Haunted Olvera Street
I took a trip on official Ghost Town Podcast business with my co-host Rebecca to Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. Olvera Street is part of LA’s historic district, and is home to some of Los Angeles’s oldest a buildings and monuments.
We took a ghost tour (my first), with GhoulLA. As good as the tour was I found myself focused on the buildings and architecture rather than the haunted elements. However here are some of the more ghostly aspects of Olvera Street.
The Pico House was once an opulent hotel that opened in 1870 by businessman Pio Pico. In 1871 a mob of over 500 were racially motivated to riot to murder the Chinese residents. People have claimed to have heard mysterious footsteps and see shadows. Perhaps the lingering spirits of those who were killed in the Chinese massacre. Pio Pico’s ghost also has been seen here. The Pico House was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Ghost Adventures.”
La Golondrina is one of the oldest restaurants in LA (opened in 1930), in the oldest brick building in LA (the landmark Pelanconi House, 1855). It’s also haunted.
Vice reports, “Some people claim that La Golondrina is haunted by La Consuela, or "The Mistress," a ghost who has been seen hanging out on the stairwell that used to look out onto Olvera Street. Ever since the restaurant first opened, countless employees have complained of witnessing supernatural occurrences. Vivien Bonzo, whose family has owned the property for 85 years, is one of them.”
"My dad, who was a very macho, manly man, used to live in the restaurant for years and would purposely leave the door in his room open, just in case he had to run out if he got too scared," Bonzo, the third-generation owner, tells me. "One time, we caught a bottle flying through the air on my security camera when nobody was here. One of our waitresses was hit by a nail that was thrown at her when she was the only employee left in the restaurant."
Avila Adobe, which was built in 1818 by Francisco Avila, is the oldest standing residence in Los Angeles. Over the years, the home was used as a hotel, housing, lodging, and was a temporary home for the U.S. troops. Did I also mentioned it was haunted?
Avila’s first wife, Maria, died in 1822. He later remarried to a woman named Encarnacion, who died in 1855. Encarnacion’s ghost is said to also inhabit the house. Witnesses have seen a female form sitting in a rocking chair on the front porch while others have heard the sound of feminine crying within the home, apparently coming from the master bedroom.
I suggest taking a tour through Olvera Street for the haunted and non-haunted sights, and in historic Downtown LA in general. I thought the cross at El Pueblo Plaza was fitting, and very cool. Haunted? I don’t think so. Well, not that I’m aware of anyway…
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