Nowadays, when you pay a visit to the senior home called Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments on 1714 Ivar Ave in Los Angeles, California, you will happen upon the former glory known as the Knickerbocker Hotel. Standing 11 stories into the sky, this piece of property has a history that will certainly delight paranormal enthusiasts.
When it comes to Hollywood hot spots for haunted tales and ghost sightings, the former Knickerbocker Hotel has reports of seeing its fair share of celebrity presences from the afterlife. From romantic encounters to luxury getaways, the hotel has accommodated some of the biggest names in the entertainment business starting from the 1920s.
Hollywood encountered the illustrious Knickerbocker Hotel in 1925 when it was first constructed as a luxury apartment building. Later on, it became the infamous hotel that it is known as today. The brightest stars in Hollywood would especially gather at the Renaissance Revival bar. For instance, silent screen star Rudolph Valentino would actually ride his horse down from the Ivar Hills to have a drink and dance the tango. Live music was one of the features of the hotel, which played in the saloon.
Hotel for the Stars
A lot of familiar faces were seen at the hotel. Elvis Presley often stayed at the hotel. Musician Jerry Lee Lewis, actress Mae West, actress Lana Turner, singer Frank Sinatra, and comedy duo Laurel and Hardy are just among the many who have called the Knickerbocker Hotel their residence at one time or home away from home.
Attracting big names in Hollywood, the Knickerbocker had many impressive features, such as the large crystal chandelier located in the lobby. In the 1920s, it was priced as $120,000, which it today’s money exchange equals more than $1 million.
Scandals and Tragedies
The hotel also saw a great deal of scandals, including the demise of Frances Farmer, who had a reputation for being strong willed and wild. She was an actress of the 1930s and 1940s , during a time that looked down upon a woman who acted in such a manner. Since studio high-ups (and her mother) had a hard time controlling the actress , attempts were made to calm down her actions. It is rumored that she had a lobotomy performed on her.
In the end, documentation showed that Farmer had been declared sane and competent , a fact that her mother kept from her. Farmer lived in the Knickerbocker Hotel due to an obligation to Paramount Pictures and there have been claims that her ghost has appeared in the hotel because it once served as a residence. It was through the bar that Farmer was dragged half-nude. Her life would be marked by alcohol abuse, mental illness, arrests, and stints in a mental hospital.
For more information regarding the Knickerbocker Hotel, check out the articles titled, “Haunted Happenings at the Knickerbocker” and “Deaths and Ghosts at the Knickerbocker.”