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The Knickerbocker Hotel

The Knickerbocker Hotel in Los Angeles seen with LA Insider Tours

Hollywood is made up of stories about legendary figures and stars throughout time. What we don’t often see under the glitz and glamour of the lights is the darker side of LA. With Halloween looming close, we thought it was a good time to highlight one of the most legendary haunted places in Hollywood – The Knickerbocker Hotel.

The Knickerbocker was built in 1925 and played a major role in Hollywood. It first opened as a luxury apartment building and became a hotel later where many celebrities hung out in the Renaissance Revival Bar. Rudolph Valentino frequented the bar and loved to dance to the live music. Marilyn Monroe and Joe Dimaggio honeymooned there in 1954 and Elvis Presley stayed there quite often. Other stars who lived and stayed at the Knickerbocker included rocker Jerry Lee Lewis, Mae West, Lana Turner, Cecil B. DeMille, Frank Sinatra, Laurel and Hardy and many others.

It also has seen its share of scandals. Legend has it that D.W. Griffith dropped dead of a cerebral hemorrhage in the hotel lobby and police dragged Frances Farmer kicking and screaming (and purportedly wrapped only in a shower curtain) across the lobby of the hotel after the famously troubled actress failed to report a DUI violation to her probation officer. Costume designer Irene Gibbons committed suicide at The Knickerbocker and Bess Houdini, widow of Harry Houdini, held seances there for a decade trying to reach her husband from beyond the grave.

Through the years, there have been many ghost sightings at The Knickerbocker including Rudolph Valentino, Marilyn Monroe and previous guests of the hotel. Reports of lights turning on and off and things moving on their own have swirled around this storied place. Although the most frequent hauntings have occurred in the bar, it is now sealed off from the rest of the hotel which is now a retirement building.

You can see this hotel and learn more about Hollywoods Famous scandals and hauntings on our Haunted Hollywood Tour. Set one up today!