On February 19, 1994, Gloria Ramirez was admitted to Riverside General Hospital in Riverside, CA. How it affected the staff is what made the press dub her: The Toxic Lady.
On February 19, 1994, Gloria Ramirez was admitted to Riverside General Hospital in Riverside, CA. How it affected the staff is what made the press dub her “The Toxic Lady.” What happened is not a mystery, why it happened is still unknown.
Gloria had been suffering from the effects of cervical cancer. She had been receiving chemotherapy at home and according to her family, was expected to live a couple more years. However, on that evening, her fiancée, Johnnie Estrada, called an ambulance after Gloria complained about severe chest pains combined with vomiting and respiratory issues.
As she was rushed through the doors of the hospital, she was awake but incoherent. She was taking shallow and rapid breaths and her heart was beating at an alarming rate. In an attempt to sedate Gloria, medical staff injected her with several drugs including Valium and Ativan. Gloria immediately started responding to the drugs negatively leading doctors to defibrillate her heart.
There appeared to be an oily sheen which was covering Gloria’s body and a fruity, garlic, odor emanated from her mouth. When a nurse attempted to draw blood from Gloria, she noticed an ammonia-like smell. When another nurse attempted to draw blood, she noticed crystal-like particles floating in the blood.
Suddenly, the nurse fainted, followed by another nurse and another nurse.
In total, 23 people within the vicinity of Gloria became ill with 6 being hospitalized. It appeared as though some sort of fumes had risen up from Gloria and affected the hospital workers. They suffered from dizzy spells, fainting, vomiting and respiratory trouble. “I’ve worked in an emergency room for seven years and I’ve never had anything like this happen,” said Susan Kane, one of the nurses affected. One of the most baffling aspects of the case is that none of the ambulance staff, who were in extremely close vicinity of Gloria, were affected by the bizarre symptoms that other workers experienced…”
The Pike was an amusement park in Long Beach, California going all the way back to 1902. It was memorialized in television shows, going back as far as Laurel and Hardy up to almost every television show filmed in the 1970s.
The Pike of Long Beach Amusement Park Corpse on Ghost Town:
That’s where the Six Million Dollar Man comes in. In December, 1976, the TV show, the Six Million Dollar Man was filming a scene for the episode, titled “Carnival of Spies” inside The Pikes “Laff In The Dark” ride. A member of the shows production moved what he thought was a mannequin, a piece broke off in his hand, he realized it was a real human corpse.
The corpse was Elmer McCurdy, a train robber who was killed in Oklahoma, 1911
The embalmer kept the corpse as no one had claimed him and turn McCurdy into a sideshow attraction. From that point forward the mummified McCurdy made his way to side shows, wax museums, and into The Pike.
In April, 1977, the well-traveled Elmer McCurdy was late to final rest in Guthrie, Oklahoma.
We explore the haunted Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with a medium to see if we have a ghost encounter with Marilyn Monroe or another paranormal experience.
According to Hauntedrooms.com, “The hotel is famous for the celebrities who stayed in it during their lifetimes, and two very famous actors have never left it, even though they have been dead for decades. Actors such as Errol Flynn, Shirley Temple, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie are among its many guests over the years. But, it is Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift who are both rumored to be there still.
Marilyn Monroe still occupies suite #1200, where she has appeared to guests staying in the room. She has been seen in mirrors by many people staying in her suite. Actor Montgomery Clift, who was a good friend to Elizabeth Taylor and was nominated for an Academy Award for three different movies, is still most active in Room 928 and the hallway just outside.”
If you grew up in the tri-state area in the 1980’s, you were probably on the receiving end of the aggressive marketing of Action Park. The commercials ran what seemed to be non-stop. Action Park boasted one of the first waterparks in the US. Go-Karts, Wave Pools, Tarzan Swings, and Battle Tanks are only some of the wild rides Action Park had to offer. The HBO Max documentary Class Action Park goes into great detail about the legendary Action Park.
I went once or twice as a kid, but I never had the nerve to take on some of the more “intense” rides. However, with the promise of action, came the danger. Action Park was a hotbed of injury, and even death.
Action Park was an amusement park, and a waterpark located in Vernon, NJ that opened on May 26th, 1978. It closed in 1996.
In the 1980’s Action Park boasted a million visitors per year. The park was home to three different areas: Motorworld, Waterworld, and The Alpine Center. Waterworld being one of the first-ever modern American water parks. Out of the 75 rides, 40 of them were water rides.
Action Park was known for being the world’s most dangerous amusement park for a reason. The park earned nicknames such as “Traction Park, “Accident Park”, and “Class Action Park”. It was known to be lax when it came to underage drinking, which lead to both intoxicated staff and guests. The staff tended to be underage, under-trained, and inexperienced.
One of Motorworld’s more notorious rides were the Battle Tanks. You could ride in a metal tank and shoot tennis balls at the target of the other tank, which would disable their cannon for 15 seconds. You could also pay to shoot tanks from the sidelines. When maintenance tried to fix broken tanks, rowdy guests would shoot the maintenance workers. Motorworld also had boat rides, which were different than bumper boats, would try to capsize the other boats. The go karts fumes were at dangerous levels, and if you stuck a tennis ball in the governor of the kart, it would increase the speed of the kart, leading to head on collisions.
There was a cliff jump of either 18 or 23 feet. The area shared the water with people that just wanted to swim, and weren’t aware of the people jumping from the cliff above.
Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, was a more costly and further amusement park. Action Park attracted a lot of the people in the tri-state area. Many of those guests, because they came from low-income to middle class neighborhoods, didn’t always have the availability or means to learn how to swim. Also kids from day camps who didn’t know how to swim would get dropped off.
The Tidal Wave pool, one of the first to open in the United States, which quickly became one of the most dangerous rides at the park. Nicknamed, “The Grave Pool,” it was filled with fresh water, not sea water, which made patrons less buoyant and left strong swimmers and non-swimmers alike literally in over their heads as waves that could reach 40 inches at high blast. The 12 lifeguards on duty rescued, on average, 30 people a day on high-traffic weekends.
The Alpine Slide was a 2,700-foot-long concrete and fiberglass track down a mountainside so steep you needed a ski lift to get to the top. The daring (or dumb) would hop on a little cart with tiny wheels and some skids, then go barreling down the mountainside with only a little joystick-style control.
The Cannonball Loop ride in Action Park
The most infamous of Action Park’s ride was the Cannonball Loop. The Cannonball Loop was enclosed waterslide with a complete vertical loop. According to legend, when the owners sent a dummy doll on a test run of the ride, it came back with no head. The owner Gene Mulvihill offered his employees $100 to test out new rides, including the Cannonball Loop. Employees wound up with bloody noses and bruises, and dirt and debris would build up and cause abrasions with the sandpaper like build up. The ride was open, for all of one month in the Summer of 1985, before mounting injuries saw it shut down by the New Jersey Carnival Amusement Ride Safety Advisory Board.
The most dangerous action park in the world
Between 1984 and 1985 alone there were 26 head injuries and 14 broken bones just on the slide, but the most common injuries involved having skin torn from your body.
In 1985 there were more than 110 injuries at Action Park, including 45 head injuries and 10 fractures. But Action Park was fined just once between 1979 and 1986 for not following procedure.
In 1987, the director of a nearby hospital’s Emergency Room admitted 5-10 people were being brought in daily from the park. Reported injuries included ankle sprains, broken bones, and cuts and contusions, dislocations, and concussions. The park denied wrongdoing, but Great American Recreation purchased additional ambulances for the town of Vernon to keep up with the increased volume of injured park goers.
Action Park reopened in 2014 under the Action Park name, but was renamed Mountain Creek Waterpark in 2016, which was the name used from 1998-2013. The name changed occurred because although the name Action Park resonated with the older crowd because of the nostalgia, did not resonate with younger guests, as it didn’t indicate that it was a waterpark.
The decline of the mall has been a long time coming. Some are going strong, some hanging on by a thread, and the rest, well, are dead. From the first official mall in 1956, through the declining 2000’s, the shopping mall has been a backdrop for movies and television, and for a lot of people, a place to work, shop, or just simply, be. Dead malls are everywhere. You can blame over-saturation, online shopping, or the fact that more and more entertainment can be found at home, delivered. What’s left behind are some of the most surreal abandoned malls in America.
Randall Park Mall. Cleveland, OH.
The world’s largest mall, abandoned. The mall’s motto was, “Much More Than Everything”.
Metro North Shopping Center. Kansas City, MO.
Opened September 1976, closed April 2014.
Hawthorne Plaza Mall. Hawthorne, CA.
Opened in 1977, closed in 1999. Filming location for Westword, Fast & The Furious, Minority Report, and Taylor Swift.
Dixie Square Mall. Harvey, Ill.
According to Buzzfeed, “The Dixie Square Mall opened in 1966 and only stayed open for 13 years. In 1979, the Blues Brothers movie shot its iconic driving-through-the-mall scene there. Later that year, the mall closed due to a spike in crime. It stayed abandoned until 2011, when it was demolished.”
Rolling Acres Mall. Akron, OH.
According to Business Insider, “the vacant mall has been the scene of several crimes. A homeless man was sentenced to a year in prison for living inside a vacant store, another man was electrocuted trying to steal copper wire from the mall, and the body of a likely murder victim was found behind the shopping center.”
A house in Reseda, CA is so evil it destroyed the lives of everyone who lived there.
A house in Reseda, CA is so evil it destroyed the lives of everyone who lived there. Featuring additional commentary from medium Patti Negri from Ghost Adventures / Travel Channel.
“There is a home so evil in Reseda, California, that it affects all who dare enter it. Inhabitants are becoming drug addicts and many have committed suicide. Zak Bagans and the crew struggle to keep their sanity when this dangerous investigation quickly turns into an emotional nightmare.”
What happened on December 6th, 1959 at 2475 Glendower Place in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles aka the Los Feliz Murder Mansion was tragic. What happened after that night, became local lore.
According to Historythings.com, “At one point a family home, the building was tainted by a series of heinous acts carried out on its property in 1959. What happened one notorious night shaped the way the building was seen from that point on….”
For almost 50 years, the house remained untouched, and uninhabited. Find out the full story in the above video.
When you think about California, what is the first thing that pops into your head? Hollywood? Movie stars? Beaches? Sun? Fun? All of those are fine, but let’s get into the darker side of the Golden State. Let’s get into the 5 Creepy Places to Visit in California.
1. Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles.
The Cecil Hotel in the Skid Row district of Downtown LA is arguably the most haunted hotel in Los Angeles. The Cecil’s haunted legacy goes all the way back to the Great Depression. Opening in 1924, it was only a few years before the depression filled the hotel with transients, and suicides on the regular. Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel Netflix documentary is out now.
The Black Dahlia was rumored to have had her last drink at the hotel bar. She turned up dead just a few miles away. Richard Ramirez, better know as “The Night Stalker”, convicted of a laundry list of heinous crimes, lived at the Cecil in 1985 during his spree.
The most recent head scratcher at the Cecil was the mysterious case of Elisa Lam. The Guardian explains: “an inspection of the cistern on the hotel’s roof, the naked body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam, a Chinese-Canadian tourist who had been decomposing for roughly 19 days. Elevator security footage shows Lam, who suffered from bipolar disorder, acting erratically, alternately hiding in the corner of the elevator and dashing in and out. At one point, she gesticulates as if addressing an unseen figure. Police ruled her death an accidental drowning.” Accident? Or another victim of the Cecil Hotel? The hotel is currently being renovated and redeveloped into a mix of hotel rooms and residential units.
2. Winchester Mystery House, San Jose.
Construction on the Winchester Mystery House began in 1884 and it never stopped until the owner, Sarah Winchester died in 1922.
It is believed that she spent around $5 million on construction. Sarah was convinced that her home was haunted by all of the victims killed by Winchester rifles. There are an estimated 160 rooms. With stairs that lead nowhere and doors that open to nothing, it’s the perfect backdrop to the haunted.
Mental Floss reports “a Winchester house tour guide confirmed that the house’s third floor—only a portion of which is accessible during house tours—is definitely the spookiest part of the house, “because that’s where the servants lived, so there’s been a lot of reported activity there. Also, when you are on that floor you can never really hear any of the other tours, so you feel pretty isolated.” the Winchester mystery house is open for business as a tourist attraction. Good luck!
3. The Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood.
The Knickerbocker Hotel was the was the “it” place in Hollywood for quite sometime. Now however the aforementioned “it” leaned heavy on the tragic and somewhat dramatic. In 1936 Harry Houdini’s widow held her tenth séance to contact the magician on the roof of the hotel in a very publicized event. Marylin Monroe and Joe DiMaggio met for drinks at the hotel bar. Elvis stayed there for some time. In 1962, Hollywood costume designer Irene Lentz, believed to be distraught over Gary Cooper’s death, committed suicide by jumping from her 11th floor room window.
4. The Haunted Forest/Cobb Estate, Altadena.
I was at the Haunted Forest/Cobb Estate in Altadena a few years ago…during the day. The hike takes you to the allegedly haunted Cobb Estate.
Charles Cobb built the estate in 1918, and lived on the property until 1939. No supernatural or hauntings reporting up to that point. Well, not until the Marx Brothers came into the picture. Accord to Atlas Obscura “it was when the Marx Brothers bought the estate in 1956 that the rumors of strange noises and eerie lights at the now vacant home began to circulate amongst the townsfolk. Whether or not that had to do with the squatters and teenagers who used the house for various nocturnal activities is an open question. Finally, the brothers Marx had the dilapidated home torn down in 1959 and the land sat unused until 1971.”
It’s a very popular hiking trail for those who love to both hike and seek out some scares.
5. Alcatraz, San Fransisco.
Alcatraz has all the ingredients for a good haunting: it’s on an island, and it was formerly a prison. I went on the standard tourist tour they give, and loved every minute of it. You can feel the years of what must have gone down in that place.
Alcatraz earned it’s a rep as one of the most brutal and inhumane prisons in the country. Inexplicable events like the sound of someone playing the banjo scared prison guards and visitors alike. Many believe this to be the spirit of Al Capone, who spent his last days at the prison playing the banjo in the shower room to avoid being killed in the yard. Reports of the smell of smoke, the sounds of cell doors slamming, and disembodied voices moaning and screams have all been reported. Did I mentioned it’s on an island? It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions in the us. Find out for yourself why!
Abandoned California | Abandoned Historic Places in California
California is home to creepy abandoned places. Do you want to visit it but not sure what to expect? Here’s are some of the best abandoned historic places in California that are a must-see. Welcome to Abandoned California.
1. The Sunken City in San Pedro
Image credits – waterandpower.org
Just like the sunken city of Atlantis, this one is visible to people looking from the California coast Southwest of Long Beach. It’s in close proximity to the lighthouse Fermin Park.
This landslide happened in 1929 when the water main beneath the hotel broke and a few days later had a gas line break. It was a clear indication to evacuate the area, but no one could protect the buildings.
The ground used to sleep 11 inches every day, and a huge area of 40000 square feet of land dropped in the Pacific Ocean. It took down a lot of homes, businesses, sidewalks, and streets.
2. Rock Haven Sanitarium
Image credits – www.nps.gov
It all started in 1923 when a psychiatric nurse decided to build her on sanitarium for mentally ill female patients. Within few years, the sanitarium turned into a refuge for models and actresses. And later on, it turned into a home for women with dementia and the elderly.
Later in 2006, it shut it down, and some developers purchased it to build condos. However, the community didn’t allow it and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It can turn into a public park; however, now the garden sanctuaries and 15 buildings inside it are all empty.
3. Ano Nuevo Island
Image Credits – www.parks.ca.gov
Situated between Santa Cruz and SF California coast, the light station got abandoned in 1948; however, it still holds quarters of the old lighthouse keepers. However, the lighthouse became a hazard to endangered sea lions and northern elephant seals. The island is home to animals. It is closed for public visits, and no one is allowed to explore the island just because a number of white sharks, sea lions, and seals are already wandering around its waters.
4. Bodie Ghost Town
Image Credits – www.kqed.org
The third most populous city of California in 1880 became a ghost town eventually. Today it has zero population. It turned into a ghost town in 1920 due to terrible weather of 100mph winds. However, it wasn’t all dead by then. By 1932 it had a massive fire and got deserted completely. Bodie is an iconic abandoned ghost town in California.
It still has hundreds of structures standing still like a Methodist church, an old general store, a cemetery, and a saloon. Today it’s abandoned, yet it’s a Historical Landmark and state park. You can even check out the town by paying $5 as it is preserved in it’s arrested decayed state.
5. Donner Pass Summit Tunnel
Image Credits – hiddenca.com
It was the first railroad line ever to reach the Sierra Nevada range. This 1700-foot-long Tunnel was finished in 1867. The first train to ever pass through it was in 1868, and the last one went in 1993. Unfortunately, the route was changed, and it wasn’t as beautiful as the old rail line.
Today people are allowed to hike through it and check out the petroglyphs. You be able to see lots of graffiti and a Chinese wall which is 75 foot tall and handmade.
6. Gates of Hell Hacienda Heights
Image Credits – www.atlasobscura.com
These gates were rumored to have been situated in the sanatorium during the 1940s. However, then the hospital was shut as a lot of malpractices were reported.
The entire property is now fenced from a decade with barbed wires all fixed firmly inside the fence. No one is allowed to get inside, and the gate itself gives chills to anyone standing in front of it. Although it’s well fenced, no one has a clue as to why it is under close supervision. It’s common to hear subtle footsteps crunching and voices close to the property.
7. Elsinore Naval and Military School
Image Credits – www.change.org
The building is in a state of rapid decay. The hunting exterior of the military academy and Elsinore Naval was built in 1920 to be a country club. Even after the construction, the club never got the chance to open due to the Great depression.
In 1933, it opened in the form of Elsinore naval academy. It had about 150 to 200 students from grades 1 to 12. The academy finally closed down in 1977. Many foreign dictators and wealthy people like Barbara Rush visited the school occasionally. Since 1977, the school has been empty.
The outbuildings burned down in 1980, and the rest of it faded away with age because of weather, squatters, and vandalism.
It does have effective chain-link security fans; however, it looks worn and tired like a wrecking ball. It requires restoration. There is a guard on watch on the RV on the location to keep an eye on the ground.
8. Kaiser Quarry Ruins
Image Credits – www.atlasobscura.com
It is a preserve that was once used as a gravel quarry when the Caldecott Tunnel was being bored between 1929 and 1937.
The quarry was transformed into a top round park and the first three East Bay regional parks in 1936. It remained as the top park in 1958 and was then renamed as Sibley regional volcanic preserve.
Much later, the road turned into a rail and had bits of old concrete. It became at railway people can walk on. Much below the train, you’ll see wooden stable structure industrial debris, tin roofing, and pieces of past structures.
9. Stone Cats at Nike Missile Site
Image Credits – www.atlasobscura.com
There is a place at Nike missile site, filled with a variety of stone cats put by a mysterious artist. You will find this sight in the hills of wildcat canyon park in Richmond, California. Many radars and cold war operators worked here long ago to monitor the skies of the bay area. They waited for Russian bombers during the night.
It’s still a mystery who and why put the cat structures there, but it is surely open today for people who dare to visit it.
Image Credits – backpackerverse.com
When all the miners in the 1900s were are looking for gold, one more thing precious was salt. A Salt dale called aptly was found in 1914 to get salt from Koehn Dry Lake.
These are popular in leaving behind the salt deposits after the evaporation of water. The salt business slowed down by 1940, and then it was finally shut down in 1975. It turned into a forgotten ghost town in American West. The exacerbating salt cause deterioration of buildings. As most of the structure was deserted, only rusting foundations of few buildings are left today.
In the End
However, California is filled with abandoned places; these are must-visit if you are interested in creepy locations. Visiting any of these places will surely give you the chills that you won’t soon forget!
For some abandoned Los Angeles heck out the abandoned zoo Los Angeles.