I wasn’t looking for a portal to the spirit world, but I found one.
It all started on a weekday evening, I was alone, I wanted to be spooked in the worst way and was googling myself into a frenzy. I fell into ghoula.org and a call to ride aboard the Ecto Metro, dare I?
I decided to tempt fate. I set a date, cleared my schedule, and packed my travelling bag. With my faithful metro day pass, my trusty notebook, and a bottle of hand sanitizer it was time to journey to a part of the earth unexplored by me – North Hollywood.
The journey from my San Gabriel Valley apartment to the North Hollywood Metro Station was long and arduous. It was hot, there was traffic, I was scared, and there was nothing good on the radio. Where am I? Who am I? Why are there mannequins in that parking structure advertising Toyotas? Bravely I drove on. After navigating the complex paid/unpaid parking system I check and triple check the doors and car alarm. I don’t know what to expect in this foreign North Hollywoodland.
It was time.
I held my bag tight and descended the long staircase into the subterranean nether world that is The Red Line. Alone I made my way to Union Station. Alone I looked away awkwardly as various strange people took turns sitting next to me. Alone I checked and re-checked the stops desperate to see where I was and how much longer I had to go. Alone in The Red Line there is no cell phone service. Alone you can’t text a scream.
I ascended to the surface and looked frantically for the friend I arranged to meet. The friend I coaxed into this madcap adventure with me. I found her by the Amtrak wing, she was elated at having survived her own odyssey to get to Union Station, the 110. We were thankful. We were alive.
We had to find our guide, Mr GhouLA.org.
He was amongst the palms of Union Station, as promised. He was surrounded by those like us, adventurers waiting to be led into the depths of darkness.
Soon the stragglers were corralled and the group was formed, Mr GhouLA.org began, and we were transported to an early, ugly, more sinister version of LA that could not be imagined. I could see the atrocities that were committed before my ancestors thought to set foot here. I could see the victims’ spirits that still cannot rest. They all walk among us on Alameda Blvd.
As the tour progressed, we were led down The Red Line and into the richness that is Los Angeles. There are haunts from every time period: the early Native Americans, the Californios who lived this land when it was still Mexico, the actors and actresses of old Hollywood, they all exist congruently within our reality. The architecture, the spirits, the history – all of it together feels as though this city is as filled with the supernatural as it is the natural. We live quite literally in the city of angels, ghosts, and spirits.
The tour moved through time, space, places, and lore of LA unknown to me. The tour guide was excellent, he is someone who clearly “gets it” and puts in the effort and care to truly study the history of these ghost sightings and how LA became a hub of supernatural activity. In between stops he is highly approachable so one can inquire about their own ghost curiosities or historical tidbits. At the end of the night – when asked how the tour was – I could only stare into space and reply “amazing.”
For those wanting to take the journey for themselves go to http://ghoula.org/ if you dare!