. It’s loosely based on a Massachusetts family, the Woods, mainly their two daughters Donna and Gloria, popular big band singers in their heyday. They left behind ageless photos that become one of the many links to them and their illustrious, yet ‘firefly’ past.

Born to early Boston radio stars Robert and Gertrude, both Donna and younger sister Gloria showed musical ability at early ages. Life growing up for them must have been idyllic and carefree, even with the presence of the Great Depression, and World War II looming. Both had voices, talent and looks, at least from what they left behind --- Literally thousands of photos chronicling the different stages of their lives, especially the highpoints, from childhood to budding starlets, to the tragedy of
Donna’s early 1947 death at the age of 29! Even their photo jaunts year after year at the same locations around Los Angeles held such significance because I began going to those same spots and taking photos of my own! So it’s admittable though;

I’m hooked on the Woods. Following their photo paths to the places they were at, then snapping myself in the pictures where they once stood has given me a detective attitude, an almost strange free association connection path leading right to Where The Woods Were and After!

After the photographs were in my possession, I pieced together the birth, life, death and actually became instrumental in the rebirth of them, especially Donna Wood, who got her first start from the once popular big band leader Horace Heidt while stuck in an elevator with him in Boston, around 1936. He saw Donna’s raw talent in that short amount of time and confining space, and eventually had in the campy Jimmy Stewart/Paulette Goddard movie POT O' GOLD lensed in 1941. Heidt easily encouraged United Artists to cast Donna as the silent sister to Goddard’s character (except during a few singing numbers), which they did. It was a hastily put together character bordering on featured extra and budding songbird. There are a few pictures of Donna taken on the set, plus many publicity shots made by the studio. She does a few chorus numbers, but it’s obvious that she was edged out, probably at Goddard’s insistence. I have the shots on the Pot O’ Gold set in my possession, even some negatives. Hunting down those studio photos in the collector shops strung along Hollywood Boulevard and actually finding a few, was a big thrill.

Gloria went on to become a 4-octave singing dynamo voice-over artist in her own right, and was married to Lee, the ailing elderly man who had called a Hollywood trade I worked for as an editorial assistant. He put it simply by saying that Diabetes claimed His Glo in March of 1995. I found that eerie because it was exactly 40 years after her parents passed away in March of 1955, at least from the information uncovered from the photos!

“Perhaps there may be a story for the magazine to write about Gloria and her sister Donna Wood,” Lee prodded hopefully. By the first 30 seconds of our conversation, I sensed more than a story, something bigger! “The heck with the story, there was more here than that…” my racing mind blared before I did! But maybe my ‘prequel’ to the Wood Sisters and my true blood-love for the 1940’s must have started when working for and traveling with the songwriter who wrote UNFOREGTTABLE by Nat King Cole. Irv was in his 80’s by the time he and I met, but we traveled all over the world together. He’d written other songs like THROW MAMA FROM THE TRAIN, PRELUDE TO A KISS, and yes, ME, MYSELF & I … hundreds of other ditties that were famous back then and then, one day out of the blue, the Wood Family dropped into my life!

In my present, most people seem intrigued with my fascination for the Wood Sisters. Then there are those piqued individuals that question my focus for the Woods, a family I’d never met in life. But I’m always still turning over some stone about this family, and have stumbled across some really great cases, some dead ends, others interesting, many coincidental, but all related to the photos proclaiming Where the Woods Were! (“We are the Woods!”) It seemed easy for them to rebuke my childlike views on what living life was, as well as what was the Great Beyond. But the Wood Sisters represent my child’s fantasy, an adventure into the Unknown after life, or at least a peek at best!

Let’s start with eldest daughter Donna Wood. Didn’t know her in life, only after her early death at age 29 in April of 1947, as stated above. Born in Arlington, MA April 14, 1917, Donna’s birth marked the 5-year anniversary of Titanic, already a pall set upon a newborn’s first breath. That and the height of World War I always foreshadowed a ‘firefly’ lifespan.

Leslie Siegel Ghost writer and investigator knows deep down inside, the moment after laying eyes on that first photograph taken ages ago, that their residue and essences reached out for something missed! Meeting the Woods in 1997, exactly 50 years after Donna’s passing, started out simple enough. To recap: A phone call from one of her forgotten ailing relatives, a trip to Beverly Hills, being introduced to them ... or at least what they were 50 years almost to the date after Donna died so suddenly, and so young. Suddenly, 6 cardboard boxes of their family mementos sprang into my possession. The photos date as far back as 1865 and range on up to the late 1950's of who Donna and Glo were!

For the shoot on Hollywood Blvd. where the Woods roamed, my perky, free-spirited nature knows that the past is wide open for the percolating Wood family spirits springing forth, happy to be remembered, as they wanted to be recalled in the many pictures left behind by them. It's their life and times, and I often wondered if they subconsciously thought someone like me, Leslie Siegel would one day unearth their photos and think of them and bring them to the Internet.

That thought brings other strange thoughts to light about life and death. In a strange way, I learned from sitting around with Lee (and Irv), that the old seem to revert back to a childlike state. But Glo’s husband never ended up resenting my enthusiasm toward the end of his life as Mr. Unforgettable did.

Flash back to when World War II broke out! Donna and Glo were out here in California filming a movie and singing with the Big Bands in town, going on War Bond tours, meeting Bob Hope, Donna even getting married in the thick of it all, mid-1943! She married the head army band conductor and Colonel! He was no lightweight either, and flew fighter planes on dangerous missions. His name was Lee! That said a lot about Gloria’s fascination when she met her Lee, the Lee I’d been hanging around with of late.

During the time Donna was alive and married, Gloria could have had a thing for her sister’s tall, blond, blue-eyed, handsome hubby. I doubt it was by chance or ironic that 20 years later in 1963, Glo meets her sister-in-laws husband, also named Lee and falls for him (a blond, blue-eyed, cutie in his own right). And then came the controversial Family Blacksheeping it eventually caused, at least from what her later diaries shortly before her death in 1995 stated.
And I’ve never been able to find any trace of Donna’s Lee (believe me, I’ve tried).

The only thing that sheds any light on his being was that he once worked for a Beverly Hills newspaper called The Citizen. There was a small, almost missible article on James Roosevelt, son of the president, who produced POT O’ GOLD, the Jimmy Stewart movie Donna made her debut in. No mention of Donna’s Lee, but the tie-in was there, a small thread of his existence, especially with the information I was going on – small articles, clipped gossip columns, hometown newspaper clippings and obituaries mostly; and of course, the numerous pictures of them posing so handsomely candid.

The question that started burning in Kate's brain was: What would Donna have become if she hadn't of passed away at age 29? Would she have surpassed Gloria's mini-stardom? Some photos reveal a friendly competition between the sisters. They were close, yes, but when Donna died, her sister passed the mark the older woman had achieved from the shots of Gloria at Donna's gravesite in the early 1950's.

And something else was very strange. As mentioned earlier, Gloria ended up married to another Lee, who was blond and blue-eyed. In many pictures, even before the second Lee, you can see that Glo took the same pictures and poses as Donna did with her Lee. Year after year, until her death, there are tons of photos of her and Lee. Those photos were matched by Gloria with a different Lee, years later! Plus, from reading up on the diaries, Gloria mentions how sorry she was for any pain caused to Peggy, her brother’s wife’s sister. She is constantly apologizing throughout the diary for basically stealing away her brother’s wife’s sister’s husband (Lee #2).

But, it was when Katie found a 1943 postcard sent to Gloria Wood at her small apartment - '9328' Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills - that she realized how much of her own past really did parallel the Wood's. For many years, starting in 1983 (exactly 40 years after Gloria), Katie lived at '9328' Beverly Crest Drive, in Beverly Hills!

Then she moved to 312 S. Elm Drive, finally ending her 12-year stint at 261 S. Reeves Drive, inner-city Beverly Hills, the two streets on either side of Donna Wood's 132 S. Canon Drive, and just up the street from Gloria's Beverwil house and first 9328 Olympic Blvd. address. And Kate did not miss the play on the number combos with Donna's address and hers on Reeves Drive in Beverly Hills, CA.

This cleared the way for other coincidences. But everything done and said, I’m constantly led back to the galore of pictures! It’s first obvious that the Wood Family didn't want to be forgotten, almost as if those musty lifeforce boxes were meant to fall into my hands because I am the sort of gal that reveries and preserves, making it part of my own cycle, although the Woods are not related to me by blood. I spend many hours going through those (Their) boxes like savoring Godiva Chocolates. They call out to me everyday. They say, “Oh, Kate, you are a true historian, thank you Kate!” Many think I’ve become obsessed (or maybe possessed by) with the Woods --- people who are dead, passed away, classified as ‘almost yesterday’s news’. Maybe that's true, but they are such special entities, and I sense them strongly entwined. I sometimes feel their oddly familiar essences, but blatantly. By the time 5 years had passed, I’d invite it, look for them everywhere, finding them in most obvious places. They manifest themselves (or I allow them --- maybe a bit of both) to become engrained in my life, like a new relationship. It started when I began matching up their photos with present day locations then going to those locations and taking present-day shots (as Gloria did). It is truly fascinating, like stirring up something longing to be let out again in some mystic and photographic way. I mimic the old shots of them, placing myself in the same spots, locations and stances, but 60 years apart. To me, it reflects a bond of sorts, maybe that time is the in the same continuum.

And what about the time continuum? Who knows. But, I give the picture an effecting pose, while matching the family at Donna's gravestone year after year, mugging it up for the camera. At times it’s an odd space, especially when thinking of them while watching t.v. The channels come alive with their subtle messages, especially Donna and Gloria, whose pictures hang in the bedroom (over the t.v. stand) … And the highlights in their lives, so fleeting, but clear as if they happened but I forgot I was there, almost like I am old and of failing memory, so I remember them, but can’t recall spending time with them, but I did (procured by looking at the pictures). Like when a family member tells you something funny you did as a baby so many times, that you start to vaguely remember it, but can’t quite recall.

In the meantime, a blueprint (lately she had been thinking it had been there her whole life) formed in my mind of Donna's life, times and death when snapshots of the singer's coffin, gravestone and funeral were seen. Although it was a sad occasion, family members smiled, as if they were having a party by the woman's grave. It's evident on their expressions, especially Gloria Wood's, in pictures taken at the site years later.

Obituaries in '47, both from her hometown and Hollywood, stated 29 year old Donna Wood died mysteriously of some sort of heart disorder, but had married a musical conductor, Lee Hackler, (ironically the first name of Gloria's husband), and lived at 132 South Canon Drive in Beverly Hills, California for 7 years until her April 8, 1947, 11:00 p.m. untimely death! For some reason, it was all starting to sound like a story Kate had heard for years and years ... yarns spun by older relatives only visiting once every year. But she felt such kindred feelings radiating in and out of her airspace. Some of it came from within herself, but she could feel an underlying pull toward the Woods beaming their own sort of ghostly grace. She would follow this family and find out all she could, even trying to track down lost relatives.

This outline will be cut down considerably, but I wanted you to get the full idea!


In the front of the Broadway Building on Hollywood Blvd.; Vine where Howard Hughes had offices on the 9th floor… He conducted his business there and would drive his car in the garage underground and take the huge freight elevator up to the 9th floor so he could avoid people. He had the elevators set in the building to always come to the 9th floor, even if someone in the lobby rang first. That was in the late 1930’s-1940’s. In the late 1930’s there was an accident when they were repairing an elevator shaft and a woman coming to visit Howard Hughes unknowingly stepped into the elevator shaft and crashed to her death. Some even got the story twisted that she had a crush on Hughes and he rebuked her so she threatened to kill herself in the shaft… And she walks into the shaft and falls to her death. Some say it was an accident, but it was covered up. Flash forward to present day. There are offices there, even a movie company on the 9th floor, and a huge telemarketing co on the 5th. During break they’d head for the elevators for cig breaks only to find the elevators delayed. Then the elevator would come and we’d push 1st floor, but the elevator would travel up to the 9th floor. The doors would fling open and no one was there. Then the elevator would shot and slowly make it’s way back to the fifth floor and pick up more who had buzzed the elevator. They would be picked up and then it was back up to the 9th again, same drill. Finally, the elevator would let us out of its clutches and travel very fast down to the lobby… It was packed tight by then. People were a bit rattled over it.

Once a girl there and myself dared each other to get on the old car elevator. It was working and inviting, with an open gate. We stepped in and pulled the old lever that shut the old style gate closed and pulled the big handle to “5”. I felt like I was starting up the Titanic. The elevator was moving, but it was going up to the 9th floor. Once there, the door would not open. We pushed 5 again and the elevator took us to the 5th floor but the doors would not budge and by that time we were screaming our heads off and full of terror! The elevator seemed to be going even faster back to the 9th floor. It stopped abruptly then headed right back to the 5th, but took us down to the dreaded basement where no one lurked…. Then it was a fast ride, as if the controls were stuck, back to the 9th. Finally we were screaming, “Howard Hughes, let us go, let us go, please…” My friend was crying and I was truly afraid. Just as quick as it began, the elevator gave us up to the 5th and the doors opened and we ran out!

Leslie Siegel started telling anyone who would listen and even called Fritz Coleman of Channel 7 weather! He was very interested and wanted to send a crew down for a Halloween broadcast of the weather and when I tried to clear it with security, I was fired. The day Leslie Siegel came to pick up her last check, Leslie SIegel saw tons of elevator trucks lined up and down Vine! It would seem that the owners of the Broadway got wind of the stories circulating and didn’t want Fritz Coleman or the local news to see the code violations that must have scared them, so they called all the owners of all the big buildings on Vine and then called the Elevator trucks to re set all elevators up and down Vine. They even tried to re set the ones in Hughes building! She lost my job the next day and that was that.


Death is the beginning of life according to the essences of the ghosts Leslie Siegel Novelist and ghost story writer has encountered! It's easy to live beyond the breath in the body. Can we really come out of the small confines like a molting snake? What is Death anyways? A name, that is all so let's not make it a bad thing, a dark dank thing Can you say to yourself or others this: "I am not afraid of the Unknown."

Some special peoiple live inthe spotlight garnering the attentin from the media, paparazzi, fans, and other hang ons; Celebrity is a daily grind in our nation and abroad so is it better to be famous or infamous as far as celebrities seem ready to live either mode. Leslie Siegel novelist has had the pleasure and pain of meeting many of them in real life, even more than catch a fast wake toward the red carpet!

Leslie Siegel had the luck to be able to be with a man who worked for Forest Lawn in Glenadle where Lucille Ball was cremated and interred (buried) with not much fanfare. The golden key sectin where she is without Desi Arnaz, but with her mom Desi Ball is small and unkempt and you would not believe it was really her resting place but it is! Lucy died during surgery on April 26, 1989 at age 77 and still inhabiting her mantion at 1000 North Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills where Leslie Siegel worked next door for a novelist for many years and even saw Lucy putting on her makeup through a window one evening. Leslie Siegel has heard of strange thing at that house since others took it over! Broken windows and doors, voices screaming out of nowhere, noise in attic and moving furniture inside and outside the home!

Jump to Bonnie and Clyde We all know them the mean and notorious outlaws of the 1930’s killed with one thousand rounds of bullets, their car on display somewher ein Las Vegas! May 23, 1934 in Louisiana the saw the end. One sign stands there marking the vent to draw tourists but ghostly happenings do happen there. Forms of a woman and man running to nowhere are seen. A lot Photographs seem to yiueld ghostly ectoplasms, and images running in a falsh.

Al Capone – The notorious Chicago gangster who led the city's illegal activities during the Prohibition era has been rumored to haunt a couple of locations. Allegedly, when people are disrespectful while visiting his family plot at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois, he is said to appear. Also, at Alcatraz, where Capone was one of the first inmates, spectral banjo music has often been heard coming from inside his old cell.

Lon Chaney, Sr. – Remembered primarily as the pioneer actor of horror films during the silent film era, Chaney died in 1930. Today, his spirit is said to haunt Sound Stage 28 at Universal Studios. This stage was used for the film Phantom of the Opera, and Chaney’s caped spirit has been seen running along the catwalks above the stage. Other phenomena reported to occur here include lights that turn on and off and doors that open and close by themselves.

Montgomery Clift – A popular film star of the 1950’s and 60’s, Montgomery Clift was a four-time Oscar nominated actor who is best known for his roles in A Place in the Sun, From Here to Eternity and Judgment at Nuremberg. His spirit has been seen at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, most often in Room 928. It was here that he spent a three months in 1953 where he was known to pace back and forth, memorizing his lines for From Here to Eternity. Today, unexplained loud noises are often heard coming from the otherwise empty suite, phone is continually found to be off the hook, and unexplainable cold spots are felt in the room. Others sense the actor’s presence and reportedly, one guest felt an invisible hand patting her shoulder.

Joan Crawford – From silent star to camp queen, Joan Crawford’s film career spanned some 45 years. Her former home, the Crawford House, is said to be haunted by her spirit as well as many others. Though the house has been exorcised many times, these ghosts refuse to leave.

James Dean – While no actual reports have been made of Dean’s spirit, an extremely interesting legend persists of a curse on his beloved Porsche Spyder. Dean, the popular fresh faced Hollywood star of the early 1950’s, was known to live in the “fast-lane.” He paid for it with his life when he was killed in a head on collision on September 30, 1955. Dean purchased the car with the intent to race it; however, he never got the chance, as just weeks after its purchase, he died in the vehicle. Afterwards, anyone who came in contact with the car or its parts began to suffer injuries and death until the vehicle finally mysteriously disappeared.

James Dean and his Porsche Spyder before he was

killed in the car.

Redd Foxx – The popular star of the long running “Sanford & Son” television series has been known to haunt Stage 31 at Paramount Studios where he died of a heart attack. At the studio people have heard him laughing at the jokes and claim he just kind of hangs around. More often, the comedian is known to haunt his former home in Las Vegas. After a terrible battle with the IRS, he lost the home when the IRS forced the sale. The new owner reportedly saw Foxx’s apparition walking around in a bathrobe. Other strange occurrences included lights that turned on and off by themselves and a sliding glass door constantly opening of its own accord. Today the building houses offices for Nevada Aqua Air Systems. Continuing to have trouble with the sliding door, they finally replaced it with a wooden swinging door. However, this didn’t stop the door from opening with invisible hands.

Benjamin Franklin – Instrumental in laying the government’s foundation when the United States was first established, Franklin was also known for his work as a writer, inventor, philosopher, and scientist. Today, Franklin is said to haunt the Philosophical Society’s library in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Some people have even reported that the Philosophical Society's statue of Franklin has been seen dancing along the streets.

Clark Gable – One of the biggest box office stars during the 1930’s and ‘40’s, both Clark Gable and his wife, Carole Lombard are said to haunt the Oatman Hotel in Oatman, Arizona. After they married, in Kingman, they spent their honeymoon at the Oatman Hotel.


Jean Harlow – The phrase “blonde bombshell” was coined for Jean Harlow during her short career in Hollywood. In 1932, she married MGM studio executive Paul Bern who was said to have beaten her viciously. Bern killed committed suicide the same year in their upstairs bedroom. After appearing in three dozen films between 1927 and 1937, her career was cut short when she died at the age of 26 of kidney failure. Though the kidney failure is partially attributed to a childhood illness, some say it was made worse by the frequent beatings she suffered at the hands of Bern. Both Harlow and Bern have been seen numerous times in the mansion they once called home.

Harry Houdini – Though Houdini didn’t believe in spiritualism, his ghost is said to haunt a couple of locations. At Jacki Gaughan’s Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, a magic show held here is a tribute to Houdini’s talents as an escape artist and magician. Staff believes the showroom is haunted by a ghost who likes to play pranks and move items around. Many of these same people think the ghost is none other than Houdini himself, perhaps lingering to ensure they are “doing it right.” The most common place that Houdini has been sighted is the property where his mansion once stood in Laurel Canyon. Though destroyed by fire in 1959, many people have allegedly seen his apparition lurking about the old property.

Thomas Ince – considered one of the visionary pioneers of American movies, Ince was one of the most respected directors of the silent film era. He was a co-founder of Culver Studios which would later become MGM. In 1924 he died of heart failure but apparently remains at the lot that was once Culver Studios.

Andrew Jackson – Jackson was the seventh President of the United States, serving from 1829 to 1837. After his death, he was heard stomping and swearing in the Rose Room of the White house by none other than Mary Todd Lincoln.

Jesse James – Jesse James was originally buried at the family farm in Kearney, Missouri, however, his body was later moved to the Mount Olivet Cemetery in town to be buried next to his wife. Though his remains are no longer at the farm, many believe he has never left. All kinds of strange events continually occur at the farm such as doors that slam closed by themselves, lights that move both inside and outside of the property buildings, and an overwhelming sense that an unearthly presence lingers. Others report hearing the sounds of pounding hooves, muffled shots and cries that are reminiscent of the area history, dating back to events of the Civil War.

Thomas Jefferson – The third President of the United States, from 1801 to 1809 was known to retire to the Oval Office on numerous occasions to relax and play the violin. Over the years, there have been numerous reports of the sounds of those ghostly strings coming from the Oval Office.

Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum - Black Jack was the only train robber ever hanged for this crime in the State of New Mexico . Known to be a charming man, he was also a renowned road agent, making off with loot from the steam engines of the day. Today, this Old West outlaw is said to haunt one of his favorite hideout caves near Folsom, New Mexico .

Robert E. Lee – Confederate General in the Civil War, Lee led a number of successful battles before his surrender at the Appomatox Court House in April of 1865. Today, his spirit has regressed back to a four year old child where he has been spied playing in the yard of his childhood home in Alexandria, Virginia. Said to be an impish spirit, he is known to play pranks like ringing the doorbell and moving objects within the house. His giggles are often heard throughout the house. Sometimes he is seen with a ghostly black dog and the spirits of two young girls, who are thought to be his sisters.

John Lennon – This former Beatle is said to haunt The Dakota building at 1 west 72nd Street in New York City, where he was shot to death.

Liberace – Known for his incredible piano playing skills, along with his charisma and diamonds, Liberace died of AIDs in 1987. According to numerous reports, the entertainer’s spirit has taken up residence at a restaurant called Carluccio's Tivoli Gardens. Liberace once owned the restaurant located just a few block off the Las Vegas Strip. Next to the dining room, Liberace had his own private lounge where he entertained close friends. From here, he was known to sometimes slip into the main dinging room to tinkle the keys of the piano to the delight of unsuspecting diners. Today, staff and guests alike believe that the flamboyant pianist has never left, as there are numerous reports of electrical surges, bottles that tip over for no reason, and ladies' restroom stalls that lock and unlock themselves. On one occasion the electricity went off and would not come back on until someone realized it was Liberace’s birthday. After they wished him a happy one, the lights inexplicably came back on. Some report seeing his spirit outside the windows.

Abraham Lincoln – The most often spied spirit of all of our American Presidents, Lincoln was know to be a believer in the supernatural. President Lincoln is known to haunt not only the White House, but also several sites in Springfield, Illinois where his political career began. Famous occupants of the White House, including President Theodore Roosevelt and First Lady Grace Coolidge, reported seeing a tall, gaunt figure in several rooms of the residence. Others who have been walking by the White House have reported seeing a shadow of Lincoln's dimensions in the window of the Oval Office where the president often stood gazing at the Potomac River during the days of the Civil War. In Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln's spirit is most often linked his tomb at Oakridge Cemetery. Over the years, a number of stories have been told by tourists and staff members of experiencing uncomfortable feelings and hearing phantom footsteps, whispers, muffled voices, and weeping. Lincoln has also been reported to have been seen walking the streets surrounding Springfield's original courthouse, as well as the hallways of his former home. Others have reported seeing the ghost of Mary Lincoln at their old home located at 413 South Eighth Street.

Carole Lombard - Carole Lombard was one of Hollywood's top comedy actresses in the 1930s. She married Clark Gable in 1939 and the pair were said to have one of Hollywood's ideal marriages. However, their love was cut short when Lombard was killed in a plane crash just three years later. Her spirit has been seen near the suite she shared with Clark Gable at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Both her and beloved husband, Gable, allegedly also haunt the Oatman Hotel in Oatman, Arizona, where they spent their honeymoon.

Continued Next Page

Several presidents are said to haunt the White House including Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Andrew Jackson.

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From the Rocky Mountain General Store

Ghost & Mystery Books - Legends of America and the Rocky Mountain General Store has collected a number of Ghost & Mystery books for our ghost hunting enthusiasts. For many of these, we have only one available. To see this varied collection, click HERE!

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The British TV show Dead Famous planned a live three day ghost hunt in the film capital. To make it the best possible show they brought in some of the best paranormal investigators on the west coast. Debbie and I were included in the list of illustrious people selected to take part. We were both flattered to be included but, as the shoot went on we became more and more concerned, for with each day the events became more disturbing . It seems no one had asked the permission of the ghosts for this presentation.

Debbie and I were flown in to Los Angeles airport in a small airplane. Its been a while since I have flown in an airplane with propellers and I had forgotten the rough ride, the loud engines, and the unique side-to-side motion that leaves your stomach in a knot. Debbie was quiet during the ride, her hands white as she gripped the seat. I wondered if she was communing with spirits or praying not to become one just yet.

We met the Butlers, Tom and Lisa, who are experts in Electronic Voice Phenomena, the recording of spirit voices on tape. They were the advisors on the Hollywood film White Noise that came out a while back.

We were taken to the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, a place I have never stayed before. We were given a grand room on the 16th floor, with a view of the LA Skyline. The next day we would be transported to the base of operations for the three day show -- an old movie palace not far away. We were not told what was planned for us. We were completely in the dark.

The next day we were gathered with the others for a trip to the Los Angeles Theater, a massive building where movies were once projected. In its day, it was the state-of-the-art and many believed it was haunted by the stars who once came there. We were taken to a side door. Cables, grips, cameramen, and lights were everywhere. The company fed us a simple lunch and we were taken to the opulent lobby, a gold leaf nightmare only Louis XIV or Donald Trump could love.

The lobby was set with tables and chairs. Many who came were dressed in evening gowns and tuxedos. I felt underdressed in my cloth coat and loose tie. The host of the show was a young British fellow, named Chris Parker, a heart throb on a British Soap and a stand in for the actor who plays Harry Potter. A nice enough lad, he seemed a bit confused by it all and a bit skeptical. The group had hoped to contact the spirit of Charlie Chaplin that night. They had invited his grand daughter to attend just in case the comedy genius made an appearance. Alas, he failed to show up at the theater where his film City Lights premiered so long ago.

Chris Fleming, a well known psychic, led a team though the darkened theater seeking ghosts. They got a few cold spots and some feelings, but nothing definite and no Charlie Chaplin. The show had interviews with the owners of the theater who recounted stories of ghostly encounters at the old place. Experts also gave testimony about the haunted behavior at the vast building. A local Hollywood historian told the story of the movie palace and its opening in 1930. Still, without a ghost or two, the show was becoming a bit dull, to say the least. Then they called Debbie to do a séance.

They selected the nursery to hold the séance because a phantom figure of a woman had been seen there. It was dark as pitch in the place, I was glad I had packed a ghost hunter's most important tool: a flashlight.

Here the walls were painted with murals of animals and fairy tales. In the dim light of candles and flashlights these murals took on a decidedly sinister look. The three bears scowled at us as red riding hood leered and a witch gave us a hateful glance while she tried to lure Hansel and Gretel into her house.

Debbie went into a trance almost at once while cameramen, in a near panic, got the scene ready for the live feed to England. I wondered if Debbie had time to prepare herself. A woman came through, she proved to be a non-celebrity who was seeking her dead son, Dan. With the help of Chris Fleming, the unhappy spirit who passed away in 1942 found her son and moved on as tears flowed. She was replaced by a male spirit who used Debbie’s body to speak. He identified himself as “George” who was a projectionist who died here. He warned us that there was an evil here. As he left, something cold and vile descended upon the group. The room became chilly as Debbie’s face contracted as if in pain. Something was trying to break through. I could see Debbie was in trouble. She wasn’t able to break free of it. Her psychic protections were not strong enough to keep out whatever it was. At last, she came out of the trance. Her hands were cold and weakened. I had to help her up and back to the theater. Mr. Fleming helped, without him I fear Debbie would have fallen. She was out of it for a quarter of an hour. The séance was the high point of the night. The next day we would be taken to another site and still more séances were planned. Debbie was so exhausted that she couldn’t leave the hotel room that night. We ordered hamburgers from room service and rested.

The next day we were spirited away to Culver City to the Culver Studios. Once the silent movie studio of early movie mogul Tom Ince, the place has been in continuous use from the 1920s to today. It is also well known as a haunted location. The studio builder, Tom Ince is rumored to haunt the lot along with Vivian Leigh the actress who filmed Gone With the Wind here in the late 1930s. Ince died under mysterious circumstances aboard the yacht of William Randolph Hearst. Some believe that he was shot by the newspaper king and the crime covered up. It was hoped that the psychic information gathered tonight might solve the mystery of his death once and for all. The place has a large office building that is constructed to resemble Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington in Virginia. This building and an old projection room used by Ince are singled out as haunted.

Debbie was dreading the live broadcast tonight. She was still suffering from the séance the day before. Powerful headaches gripped the back of her head and she was taking pain pills in a vain attempt to stop the massive migraine. A bungalow was the first target. Debbie, Chris Fleming, and the co-host Gail Porter walked through the place and Debbie channeled the spirit of a hair dresser named Margaret who wanted to re-arrange Chris’s hair. He felt hands moving through his locks as the ghostly hairdresser tried to continue her labors long after her last picture was wrapped.

The hall near the projection booth provided more chills as Debbie contacted the ghost of Ince. He proved an angry phantom who didn’t want to talk about the last hours of his life. In another location at the Mansion the cameraman encountered the well-dressed ghost of Vivian Leigh. In that spot, where an ornate staircase was located, Debbie contacted the spirit of Ms. Leigh. For a moment or two the ghost, speaking through Debbie, preened before the cameras once more.

Lastly, a séance was held in what was called the boat room. This was near the offices of Tom Ince. This time candles and a table were gathered for a proper séance circle. Here Debbie once again fell into a trance. Once again she sank deeper into a trance and from her lips the soft voice of a woman came through. She identified herself as a Jacqueline Logan, a silent movie actress who played in the film King or Kings. She was here seeking Cecil B. DeMille. Saddened that she was not remembered the teary-eyed Jacqueline went on only to be replaced by the angry Ince. From him the story of his death was pieced together. He was on the yacht sleeping when a bullet accidentally came through the bulkhead striking him in the head and killing him. The person who discharged the weapon: Marion Davies, Hearst’s mistress! The awful deed was an accident. No wonder the accident was covered up. The scandal could have damaged the Hearst Empire had wind of the truth gotten out. Debbie was exhausted and the severe headache was worse. I took her for a short walk through the mall near our hotel, then a simple meal and bed. Little did I know that the next day would be the worst.

Our next site was Hollywood High School where many stars had attended. The target for the day was the spirit of actress Lana Turner. A woman who was discovered while still a student at the school. Her business manager was present to confirm the data on the actress when and if we managed to make contact. To hedge their bets, the Dead Famous people brought out a number of psychics. This is never a wise idea as psychics interfere with one another. "Too many cooks and not enough Indians," as my father would say.

Schools are always filled with energy and this site was no different. Energy was picked up near the pool where an unfortunate student had once struck his head and passed away. The boys' locker room was also haunted as was the performing arts center and the library. The pressure was starting to tell. Attempts were made to seek out the spirit of Ms. Turner but without success. I later learned she was a student here only 28 days before she dropped out and took a studio contract. A ghostly woman was contacted in a brief séance in the library and at one point the spirit of Tom Ritter came through. One spirit was that of a teacher urging what he though were students to continue to rehearse for the next school play. The group went back to the boys' shower room. There was a presence there, but alas, it proved to be someone dead but not famous.

Debbie was a shaken heap at the end of the day. We posed for pictures, hugged cast members, and made our way back to the hotel room The three day event was done. It was a mixed success for us. We managed to make contact with some spirits, met some wonderful people, and got to visit places closed to the general public.

It was an experience Debbie and I will not forget even if we live to the age of a hundred and three. To us, all of the sites selected were confirmed as haunted . Though we may not have gotten the celebrities we were targeting, it would be well to remember that in the land of the dead all are equal.

My first encounter with a ghost was at Hollywood's Chinese Theater on a private tour with four other historians in 1992. I was the only one to walk through the area behind the movie screen, where once up to two hundred people waited to make their entrance for the live prologue before the feature film. Afterward, I climbed down from the stage and joined the others in the auditorium. Inexplicably, we all looked to the edge of the stage where I'd been standing. The velvet curtain hanging to the side was shaking violently. It seemed to be gripped by a pair of unseen hands that were jerking it back and forth. I turned to my companions.

"Do you see that?" I asked. They all did. I felt that someone was telling me I had invaded their territory, that it was meant to frighten me--and it did. I ran out into the lobby. I regret it now. I've been looking for ghosts ever since.

As Hollywood historians, Marc Wanamaker and I have learned a lot more than dates and places. The history of this town and the movie industry includes a fabulous nightlife, sensational scandals, dramatic suicides and gripping murder mysteries. We have collected these stories for years. Some we found to be only lore: Thelma Todd's ghost has never been seen near her cafe or in the garage where she died by anyone we could find. And Houdini most likely never even set foot in the Laurel Canyon mansion he is said to haunt.

Happily, we confirmed the presence of many Hollywood spirits, and discovered some new ones, but not without help. First, we enlisted the aid of Eddie Crispell, who has been psychic all her life. "If there's a ghost," Eddie told us, "I know it."

We also sought out Dr. Barry Taff, a parapsychologist who has examined more than 3,200 reported hauntings in twenty-six years. Many of those occurred between 1968 and 1978, when Taff served as research associate in the parapsychology lab of the University of California at Los Angeles--a division of the neuropsychiatry department which disbanded for lack of funding. Since then, Taff has served as technical advisor on such films as Poltergeist and Altered States, as well as consultant to the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Interpol and more. His most famous case was chronicled in the book and 1983 film The Entity.

"The one area of the paranormal that seems to be constant throughout the world is the appearance of ghosts and hauntings," Taff explains. "It's cross-cultural and stems from the very beginnings of civilization."

But what are ghosts? Why are they here? Why do some people see them while others do not? Scientifically, there are no set answers. Taff has witnessed ectoplasmic manifestations, balls of light, apportments--objects disappearing from one place and reappearing in another by their own volition--spontaneous fires, shaking rooms, bouncing furniture, unusual smells. "I know what we tend to call it, how we categorize it," he says, "but I don't know exactly what we're dealing with."

Spiritually, there are answers. Many believe ghosts are earthbound spirits of people who have died. Often, at the sites of great emotion or sudden death, there are reports of ghosts. The reasons spirits stay earthbound are varied. Some people, when living, don't believe there is anything after this life. When they find themselves, as spirits, still aware and able to move, they are confused and don't know where to go. And if one does believe in heaven and hell, it's only logical that a small percentage of spirits might get lost on the way.

Some spirits--like Clifton Webb's--are too attached to a place or loved one to leave. In the case of murder, the victim's spirit may remain seeking retribution, like the ghosts who haunt Bessie Love's home. In the case of a life cut short, like that of Sam Warner, the spirit may linger because of unfinished business.

The 1990 film Ghost comes closest to what many parapsychologists believe is the truth--that some spirits can materialize or move things, while some have not yet learned. Spirits draw on energy from the living to accomplish these feats. People who don't believe in ghosts give them no energy and therefore rarely witness phenomena. But fear is a very powerful energy, so people who are terrified often have more dramatic manifestations.

Eddie Crispell reasons that some people can easily tune into the frequency; others cannot. We don't know why. Many eyewitnesses in the book can describe the spirits they saw in detail: hair, clothes, features. Others saw only shadows. And two saw shimmering, jellyfish-type masses. The headless ghost of Beverly Glen is loving and comforting, while one of the spirits at the Comedy Store seems deeply malevolent. I believe in ghosts, am afraid of them and have been in the presence of some, yet I have never felt anything more than a cold spot.

The only common ground our ghosts share is their Hollywood haunts, but their shapes, sizes and personalities are as diverse as humankind. Now, isn't that a coincidence ...

Ghost Hunter Novelist Leslie Siegel's Encounter With Howard Hughes Ghost in Hollywood CA

Ghost Hunter Novelist Leslie Siegel's Encounter With Howard Hughes Ghost in Hollywood CA!
Written by Internaional2008 on Mar-18-08 3:29pm
Ghost Hunter Novelist Leslie Siegel's Encounter With Howard Hughes Ghost in Hollywood CA is a true story about the Broadway Building on Hollywood Blvd & Vine in Hollywood California where Howard Hughes had offices on the 9th floor during the 1930's! He conducted his business there and would drive his car in the garage underground and take the huge freight elevator up to the 9th floor so he could avoid people. He had the elevators set in the building to always come to the 9th floor, even if someone in the lobby rang first. In the late 1930s there was an accident when while they were repairing an elevator shaft and a woman coming to visit Howard Hughes unknowingly stepped into the elevator shaft and crashed to her death. Some even got the story twisted that she had a crush on Hughes and he rebuked her so she threatened to kill herself in the shaft! And then she walks into the shaft and falls to her death. Some say it was an accident, but it was covered up. Flash forward to present day. There are offices there, even a movie company on the 9th floor, and a huge telemarketing co on the 5th. During break they'd head for the elevators for cigerette breaks only to find the elevators delayed. Then the elevator would come and they'd push the 1st floor button, but the elevator would travel up to the 9th floor. The doors would fling open and no one was there. Then the elevator would shoot quickly back to the 5th floor and pick up more who had buzzed the elevator. They would be picked up and then it was back up to the 9th floor again, same drill. Finally, the elevator would let everyone out of its clutches and travel very fast down to the lobby level. It was packed tight by then. People were a bit rattled over it.

Leslie Siegel ghost hunter once worked at the building and one day she and another girl dared each other to get on the old car elevator. It was working and inviting, with an open gate. Ghost Hunter Leslie Siegel and her friend stepped in and pulled the old lever that shut the old style gate closed and pushed the big handle to a big red #5 for the 5th floor. Leslie Siegel felt like she was starting up the Titanic. The elevator was moving, but it was going up to the 9th floor. Once there, the door would not open. They pushed 5 again and the elevator took them to the 5th floor but the doors would not budge and by that time both girls were screaming their heads off and full of terror! The elevator seemed to be going even faster back up to the 9th floor and even the clammy air felt creepy. It stopped abruptly then headed right back to the 5th, but took the two women down to the dreaded basement where no one lurked. Then it was a fast ride, as if the controls were stuck, back to the 9th floor. Finally, both ladies were screaming, "Howard Hughes, let us go, let us go, please!" They were crying and truly afraid. But, just as quickly as it had begun, Howard Hughes' car elevator gave both girls up to the 5th floor hallway, the doors sliding open as both women ran out!

Leslie Siegel started telling anyone who would listen and even called a local newsman from ABC Channel 7 weather! He was very interested and wanted to send a crew down for a different spin broadcast of the weather and when Leslie Siegel tried to clear it with security at her job, she was fired. The day Leslie Siegel came to pick up her last check and saw tons of elevator trucks lined up and down Vine Street in Hollywood she thought about Howard Hughes and wondered! It would seem that the owners of the Broadway Building got wind of the story circulating and probably didn't want any local news people nosing around to see any code violations in the background of their shot, so just as much as Leslie Siegel was scared by Howard Hughes' ghost in the car elevator, the building owners must have been frightened by the publicity, so they called all the owners of all the big buildings on Vine, then in turn, called the Elevator companies to have them come to re set every single elevator in every single building on Vine. They even tried to re set the ones in Howard Hughes' old building! So the building still stands to this day, and has even been re done and re decorated, but Hughes' ghost still haunts the elevators on Vine!