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Haunted Hollywood: Peg Entwistle and the Hollywood Sign

Since its erection in 1923, when its letters spelled out Hollywoodland, the iconic California landmark has become a symbol of the movie industry, and associated with all the glitz and glam of this L.A. neighborhood. However, the sign has also acquired a darker reputation as a “haunt” for the ghosts of folks who took their lives there. The most notable of these suicides was Peg Entwistle. Originally a stage actress, the young Entwistle was on her way to stardom, and even shared the stage with such notables as Humphrey Bogart.

But, her career stalled when she was cast only in “babe in the wood” roles, and her movie auditions resulted only in small parts. Peg became increasingly discouraged, and one September evening, the blonde, blue-eyed actress used a workman’s ladder to climb to the top of the “H” in the Hollywoodland sign and leap 45 feet to her death. A hiker found her body on September 18, 1932. Although the sign is now fenced off to visitors, Peg’s ghost is still seen in the vicinity, along with the haunting fragrance of gardenia from her favorite perfume.

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