Knickerbocker Hotel, Los Angeles

Knickerbocker Hotel, Los Angeles

The Knickerbocker Hotel stands on North Ivar Avenue and today it is a residence for the elderly, but once it played an important role in the lives of several actors and musicians and is reputedly one of the most haunted buildings in Los Angeles.

It was built in 1925 in a Spanish Colonial Revival style by E.M. Frasier and it soon became a popular rendezvous for Hollywood stars. Rudolf Valentino used to drink in the hotel’s bar and tango the night away with a lot of willing partners. Marylyn Monroe used to meet Joe DiMaggio in the same bar and they spent their wedding night in one of the rooms.

Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner, Laurel and Hardy and Elvis Presley all stayed in the hotel during its heyday. It was a lively, swinging place, but it was also the scene of many dramas that eventually led to it being labelled as haunted.

Between 1927 and 1936 Houdini’s wife held a séance on the roof every Hallowe’en, trying to get in touch with the great escapologist who died on the 31st October 1926. In 1943 Francis Farmer, who had been involuntarily committed to a mental institution, hid here before being captured and dragged from the hotel; in 1948 the film director D.W. Griffiths suffered a massive stroke in his room, he died on the way to the hospital. In 1962 Irene Gibbons, a costume designer committed suicide by throwing herself out of her 11th floor window. In 1966 the character actor William Fawley died in the hotel’s lobby.

In 1970 the hotel, which had declined with the rest of the neighbourhood, was renovated and turned into a residence for the elderly. The bar, which was believed to be haunted, was boarded up until the mid nineteen nineties, when it reopened for a brief period as the “Star Theatre Café and Speakeasy”. Among the ghosts said to wander are Rudolf Valentino, Marylyn Monroe and an unidentified man who wanders the corridors. There have also been reports of lights going on and off at odd moments and objects moving by themselves.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Los Angeles, California within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Knickerbocker Hotel on Map

Sight Name: Knickerbocker Hotel
Sight Location: Los Angeles, USA
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Hollywood Walk  

Walking Tours in Los Angeles, California

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Places of Worship Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Places of Worship Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Los Angeles features a great number of beautiful churches and temples. These religious buildings attract a lot of tourists as well as Hollywood celebrities. For instance, Bing Crosby often visited the Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills. Take this self-guided tour to explore some of the wonderful Los Angeles churches.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 km
Los Angeles Nightclubs Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Movie Studios Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Movie Studios Walking Tour in Los Angeles

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Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Los Angeles Architecture Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 km
Hollywood Walk

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Hollywood, LA's by far most famous district, is a popular destination for sightseeing and nightlife. It is also a historic center of film making. Paramount Studios, the only large film studio still operational in Hollywood, and the iconic Walk of Fame, are just some of the district's major attractions. To see what else the famous area has to offer, follow this self-guided walking tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
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Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km

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