Author Archives: Sarah McGrath-Deneault

Haunted Hollydale Mental Hospital

My friends and I were hunting for haunted houses and after googling haunted places in los angeles, we decided to go check out the abandoned Hollydale Mental Hospital in Downey, CA.

We drove around the hospital campus for a bit, and then decided we should probably leave considering all of the buildings were fenced in and we really didn’t know what we were doing. Then we pulled in to a nearby parking lot and saw a group of people get out of their car who looked about our age, in their early twenties. We asked them if they were there to check out the hospital and they said yes, so we asked if we could join. They were very welcoming (the four guys were drunk, and the one girl was clearly  their sober driver) and explained that they were there to “initiate” Cherry because it was his first time visiting this haunted place. According to them, it was tradition to run up to the main house, “where they kept the craziest of the crazies”, and touch the front door for your first time visiting Hollydale. We decided this was exciting and tagged along. The girl, Cindy, began to explain how they were from the area and that they heard stories about Hollydale all the time from other kids in school. She also told us the story she knows of why it was abandoned:

Back in the 70’s, there was an outbreak of Tuberculosis at the hospital, and their way of dealing with it was to get all of those who had not yet been infected out and then left the rest of the people there to die. That is why the whole compound looks as if everyone just up and left, because they did. They just closed up shop like it was the end of another business day.

Cindy told us that they had been inside one of the buildings before and they took a whole box of papers from beside a desk and it had a lot of old, interesting papers and files inside.

She also said that about a year ago, the town planned  on tearing the place down because it was costing them money to have policemen constantly patrolling and whatnot, but a group of animal rights activists wouldn’t allow them too because the site has become a breeding ground for stray cats.

 

dreadlock gesture

(I didn’t hear this, but my friend did, so even though it was directed to me it was technically my friend serving as the informant:)

A guy approached me at a concert (I have dreadlocks) and said, “I hate to stereotype, but do you have a pipe?”

A lot of people stereotype someone with dreadlocked hair to be a dirty hippie stoner bum, which is not always the case, but why this guy prefaced his question with “I hate to stereotype”…

prayer for the injured

Whenever an ambulance drives by (with the sirens on), the informant (a born-again Christian) told me that you should do the sign of the cross and say “God bess the hurting and the helping”.

This is important to the informant because she is religious and used to be an ambulance medic, so she feels especially for those people who are in need of an ambulance.

Jersey pizza

My grandfather called a new pizza parlor in the neighborhood to order a pizza pie (a lot of people in Jersey just refer to a pizza as “pie”) and when he asked for a large plain pie, they told him that they were sorry, but they didn’t serve pie.

My grandpa said it’s just something you know growing up in the area.