My subject of the month is Hollywood Haunting’s but I really wanted to do one on Sonoma/Napa, they need all the support,prayers and good thoughts right now. Our little family in Los Angeles is extra worried since my mother in law lives right where the fires are, her town is still under mandatory evacuation. Sonoma/Napa have been hit so hard with wild fires and need everyone’s support.
Here are some links that give you many resources on how to help!
On a lighter note, lets glance at what makes this area so charming or should I say haunting, at least in Alfred Hitchcock’s eyes.
Sonoma County. So beautiful and haunting that Alfred Hitchcock picked to film ‘Shadow of a Doubt’ and ‘The Birds’ there. As I type, both film locations have not been damaged by the wild fires. Let’s hope it stays that way!
If you have seen the Birds, the school house is something you most likely remember from the film, but did you know its actually haunted? Apparitions of children have been seen, also people hear children laughing and playing. While filming The Birds, most of the cast felt like they were not alone in the building. To top it off, a lady dressed in Victorian was captured in a photograph looking out the window. I personally did not have any haunted experiences on my visits but maybe I should look at my photos a little more closely. The Birds Schoolhouse is located in Bodega, CA and rumors have it that the entire small town is haunted.
Hitchcock standing in front of the Schoolhouse with Tippi Hedren. Also a photo of the schoolhouse in all its original glory. The area looks pretty much the same.
I will make sure to look for any ghosts next time I visit! Below is my homage to The Birds. Alfred Hitchcock approved since I’m a blonde again.
One of my favorite things to do is roam a studio when no one is around, when production has ended and everyone has gone home. Why? Because you can feel the energy of Old Hollywood lurking around.
Paramount Studios, perhaps the most recognizable studio in the world and a studio with many ghost stories. It helps that the studio is located right next to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery where countless stars are buried. Reports are that people have seen spirits coming through the walls from the graveyard, such as silent film star Rudolph Valentino.
My first time going to Paramount Studios was at night. The big sound stages humming with silence and the old office buildings vacant with a few dim lights shining out the window. Do the spirits of Old Hollywood occupy the buildings when everyone goes home?
The Hart Building on the Paramount lot once housed Desilu Productions, as to why some people think the female ghost is Lucille Ball. It’s reported the woman carries a strong perfume scent of flowers/ Lucy’s favorite perfume. She also has been reported to throw things off desks, lights go off and on, and doors slamming shut on their own. A production company actually moved out of the building after experiencing strange things.
Reports that were given are sightings of a woman on the upper floors. One director reported seeing an attractive blonde lady dressed in attire from the 40s/50s, well that does not sound like it could be Lucy, especially since this report was when Lucille Ball was still living! Although it wouldn’t surprise me if Lucille Ball did haunt Paramount, she has lots of history there, all the way back to when Paramount was RKO studios. So does Lucy haunt her old production building? Someone does, but probably not Lucy, although her energy surely can be felt still at Paramount Studios! After all, it was where it all started for her.
Its October 1st! So you know what that means? Ghosts and everything Halloween related! It is my favorite time of year! This month I will only be posting about haunted places here in Los Angeles!
The Max Factor Building. You don’t find this one in the books written about Haunted Hollywood. In fact I am not sure if anyone knows if its truly haunted or not but most say they would not doubt it. The third floor ladies bathroom seems to carry an odd energy. I got the feeling I was not alone and heard noises like others were using the bathroom but yet I was the only one in there. I have since heard others report the exact same thing! People have also reported having their cameras stop working in the Blondes Only room.
The ladies bathroom in the Max Factor building, now the Hollywood Museum.
Perhaps it makes sense if this building is haunted, after all it houses tons of personal items from Hollywood stars of the Golden Age and was the location of where so many gave birth to their classic look for the silver screen. Maybe they are revisiting for a ghostly make over 😉
Go take a peak yourself! Located at, Hollywood Museum 2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
Castle Rock Beach. Today, it’s not a very popular spot and sadly it’s not the cleanest either. I wonder if many people realize this is where Marilyn Monroe had one of her first photo shoots,where Charlie Chaplin filmed scenes from The Adventurer and where the Mack Sennett bathing beauties did numerous photo shoots and films here.
Today, the actual rock that gave Castle Rock its name is not there, that would be the tall rock you see in the postcard. The highway had to be widened and away it went. Mother nature and developers have still left us with the haystack rock and the others around it! My fascination with this place begin when I read the book on Charlie Chaplin film locations, Silent Traces by John Bengston. Who is amazing on finding silent film locations! For a detailed read about Chaplin filming at this area please visit this link, Chaplin at the Beach .
Here is Haystack rock, the same location Chaplin is in above. Unfortunately, I can’t recreate the same viewpoint without the ocean knocking me down and being a bad swimmer I have to be really careful! Just knowing Chaplin filmed right there is such a treat!
As I continued researching this area I found out Mack Sennett did a lot of filming here too. Mack Sennett was known as the King Of Comedy. He was responsible for Mabel Normand becoming a star as well.
Mack Sennett was also popular for his bathing beauties that lasted until, 1915-1928. In my opinion they were the first pinups. They appeared in comedy short films, dressed in for that time scandalous bathing outfits. Many of Sennett’s bathing beauties went on to become popular film stars. Many photo shoots were done at Castle Rock beach. Most notably shot by Nelson Evans. There is a good chance you have seen a photograph that Evans has taken and if its a bathing beauty photo its a good chance it was taken at Castle Rock Beach. Evans was Sennett’s still photographer. I think Evans was one of the great photographers of old Hollywood and was one of the first to capture that “pinup” look.
When you visit Castle Rock Beach, one will notice, that is if you are familiar of the photos of Mack Sennett’s beauties/Nelson Evans that you can easily match up where a lot of those photographs were taken!
The original photo is on the left as you can see, that is me on the right recreating the photo,the best I could. The rock is jagged and bumpy , making it not so fun to climb and the model on the left did it in heels! I can only imagine the models had many scrapes on their legs climbing the rocks!
Today’s view and the past view! I would of lined it up better if I found the photo of the ladies holding hands before I went out to the beach. I would love to recreate this photo!
(Above) Past and present day photo of the same area. The pointy rock you see in first photo has eroded over time. We also see the same location in the photo below of Bessie Love.
I am sure many of you have see the photo above. I actually have this photo hanging in my bathroom. Its one of my favorites. As I was taking a bath and admiring the photo, I thought to myself that it looked like it was taken at Castle Rock Beach! So I started comparing rocks/landscape and I was right! Sometimes its hard when rocks have been eroded or even destroyed.
Just a few photos that were taken at Castle Rock Beach.
I’ll leave you with a few photos of me recreating scenes of a Mack Sennett Girl , right were so many in the past did similar shoots.
Awhile ago I got to go explore the old MGM lot. The first place I had to find was the once star dressing rooms. So after I had lunch in the middle of a soundstage with the Ray Donovan crew, I started my exploration. You can still feel the Old Hollywood energy at this studio and it certainly helped that it was nearly a ghost town around the studio on this particular Friday afternoon.
Jean Harlow picking pansy flowers! My favorite flowers too! Harlow is not too far from the dressing room area.
This is how that same area looks today. The building was the old sound department. It is now called the Myrna Loy building and is used for offices.
Again you can see Harlow right outside the door in the exact same area.
I believe Harlow and her mother are right outside the star dressing suites.Which is now the Hepburn building.
The photo of Harlow and her mother was taken by the windows you see of the Hepburn building above,they seem to match up. I’m assuming this was Harlow’s dressing room suite. Today it’s all offices.
This photo looks like it might of been taken outside the Hepburn building as well.
Harlow in the 1933 film Bombshell,where you can see glimpses of the dressing rooms at MGM. These rooms would be for the “up and coming” stars, although Garbo after becoming a big star wanted to stay in her first dressing room here. So I’ve heard.
In the photo, behind me you can see the stairway/dressing rooms as seen in the movie Bombshell, although it has changed.
Here is Norma Shearer walking from the dressing rooms. Below is what it looks like today.
I thought I would include Lana Turner on the MGM lot. I’ve walked down that same sidewalk!
The same view today. Between the Myrna Loy building and the Clark Gable building. I hope to visit the Sony lot again soon so I can find original gems still there from the MGM days. It has been my favorite studio to visit.
Above are movie shots from the film,Show People with Marion Davies, you also see the MGM dressing rooms in this silent film from 1928! I just finished watching it after this post and noticed,so I thought I had come back and include it!
Currently the Hollywood Museum has a great Jean Harlow exhibit. The Hollywood Museum is in the famous Max Factor building and is a must visit to anyone traveling to Hollywood. Its one of my favorite places to roam around in!
Jean Harlow cut the ribbon for the Blondes only room when Max Factor opened up his salon here in Hollywood, today you can go into the very same room. You can still feel the old Hollywood energy.
I encourage everyone to go to the Jean Harlow exhibit if you are in Los Angeles! It is well worth it! I had to go twice! Its so fun viewing all of the personal items of Jean Harlow, it was such a treat for me! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed the photos.
A few years ago after I had visited Bullocks on Wilshire, which is now a law school, I came home and started going through Jean Harlow photos. I don’t remember why I was going through photos of Harlow but as I was looking through them, one jumped out at me and I realized I was just at that exact same spot Harlow had taken that photo at! I did more digging and I came across more photos of Jean Harlow at the Bullocks building which look almost exactly the same today! In this post I have gathered the photos of Jean that were all taken in the same room at the Bullocks building in Los Angeles. Many more photos of Jean were taken at Bullocks in different rooms but that’s another post and more investigating. Bullocks was a high end department store,located at 3050 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles. Clark Gable and Greta Garbo were a few of the many stars who shopped here. Legendary costume designer Irene also had a salon on the second floor.
I am guessing it was a convenient place for Harlow to take photos here. They had their pick at gowns, most likely by designer Irene and lovely back drops for the photos already set. Of course these photo of Harlow are publicity for MGM and were taken by George Hurrell.
More photos of me by my favorite doors in the world!
Jean Harlow looking beautiful! The photo below you can see I am sitting in front of the very same painting Harlow is standing by in the above photo.
The same painting/spot below as well.
Jean Harlow of course in the same room but in a different spot again. The painting is the exact one that hangs in the same place below. The dresser you also see Harlow standing in front is still in that room but just in another spot. The same dresser is in the photo below and was located on the other wall kitty corner when I was there.
Today we stopped by an estate sale right in our neighborhood! It was a dog lovers dream! A vintage dog lovers dream 😉
But through the treasure of pups I found a designer Irene suit set while browsing through the Art Deco green bathroom. Designer Irene made costumes for Ginger Rogers and Claudette Colbert to name a few. By 1943 Irene was the lead costume designer at MGM.
A peek inside this historic duplex in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles. Lots of great paintings and fun treasures! My favorite of course is the Art Deco green bathroom.
I love going to estate sales to see inside houses that have untouched original features left. Today I went to the estate sale of Earl Adams,famed Hollywood hairdresser. He was Veronica Lake’s hairdresser from 1945-48. Earl Adams was responsible for her gorgeous waves. The house also once belonged to the Max Factor family, so its safe to say this house has many beauty secrets.