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You won’t believe it until you see it — take the US Ghost Adventures tour of haunted Los Angeles and learn the chilling story behind the iconic Magic Castle.
Tourists from around the world visit Hollywood to stroll the Walk of Fame, pose with celebrity impersonators, and soak in historic sights like the Roosevelt Hotel.
But if you turn your eyes to the hills further south, down from the dazzling Hollywood sign, you’ll find a massive gothic manor tucked surreptitiously into the darkness. Like a sleight-of-hand, if you blink, you might miss it.
The Magic Castle is a 100+ years landmark that is one of the defining cultural institutions of Hollywood. But its remoteness, exclusivity, and rumors of ghostly activity keep it a mystery that no one can solve.
Keep reading to discover more… if you dare.
The Magic Castle was built in 1909 in fairytale-style architecture, with towering spinnerets, sparkling white walls, and a grand entrance protected by a drawbridge and a moat. Unlike many other buildings in this city of illusion, the Magic Castle was always meant to be what it looks like — a haven for magicians.
The Magic Castle officially opened its doors in the early 1960s. It was only open to private engagements and invite-only events then, and it remains an exclusive establishment today. The exclusivity has conjured an air of mystery that hangs around the Magic Castle—very few of the 11 million people who live in Los Angeles will ever get to see inside it.
For many years, its owners have tried to keep secret its gruesome history of killings, ghostly appearances, and chilling screams that come from nowhere.
Take a step inside Hollywood’s most haunted abode…
Every night, the lucky guests who receive an invitation to the Magic Castle get the whole treatment — a full dinner service and up to five magic shows. They get to explore rooms like the Parlor of Prestidigitation and the Palace of Mystery.
But something far stranger lies beyond the card tricks and rabbits tumbling out of hats.
The Magic Castle’s most famous frequent visitor is none other than Harry Houdini, the grandfather of modern magic. The Houdini Séance Room features cabinets of Houdini memorabilia collected by the Castle’s original owners.
Though Houdini himself didn’t believe in spirits, his wife reportedly tried to contact him every night for ten years after his death. Séances like these occur nightly at the Magic Castle. Resident psychics and guests have reportedly received visitations from deceased loved ones and seen apparitions lurking in the dark corners.
A friendly ghost named Irma keeps the mood light by playing little ditties on the piano. Rumor has it she was a frequent guest in the Castle’s early years. Wherever the Castle’s grand piano moves, so does Irma, tapping out melodies to entertain the guests.
In 2011 on Halloween night, a fire broke out in the attic. Technically, it was the roofer’s blowtorch malfunctioning, but staffers claim it was the spirit of Dante, a famous magician with a room named after him on the third floor. Dante’s Room sustained the most damage — could he have been crying out for an encore from beyond the grave?
All this and more await you at the Magic Castle.
The Magic Castle isn’t just an iconic fixture of LA history. It’s a portal into a ghostly dimension of chills and thrills.
If you can work up the nerve, join US Ghost Adventures on a haunted tour of Los Angeles. The Magic Castle is only one of many places that will have you questioning the border between the living and the dead.
Since 2013, US Ghost Adventures has offered entertaining, historical, and authentic ghost tours of America’s most haunted cities. We deliver fun yet honest accounts of hauntings across the nation for curious people of all ages. Our ghost stories are based on historical research, but that doesn’t mean they won’t send a chill down your spine.
This video gives you a small taste of what you might experience on your ghost tour — subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more.
US Ghost Adventures also offers virtual tours, a self-guided mobile app, and an Alexa voice app.