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Los Angeles might seem like a place full of sunny days, pool parties, and palm trees, but it’s also full of ghost stories, legends, and lore. Numerous tour companies are more than happy to usher curious guests to supposedly haunted hotels, true crime locations, and famous graves. Here are six tours that are sure to leave you feeling a little chilly.
GHOULA, unlike the other organizations on this list, is more of a club. In their own words: “We are a social club dedicated to the preservation of greater L.A.’s rich haunted history, and the promotion and celebration of this local lore through ghostly gatherings, events, and publications.” They occasionally offer tours, conducted by bus, subway, or on foot. Their Haunted Red Line Tour, for instance, explores L.A. using that specific rail line. They’ve even collaborated with the Institute of Art and Olfaction (IAO) on an aromatic ghost tour, recreating the scents that purportedly divulge the location of some of Los Angeles’ most notorious spirits. Follow their activities online to see what eerie things they’re getting into next.
Local historians Kim Cooper and Richard Schave offer so many fascinating tours that it’s hard to choose among them. However, if it’s horror you’re after, we’d suggest one of their true crime tours. Echo Park Book of the Dead visits the grisly tales of L.A.’s seemingly bucolic “streetcar suburbs,” while Hotel Horrors and Main Street Vice delves into the true crime mysteries of downtown L.A.’s many old hotels, plus the former debauchery and shenanigans of Los Angeles’ Main Street.
Downtown LA Walking Tours gives you the opportunity to explore Los Angeles’ history, architecture, and lore on foot. Their Haunted Tales Tour highlights true crime and ghost stories, with tour stops including the site of the infamous L.A. Times bombing and Los Angeles’ earliest cemeteries. Tours generally last about two hours and are quite affordable at about $17 for adults (children 12 and under free).