Halloween in West Hollywood
Here’s to hoping your Halloween, whether you haunted the neighborhood looking for candy or stayed at home curling up with a horrifying film, was a good one! It certainly was for the tens of thousands who swarmed Santa Monica Boulevard for last night’s Halloween Carnival.
Photos: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times
Happy Halloween! We’re marking today with a positively creepy Throwback Thursday. In 1925, Dr. Thomas Young, a Los Angeles dentist, was on trial in the slaying of his wife, whom he confessed to killing and burying in a cistern at their Beverly Glen cabin.
"About three hours before he was to face another tortuous day" in court, The Times’ Aug. 28, 1925, story recounts, Young "slew himself with an improvised garrot [sic] fashioned from a radio wire."
But that’s not what makes this the story we decided to share on Halloween. It’s Young’s apparent motive for the suicide.
The story mentions several possibilities, but, it says, “the most plausible reason” is the ghost of Young’s dead wife “haunting his prison cell.”
And his wife’s wasn’t the only ghost that visited him during his lifetime. The story goes on:
Dr. Young recently told four alienists during an examination of his sanity that frequently within the past four years he had been visited by his brother’s ghost. Like himself, his brother had slain a woman and then had committed suicide. The ghostly vision drove him from one city to another, never permitting Dr. Young to elude it, and eventually drove the dentist to Los Angeles, where he established his business, married the wealthy widow of California’s “olive king” and then murdered her for her fortune.
"I would see my brother’s vision just as I dropped off to sleep," he told the alienists. "It always appeared in a large hall. And I was always in the back of the hall and he was always up in the right corner. I could tell it was my brother by his form."
Always, when the vision appeared in the night, it would try to speak to Dr. Young, but he could never distinguish the words, Dr. Young told the alienists. The thing worried him, but did not frighten him, and he was never able to sleep.
Read the whole story: Apparitions Held Cause for Young’s Suicide
(Photos: Top: Dr. Thomas W. Young seen from waist up, holding a flower in Los Angeles in 1925. Credit: Los Angeles Times / UCLA Library. Bottom: Two detectives unearthing the remains of Grace Young at Beverly Glen cabin in Los Angeles in 1925. Credit: Los Angeles Times)
Yep. We’re sufficiently spooked now.
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And you definitely shouldn’t celebrate it by being like the person who declared that they would be handing out the above flyer instead of Halloween treats in Fargo, N.D. this year.
Some Pumpkins, San Fernando Valley, 1886.
Just some old-timey pumpkins, with Halloween merely a week away.
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Creepy Vintage Halloween Photographs
These wonderfully creepy images of Halloween’s past come from the book, Haunted Air. The book features dozens of anonymous vintage Halloween photos dating between 1875 and 1955. The photos in the book come from the personal collection of Ossian Brown, a British musician and artist. Even more surprising is that the book’s introduction was written by David Lynch. It’s a shame that people rarely wear homemade costumes anymore because they truly are much creepier than a packaged costume from Walmart. It’s time to break out an old sheet and start designing.
Halloween used to be horrifying.
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In a world of change, dancing puppets still delight: The Bob Baker Marionette Theater near downtown L.A. remains a magical place even as demand for its offerings has dimmed.
Still, inside the theater, the same old music from decades gone by continues to play under the same chandeliers. Puppeteers dressed in black still step out toward the audience, lit by lights from the long-gone Philharmonic Auditorium.
People come in who first came as children. They bring their children or even their grandchildren. They find a world extraordinarily close to the one they remember, not markedly altered by time.
No such happy ending’s yet in view for the venerable theater, which is mortgaged to the hilt and in arrears on taxes.
Check out more photos from the puppet show.
Photos: Nathan Palat, 5, gets an up-close look as puppeteer Adrian Rose controls her marionette during a performance of “Halloween Hoop-de-Doo” at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater near downtown Los Angeles. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
Oct. 31, 1987: On the 25th anniversary of the release of the classic Halloween song “Monster Mash,” creator Bobby Pickett poses for Los Angeles Times photographer Robert Gabriel at the Hollywood Wax Museum.
Happy Halloween, everyone! What are you doing tonight?
Restaurant serves up ghost stories all year: Workers at Barney’s Beanery in West Hollywood see — and sometimes feel — the evidence of mysterious beings.
Photo: Barney’s Beanery manager Jonah Dumont says he has seen the image of a man in a white shirt walk past his upstairs office about 20 times. Credit: Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times
The princess costume and the trick-or-treat dilemma: Glendora moms face a difficult choice on their son’s choice of holiday garb — protect his independent spirit or his tender feelings?
Anna and Louisa remember the sea of “Yes on 8” signs that sprouted around them in 2008, when the measure banning gay marriage was on the ballot. Gay marriage was rejected that year by voters, just months after the couple officially wed on June 17, the first day gay marriage was legal in California.
Now, Anna envisions those folks snubbing her trick-or-treating princess-boy.
"I imagine that when those Glendorans shut their doors, they’re going to say ‘See, that’s why lesbians shouldn’t raise children.’"
Photo: Luc Villeneuve, 4, has asked to go trick-or-treating as a princess. His moms, Anna and Louisa, with twins Jacob and Madeleine, aren’t sure how to respond. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times