17 Hollywood Ghost Stories and Urban Legends

Even though Hollywood is the city of the stars, it still has its fair share of ghost stories and urban legends. Given the rich history of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, many Hollywood ghost stories stem from something entertainment related.

Below is a list of the best Hollywood ghosts around. Some are terrifyingly gruesome, like the story of The Black Dahlia. Others are downright creepy, like the sad tale of Elisa Lam, while the rest are just notably odd, like the case of the Lizard People. Check out the list below and vote up the creepiest Hollywood legends and ghost stories. 

Photo: Michael E. Arth / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

  • 1
    1,522 VOTES

    If you're ever visiting Los Angeles, stay away from the Stay On Main hotel. It has one of the most gruesome histories in all of LA. Originally named the Cecil Hotel, the establishment has been home to two serial killers. Richard Ramirez, better known as The Night Stalker, was a self-described Satanist and was convicted of ending the lives of 13 people in 1989. While he went on his spree, he lived at the Cecil. The hotel was also home to another of America's notorious, Jack Unterweger, who terminated three women while staying at the hotel. 

    But the event that caused The Cecil to rename itself Stay On Main happened much more recently, with the passing of Elisa Lam. One day in 2013, guests started complaining about the water pressure, and upon investigation, they found a body inside a water tank on the roof. Security footage was eventually released showing Lam the night she disappeared, and it's one of the creepiest videos you'll ever see. For some reason, the elevator won't close for her, and she seems to be talking to someone who just isn't there. The circumstances surrounding her passing have never been confirmed.

    1,522 votes
  • The Black Dahlia
    Photo: Santa Barbara PD / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    1,200 VOTES

    It was a death that shocked the world. In 1947, the body of Elizabeth Short was found in a vacant lot at 3800 Norton Ave. The circumstances in which she was found are gruesome. She was mutilated, drained of blood, posed, and sliced in half at the waist. On top of all of that, she was given a "Glasgow smile," which means her cheeks were cut open from her lips to her ears.

    What has given this case such notoriety is that it still remains unsolved, and some of the ideas surrounding what actually happened to the Black Dahlia include more supernatural elements. 

    1,200 votes
  • James Dean's Cursed Car
    Photo: Warner Bros. / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    1,481 VOTES

    James Dean's Cursed Car

    One of Hollywood's most enduring urban legends revolves around James Dean's supposedly cursed car. After the young actor unexpectedly passed in a collison, the wrecked vehicle was bought by a man named George Barris. After it was towed to a repair shop, the car somehow slipped from a trailer it was on and crushed a mechanic's leg. Later, Barris sold the engine to two fellows by the name of Troy McHenry and William Eschrid. While they were racing each other using parts of the car, McHenry hit a tree and passed, while Eschrid was hurt when his car locked up and rolled over. 

    Barris later sold the two remaining tires, but when the new owner put them on his car, they blew out simultaneously and caused the car to run off the road. After that, two perps tried to come and lift the remaining parts of the car, but freak occurrences left them hurt in their attempt. Then, people attempted to put the car on display, but the first exhibit burned (with the car itself being completely undamaged), and the second one involved a freak circumstance that resulted in someone's hip breaking. 

    Of course, the curse did not stop there. A truck transporting the car lost control, causing the driver to fall out and somehow get crushed by the car after it fell off the back. Two more transport trucks tried to take the car, but the cursed car fell off both of them. The car mysteriously disappeared after that and hasn't been seen since. 

    1,481 votes
  • Paul Bern's House
    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain
    1,043 VOTES

    Paul Bern's House

    Sharon Tate would later become famous for being a victim of the Manson Family, but in 1966, she had a ghostly encounter that many believe was a premonition for her own grisly fate. She was staying at a house that once belonged to Paul Bern, a writer/director from the 1920s who was found with a gunshot wound to his head. The circumstances around his passing can only be described as mysterious, which unsurprisingly may have lead to some ghostly activity.

    Tate reported seeing not only the ghost of Paul Bern walking around at night, but also a figure at the bottom of the staircase with its throat cut. 

    1,043 votes
  • 5
    786 VOTES

    The Queen Mary

    Aboard the Queen Mary, ghostly events transpire. Spirits have been spotted in the gigantic ship's engine room, in the first class swimming pool, the second class swimming pool (ghosts really love pools apparently), the Queen's Salon, some first-class staterooms, and a third-class children's playroom.

    These spirits mostly include older people in 1930s attire, but there have been reports of a young girl with a teddy bear and the sound of a baby crying with seemingly no source. 

    786 votes
  • 6
    945 VOTES

    10050 Cielo Drive, Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles

    In August 1969, one of the most infamous offenses of all time happened at 10050 Cielo Drive when the Manson Family ended the lives of a pregnant Sharon Tate along with several others. It shocked the world with its grisly nature, but the story doesn't end there.

    There are claims that the spirits of those who passed are still haunting the place, with reports of full body apparitions and other ghostly phenomena occurring there on a regular basis.  

    945 votes