Haunted or Hoax?


Kailee Howard

As the spooky season of Halloween approaches, conspiracies and origin stories come back up again. There are many different stories about haunted landmarks, in the state of California there are so many landmarks that have a history that many people would have never expected.


Courtesy of Ghosts and Gravestones of San Diego


A common landmark located in San Diego known as the Whaley House has one of the most complex stories yet. The legend states how Thomas Whaley built a Greek Revival House for him, his wife, and his daughter. As the story goes everything was going well until the tragic death of their 18 month son Thomas Jr,  due to scarlet fever. The tragic death took a toll on the family and they  didn’t leave their house for 4 weeks. Seven years later while Thomas was out for business 7 armed men broke into their house, robbed them and sadly shot his wife Ann Whalye. Daughter Violet Whaley had watched her mother get shot in cold blood, due to losing already so much in her  life before Thomas got home Violet had hung herself in her bedroom. Coming home to see both his wife and daughter dead in front of his eyes Thomas Whayley packed his things and was never seen again. Today the Whaley mansion is one of San Diego’s biggest attractions. But yet people swear they hear mysterious noises and quit screams. So we’ll never know, are Mrs Whaley and Violet still in the house, and where did Mr Thomas Whaley go?


Courtesy of Wikipedia

Another landmark that is known for spooky situations is actually right here in Los Angeles, The Cecil Hotel. The Hotel first opened in 1927, it was known as a hotel for tourists to stay at while visiting California. Everything was going perfectly well until the tragic suicide of 52 year old Percey Ormond due to him shooting himself in the heart. Some people say  that death triggered the death spree of the Cecil Hotel. There have been a total of 16 deaths, 12 of them being suicides. All of the 16 deaths have been quite unusual but the story of Elisa Lam has to be one of the strangest ones yet. In 2013 21 year old Elisa Lam stayed at the Cecil Hotel while visiting the states. A couple days went by and Elisa’s parents had yet to hear from their daughter and started to worry. On January 31st, the Lam family contacted the LA police to figure out where their daughter was. Police went to the Cecil Hotel searching for Elisa but could not find her. Finally they decided to check the security cameras to see if they could at least see if she would have been caught walking in or out of the hotel. But what they found was not what they expected. The elevator cameras had caught Elisa in the elevator but she wasn’t acting normal. She kept on peaking her head out like someone was following her. During the investigation residents in the hotel were complaining the water was a brownish color. Therefore the maintenance man went to go check the water tank and in the tank there lay Elisa Lam’s body. To this day nobody knows how Elisa ended up in the water tank or who put her there. Many say it was a suicide  attempt,  but to get up to the roof you would have needed a key, so this case will forever be a mystery.

These two cases have left many people wondering what really happened to these people and these places. So what do you think, haunted or  hoax?