We propel celebrities into the limelight during their lifetimes, and for many, this focused attention remains cast upon them even after death. Several people have reportedly seen apparitions and spirits of well-known celebrities wandering the places they knew and loved when they were alive. Whether these ghosts truly do walk among the living is debated, but there are some pretty convincing accounts that have us wondering about the afterlife.
Comedian John Belushi died from an overdose on March 5, 1982, after his dealer, Cathy Smith, injected him with a lethal combination known as a speedball. He was staying in Bungalow 3 at the Chateau Marmont, a famous A-list hotel in Los Angeles that has housed many stars over the years. His body wasn’t found for two days after his overdose.
In 1999, a family stayed in Bungalow 3 while there were renovations being done to their home. During their stay, their two-year-old child apparently had a great time, laughing often thanks to a “funny man.” Later, when the child’s mother was going through a book showcasing all the famous residents who stayed at the hotel, the child pointed at Belushi’s photo and exclaimed, “Funny Man!”
Marilyn Monroe also died from an overdose on August 4, 1962, in her Brentwood home in Los Angeles. Residents and visitors to the home have reported seeing her restless ghost wandering throughout the property’s garden, as well as hearing voices and footsteps at night.
Her ghost is a frequent wanderer, as she is said to haunt the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as well. In her second-floor cabana suite, Monroe had a floor-length mirror. After she died, housekeepers said they spotted the sad reflection of a blonde-haired woman in the mirror. However, she doesn’t stay long, as her reflection is said to quickly disappear.
Elvis Presley‘s untimely death on August 16, 1977, makes it no surprise that the King of Rock n’ Roll’s spirit hasn’t been put to rest just yet. Many people say that his ghost haunts the backstage of the Las Vegas Hilton, the performance space he worked in from 1969 through to 1976.
Elvis’ longtime friend, singer Wayne Newton, was asked to perform at the hotel shortly after his friend’s death. Part of his set included a collection of Elvis songs to pay tribute. Prior to the performance, Newton was told the balcony of the theater would be empty. When the performance began, the lights and sound system went out, and Newton swears that looking down at him from the balcony was none other than Elvis himself.
“The truth of the matter is that I saw Elvis that night,” Newton said of the experience. “I had received a very special message from a friend that I loved dearly. He was happy with where he was and he wanted me to know he was okay. This is one of the greatest memories that I will ever have.”
Lucille Ball died on April 26, 1989. While she was still alive, she spent most of her life in her Beverly Hills home. She first moved into the house in 1954 when she was married to Desi Arnaz and remained there after they divorced and she remarried Gary Morton. Death was the only thing that could take her away from her beloved home.
When her house was purchased by new owners, they did a massive renovation that changed the outward appearance drastically in the hopes it would curb tourists from taking pictures. An old friend passing by the home in this new state said he remembered seeing a “tall, slim redhead peering through the fence at what was left. She turned toward him, and he realized it was Lucy. She looked upset and confused. She then walked around the south corner of the house and disappeared.”
Residents of the home have also reported windows being mysteriously broken, hearing voices from the attic, and noting furniture mysteriously moving around the house.
If there was anywhere that Walt Disney‘s spirit would hang around, it would likely be Disneyland. He opened the amusement park in 1955 and even had his own apartment above the firehouse on Main Street USA in the park. Indeed, several visitors and cast members claim to have photographic and video “evidence” that Disney’s ghost still roams the park.
Disney was a big train guy when he was alive, and one former cast member, Darrold Wagner, recalled, “The train command center has a board that shows where the trains are on the track. Late at night, in the far corner, a train would show on the board, and the whistle would blow, even though there was no train out there. The old guys used to say, ‘That’s Walt’s train.'”
Additionally, he told of another instance when Disney’s ghost haunted the park. “Lillian Disney [his wife] made sure that Walt wasn’t seen smoking in public areas around kids, so he used to go out to the staircase behind his apartment to smoke. After Walt died, my security supervisor used to smell cigarette smoke back there almost every night. He used to hide to try to catch the smoker. He never did, and never found cigarette butts, but he always smelled fresh smoke. He finally concluded it was Walt sneaking a last smoke,” Wagner said.
Carole Lombard is another great who met an untimely death. She and 21 other travelers died in a plane crash on January 16, 1942, after the plane flew into Double Up Peak on Potosi Mountain near Los Angeles. She was just 33 years old when she died. Allegedly, her ghost has remained on Earth, haunting the Hollywood home she rented from 1933 to 1937.
Real estate broker Cristie St. James explained that residents who lived there following Lombard’s death reported her ghost’s presence. Several psychics have been brought to the house, where they reported sensing Lombard’s presence. One even described how they “saw her walking down the staircase in a long, dramatic, red gown, going to meet someone with dark hair.”
There’s a good chance the dark-haired person was her second husband, Clark Gable. He was head-over-heels in love with her and was heartbroken to learn of her tragic death.
Joan Crawford died in 1977 from a heart attack at the age of 69, 72, or 73, depending on which birthdate you go by. While she was alive, she was Hollywood royalty and one of the highest-paid actresses in the business. However, after her death, her adopted daughter, Cristina Crawford, released a tell-all memoir that painted her mother in a very different light. The book, Mommie Dearest, described Crawford as an abusive, alcoholic mother who erupted into violence at the littlest inconveniences.
Cristina says that her childhood home in Brentwood is haunted, and she is positive it is her late mother still roaming the property. It was reported that “spontaneous fires, primarily in the wall behind where Joan Crawford‘s bed used to be,” began happening following her death. “Once the Beverly Hills Fire Department spent four days there attempting to solve the mystery of the spontaneous fires that would break out on the walls,” a witness explained.
The house has been exorcized multiple times, but it doesn’t appear to be working, as Crawford’s ghost is still wreaking havoc on the residents. “Every single family that has lived in that house has had horrible things happen . . . illnesses, alcoholism, addictions, relationship problems, and now, evidently with the current owner, the walls are breaking out in flames!” Cristina explained. “It would not surprise me in the least if the ‘haunting’ spirit that is in the house is Crawford! She was capable of real evil,” she concluded.
While no one knows for certain what happens to the spirit after death, these sightings make us think they might stay among the living. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is another question entirely.