Join us for a rare opportunity for a nighttime exploration of the buildings of the Old Los Angeles Plaza on our second paranormal investigation of the Pico House at the El Pueblo De Los Angeles National Monument.
The Pico House was once the most lavish hotel in Southern California and is now a California and National Historic Landmark. Long closed and now part of the El Pueblo De Los Angeles National Monument, the Pico House has had numerous reports of paranormal activity ranging from mysterious footsteps on the upper floors to shadow figures in the inner courtyard.
The investigation is limited to 35 registrants (broken into 4 teams) and will run from 8:00pm-2:00am. Locations include the main Pico House (3 floors plus inner courtyard), the basement and tunnels underneath the Pico House, the Masonic Hall and the Merced Theater (the oldest surviving theater in Los Angeles). We will also have access to explore the courtyard of the Avila Adobe, the oldest house in Los Angeles. Whether you are an armchair paranormal enthusiast, a seasoned paranormal investigator or simply a history buff, you won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to delve into Los Angeles’ history from a different point of view, during a 6-hour paranormal investigation of some of the oldest buildings in the city.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Ticket price is $85.00 per person and covers site fees, security and insurance. Event is 6 hours, 8:00pm-2:00am the evening of January 28, 2012. Tickets are non-refundable except in the case of event cancellation. This event is open to adults 18+ only and tickets are being sold in advance on a first come, first served basis. You will receive a confirmation email within 7 days of purchase. No actual ticket will be mailed out – please bring your receipt and confirmation printout for entry.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for current status on availability.
More on the Pico House and its hauntings:
PICO HOUSE, 1870
Built by wealthy businessman and one-time governor Don Pio Pico, the Pico House was once the most lavish hotel in the young city of Los Angeles. It opened in 1870 – a transitional time in Los Angeles’ history, when wild-west lawlessness still prevailed. The streets around the plaza were filled with not only businesses and elite members of society, but also brothels, saloons and gambling halls. Many different cultures co-existed within an area of a few blocks, under an atmosphere of racial tension. Vigilance committees or “lynch mobs” were still known to take the law into their own hands, as happened on October 24, 1871, in a riot that become known as the “Chinese Massacre.” On that day, somewhere between 18-23 Chinese men and boys were brutally murdered in and around the Plaza by an angry mob of whites and Mexicans after an Anglo resident was killed in the cross fire between two rival Chinese Tongs.
The area around the Pico House continued to decline, as did Pio Pico’s fortune, and he lost the hotel in 1876. Today, staff have reported unusual activity ranging from mysterious footsteps from the 3rd floor to shadow figures in the inner courtyard.
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MERCED THEATER, 1871
The Merced is the oldest surviving theatre in Los Angeles. Ticket prices ranged from 50 cents in the balcony to $1.00 for main floor seats. The opening attraction was “Fanchon The Little Cricket.”
William Abbott named the venue after his wife Maria Merced (or Mercedes) Garcia. The building had retail on the ground floor (Abbott’s furniture store), the theatre on the second and living space for the Abbott family on the top floor. It was also known as the Teatro Merced and Mercedes Theatre.
The Merced was the center of Los Angeles theatrical activity from 1871 until 1876. The Merced declined after 1876 when the Wood’s Opera House opened four doors south. The Merced closed New Year’s Day 1877 due to the Woods competition as well as a smallpox epidemic.
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THE AVILA ADOBE, 1818
The Avila Adobe was constructed in 1818 by a prominent ranchero, Francisco José Avila, a native of Sinaloa, who was alcalde, or mayor of Los Angeles in 1810. Following Francisco Avila’s death in 1832, his second wife, Encarnación Avila continued to live in the house with her two daughters. The Los Angeles Census of 1844 lists Encarnación Avila, age 40, as a widow living in the house with one daughter. For a brief time, from January 10-19, 1847, the adobe was commandeered as a military headquarters by the invading North American army under Robert Stockton. After Encarnación Avila died in 1855, the home passed to her two daughters, Luisa and Francisca and their husbands, Manuel Garfias and Theodore Rimpau. Francisca and Theodore Rimpau and their nine children continued to live in the adobe from 1855 to 1868 until they moved to Anaheim, California where Theodore served as the first mayor. From 1868 to the early 1920s, the adobe was rented and used as a restaurant, rooming house for transients, or was frequently vacant. The condition of the building deteriorated and was finally condemned in 1926 by the City Health Department, which caught the attention of Christine Sterling, who began a public campaign to save the adobe. Today, the Avila Adobe is open to the public as a museum and is furnished as it might have appeared in the late 1840s.
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