Hollywood loves its formula money-making stories. It loves the chick flick, the buddy syndrome, the action packed franchise super hero epic and perhaps above all, in a subliminal way, its creepy tales of ghosts and paranormal skullduggery. That’s probably because Hollywood lore insists that the entire city and surrounding areas is a living, breathing ghost story filled with curses, repetitive acts of demise and Will ‘O The Wisps. Movie central also has its share of fans of these stories. These fans celebrate events by acting them out, paying homage to their anniversaries and looking for true signs of phantoms along with professional spirit hunters and obsessive amateurs.
Griffith Park alone has cursed spots featuring men on horseback, a haunted bench, and the most famous of all — The Hollywood Sign, This Tuesday, take a dusky and atmospheric hike sponsored by GHOULA ( Ghost Hunters Of Urban Los Angeles) to pay tribute to one of the most iconic ghosts of Hollywood, Peg Entwhistle, the woman who jumped off the Hollywood Sign.
Peg was a British immigrant who first went to New York and had a fair amount of success in the late twenties on Broadway doing mostly supporting roles until there was enough of a buzz about her to warrant a trip to California to take on the booming business of talking pictures. Los Angeles was not obliging to the twenty something actress, and after her part in a strange horror film called “13 Women” was pared down to next to nothing, Peg became utterly despondent. On Sept. 16th, 1932, Peg Entwhisle left her uncle’s home in Beachwood Canyon to supposedly take a walk and get a pack of smokes. That was the last time she was seen alive.
The overlooked starlet took a long walk up to the Hollywoodland Sign,climbed up the letter H and flung herself into the brush and rocks below. Her handbag was found to contain this brief suicide note “I am afraid. I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.”
It has become a local tradition to hike to the sign on the anniversary of Peg Entwhistle’s death. Since everyone has their own pace while hiking, the the 3 mile trek into the Twilight Zone will begin between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM, with everybody meeting behind the H on the Hollywood sign. Peg has been seen dressed in a white gown jumpin from the sign, wandering the trails, and even traveling to the Beachwood Cafe, where she tapped on the window of a parked resident scaring the popcorn out of him. It is suggested that you take a small flashlight and lightweight clothes. I’m not sure if dogs are allowed. This event, like most spirits events, is absolutely free, so bring as many people, failed actors or not, for a walk through haunted history.
DIRECTIONS: Follow N. Beachwood Drive up the hill to the end (just before the “Sunset Ranch Hollywood” stables). You’ll see cars parked around a trail head, so park anywhere you can. Follow (on foot) the dirt trail up and along the ridge adjacent to the stables. Cell phone reception is not very good up there, so note the directions before you set off on foot. This trail will merge into a larger trail (Mulholland Hwy). Make a hairpin turn left (South-West) on this new trail, and follow it (going towards the Hollywood sign) until it dead ends at a paved road (Mt. Lee Drive). Turn right on the paved road, seemingly away from the Hollywood sign. The road will take you up the backside of Mt. Lee, offering great views of the San Fernando Valley and Forest Lawn, to the top of the mountain and a dramatic reveal of the Hollywood sign, the same view Peg Entwistle had before she jumped (incidentally Peg’s studio, RKO, is dead center in this view). Here is a link to a map, which you should study, before going out there, since its very easy to get turned around out there on the trails.