Friday, February 3, 2012
Photo Essay: Pico House Ghost Hunt
Pico House is more or less an abandoned hotel situated in the middle of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument in Downtown Los Angeles...
...situated in Los Angeles Plaza, within earshot of the hustle and bustle of Olivera Street, supposedly the birthplace of the city of Los Angeles (though some might argue that the city was probably founded closer to the LA River).
Its relatively recently restored ground floor lobby is used for a variety of exhibitions and shoots, but its deeper, darker corners - the Masonic Hall, the theater, the basement - are rarely open to the public and only occasionally explored by some brave paranormalists.
And looky-loos like me.
Built in 1870, Pico House was built by former governor Pio Pico, whose ghost may still haunt the structure. It's more likely that the ghosts of some of the men and boys killed in the 1871 Chinese Massacre never left the scene of their demise.
Parts of the Pico House complex are certainly creeptastic (and ripe for photography), but haunted? We can't be sure. Apparently past ghost hunters have heard the Masons' "secret knock" coming from a door in the Masonic Hall, in front of which we heard a screw fell to the floor from...somewhere...in the dark.... We also saw lights apparently turn on and off - upon our command - in the basement. And the headache that began to plague me in the Masonic Hall, which subsided in the theater and the hotel, worsened dramatically in the basement.
When I reported it to one of our guides, she said, "Just take care of yourself."
"What does that mean?" I asked, pain intensifying.
"Go to your faith - your god, your spirituality, whatever it is - and hold onto that."
As everyone else plead with the other side that they just wanted to talk with them, get to know them, understand why they were there, etc., I was simply there to photograph it all. Ghosts or no ghosts.
The Masonic Hall
Merced Theater (the oldest theater in Los Angeles)
Pico House Hotel
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