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Haunted Locations: Los Angeles, California

The Ghosts of Chateau Marmont


Since the hotel was built in 1929, Chateau Marmont was home away from home to many celebrities. In fact, it was built specifically to house the surplus of actors and actresses who were flooding the city during that time. In the next 15-20 years it had gotten a reputation as a discreet get away for the stars.


The hotel was built to withstand the biggest earthquakes and was put to the test multiple times over the years. It passed with flying colours and stood its ground through significant earthquakes in 1993, 1953, 1971, 1987, and 1994. It was also built with thick, soundproof walls to maintain the privacy of its guests.


Of the celebrities to grace the halls, a few stand out from the crowd. Bette Davis, during her first visit, was lucky to escape with her life. Upon her arrival, she checked into her room, threw on one of her own movies, and ran a bath to relax. She lit a cigarette and fell asleep but was luckily awakened by Lou Jacobi, who smelled smoke coming from Davis’ bungalow. By the time he got to her, the whole room was engulfed in flame. Apparently, this didn’t keep her away! She returned once more but this time opted to stay in a room far from the bungalow she nearly burned to the ground. Whether an omen, or just bad luck, this room experienced an electrical short during her stay, setting off the fire alarm. She never returned.


One guest who checked in but never checked out was John Belushi. In 1982, he was staying in Bungalow #3 when he experienced a fatal overdose. It was Bill Wallace, Belushi’s fitness trainer/bodyguard, who found his body. He was dead when Wallace arrived to bring Belushi a tape recorder and typewriter.


Since his death there have been reported sightings of the actor’s ghost by other guests, including an old friend of Belushi’s. Al Franken, a politician, reported waking up in his bed to see Belushi standing over him. He called out to him, but once Franken had reached to grab his glasses and put them on, there was no one there.


Another guest who may have seen Belushi’s ghost was much younger. A two-year-old, who was staying in Bungalow #3 with his parents in 1999, was repeatedly found giggling and chatting to himself. When his parents asked what he was laughing at he would tell them, “The funny man." One day, as his mother was looking at a magazine highlighting celebrity guests who had previously stayed at Chateau Marmont, the boy suddenly called out, “The funny man!” and pointed to a photo of John Belushi.


A second guest who has perhaps stuck around Chateau Marmont for his afterlife is famous German-American photographer, Helmut Newton. Newton, age 83, reportedly lost control of his car as he was leaving the hotel and crashed into the wall that runs along the driveway. Since his death there have been reports by guests who claim to have heard a camera shutter going off near the pool when no one is around, along with multiple reports of a man, described to the liking of Newton, wandering around the property as if dazed and confused, and sometimes described to be bleeding.

There are other reports from guests hearing clinking of glasses and raucous laughter in the late hours but when security goes to check it out, there is no one there.


So, if you decide to book a stay at the Chateau Marmont, stay alert and stay away from Bungalow #3.


And as always, if you chose to go hunting, remember the rules:




RESPECT THE RESIDENTS (and the guests, dead or alive).






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