August 13, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Santa Monica’s Basement Tavern and Other Westside Haunts

Three spooky places that pack a scare.

By Keldine Hull

By many accounts, the Westside is haunted year- round, but it’s the days leading up to Halloween that generate the most interest in the undead and the tales they carry with them. For those who believe in the supernatural (myself included), the Westside’s history and tryst with tragedy makes it the perfect stomping ground for ghosts too restless to leave. From the ruins of Murphy’s Ranch to the sands of Santa Monica Pier, the Westside is filled with old haunts that have just the right amount of spook for this creepy time of year. To get you started on your hair- raising, spine-tingling tour of some of California’s most haunted places, here are our top three favorite destinations. Disclaimer: you may see a ghost or two.

You’ve been warned.

Culver Studios

9336 West Washington Blvd.

Culver Studios is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of film producer Thomas Ince.

The year was 1919. Legendary silent film producer and “Father of the Western” Thomas Ince founded Culver Studios, where iconic films like “Gone With The Wind” and “Raging Bull” were filmed. Seven years later, at the height of his career, Ince mysteriously died following his 42nd birthday celebration aboard newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst’s USS Oneida. Rumors circulated attributing Ince’s death to murder by the hands of Hearst himself in a classic case of mistaken identity. The intended target: Charlie Chaplin. Nearly a century after opening the doors of Culver Studios, Ince is rumored to haunt the hallways of his grand, old studio. Among the ghosts of Hollywood’s past and a beloved era gone by, some say they can still hear his echoes in the night.

Dead Man’s Curve

Sunset Blvd.

Dead Man’s Curve on Sunset Blvd. near UCLA.

Surf – music legends Jan & Dean wrote about Sunset Blvd.’s infamous Dead Man’s Curve in their appropriately titled 1963 hit “Dead Man’s Curve.” The chorus is still as haunting as it was over 50 years ago. “(Dead Man’s Curve) you’d best keep away. (Dead Man’s Curve) I can hear ‘em say ‘Won’t come back from Dead Man’s Curve.’” While there isn’t a sign that directly marks where Dead Man’s Curve begins and ends, locals recognize it as a tight corner of Sunset Blvd. just above Drake Stadium. Particularly popular among teenage street racers in the 1960’s, the curve is most dangerous traveling east, where numerous drivers met their fate failing to hug the difficult turn and careening out of control. It was where the legendary voice of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Mel Blanc, nearly met his fate after a head-on collision that landed him in the hospital with two broken legs, a broken pelvis, and head injuries. While it’s unclear exactly how many people have died at Dead Man’s Curve over the decades, it’s safe to say that they didn’t make it back.

The Basement Tavern

2640 Main St., Santa Monica

The Basement Tavern

The Basement Tavern is a modern-day speakeasy known for its renowned whiskey selection and themed music nights. Occupied by well- known and prominent Santa Monica family the Kytes, the Basement Tavern, located in the bowels of their classic Victorian home, was built in 1892 and moved to Ocean Park in 1973. It was where members of the family lived and rested eternally; Mary Kyte found her final resting place in a coffin in the very same house. The Kytes are rumored to haunt the rooms and hallways of the home they once inhabited over a century ago. Staff of the upstairs event venue have reported seeing a dark shadow of a man, rumored to be the original owner, Dr. George I. Kyte. Others have reported strange noises, closing doors, the sound of footsteps and flickering lights. It’s a challenge to find the Basement Tavern, but once you do, sit at the bar and order a Delia Elixir – you may get more than you pay for.

Related Posts

Santa Monica-Based Group Wins Historic Wastewater Recycling Suit

August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

Court tells the state to analyze practice of dumping billions of gallons of wastewater into sea By Sam Catanzaro Every...

Enterprise Fish Co. Vacating Santa Monica Space

August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

Longtime Santa Monica seafood restaurant vacating Kinney Street space By Sam Catanzaro Enterprise Fish Co., a Santa Monica institution since...

Screen Sitters Helping Busy Parents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

Creating an enriching experience for virtual learning By Toi Creel As millions of parents across the world have been forced...

Video Service Captures Memories With Loved Ones Before Tragedy Arises

August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

Preserving memories with Von Runtenberg Memories By Toi Creel One of the most difficult things to go through in life...

County Surpasses Somber Milestone of 5,000 COVID-19 Deaths

August 11, 2020

August 11, 2020

Hospitalizations continue to decline By Sam Catanzaro L.A. County reached a somber milestone Tuesday of over 5,000 COVID- 19 deaths....

New Santa Monica Restaurant Papille Gustative Serves up Artisan Foods While Being Zero Waste

August 11, 2020

August 11, 2020

Locally sourced food comes to Main Street By Toi Creel A new restaurant has opened in Santa Monica on Main...

Santa Monica Doctor Catches Heat for His Appearance in Censored Coronavirus Video

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

By Toi Creel A Santa Monica pediatrician is raising some eyebrows about his speculations made in a censored social media...

Edify TV: Westsiders Embracing Aquatic Activities

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

While social and physical distancing continues, Westsiders have been taking to the ocean for some sunshine and recreation. Learn more...

Man Stabbed In Reed Park Suspect Arrested: Santa Monica Beat – August, 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Man Stabbed In Reed Park Suspect Arrested * Coronavirus Cases Climb...

Affordable Housing Coming to Historic Japanese American Building?

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

Developer wants to add 50 units of housing to Nikkei Hall By Sam Catanzaro A historic building in Santa Monica...

Edify TV: Flurry of Development in Westside Neighborhood

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

A Westside neighborhood, known for its ramen restaurants and all things Japanese, is undergoing a flurry of development. Learn more...

Edify TV: Notable Westside Properties Hit Market

August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

From architecturally unique houses in Venice and Pacific Palisades to a property once valued at $100 million in Bel Air,...

Santa Monica Police Crack Down on Mask Violators

August 7, 2020

August 7, 2020

Police issue tickets on Montana Avenue By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police have begun issuing citations to individuals not wearing...

Former Angels Employee Charged in Tyler Skagg’s Fatal Fentanyl Overdose

August 7, 2020

August 7, 2020

Former Angels Communications Director Eric Prescott Kay faces up to 20 years in prison By Sam Catanzaro An ex-employee of...