Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending the recent Insidious: Paranormal Event in Los Angeles and thought I would offer up some thoughts for my fellow horror fans. The event was held to celebrate the digital release of INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY (2018) by inviting guests to have a nicely informal Q&A with the cast, take a spin on the Dearly Departed Tour, enter the haunted Oman House, and wound things down with some good old fashioned ghost hunting in LA’s famous American Legion Post 43. It was a long evening that covered a lot of ground, so lock in as I try to give as concise of an overview as possible.
What was nice, and not on the agenda, was that we were allowed some time to sort of walk around the American Legion Post 43 before the festivities got under way. In fact, it was during these moments that we were able to get some nice one on one time with the cast and crew who decided they wanted to see a bit more of the place. Since I knew a little of the cinematic history of the place, I was able to show Leigh Whannell the areas where they filmed some of the reshoots for The Shining (1980) and the bar fight scene from Star Trek (2009). Having this sort of access to the talents behind the Insidious franchise’s latest installment was definitely cool.
First up on the actual agenda were our chats with the cast and creators of INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY which were wonderfully low key and involved a lot of fun tangents. With Lin Shaye and Spencer Locke we talked about things that ranged from their dislike of being scared to the ageism problem in Hollywood while our discussion with Leigh Whannell and Adam Robitel covered things like how Blumhouse gives the director the power of editing to the faults with the Matrix trilogy. Keep an eye on the website as transcriptions of those interviews will be forthcoming.
After our sit down with the talent, we hopped onto a Dearly Departed Tour bus for a quick spin through the dark history of Los Angeles. Along the way we heard tales of famous celebrity deaths, saw the last known location of Elizabeth Short a.k.a. The Black Dahlia, and passed by the neighborhood where parts of Halloween (1978) were filmed. It was a whirlwind of great stories and famous locales that culminated in a trip up to Cielo Drive, where the Manson Family famously killed Sharon Tate.
While in the area, we stopped in at the well-known Oman House, a place that is apparently so haunted it caused Zak Bagans to run out in fear. The décor of the house is very chic and full of many different artistic pieces ranging from a Hanna Barbera in Hollywood picture to Beetlejuice(1988) figurines. The modern look stands in stark contrast to what one normally thinks of when they envision a haunted house, so I found myself very interested in seeing if I felt any vibrations. The tour of the house, given by David Oman himself, highlighted many of the areas where people reported sensing a presence, but sadly I did not see, hear or feel anything that set me on edge.
Once we exited Mr. Oman’s abode, I ran down to the end of Cielo Drive to the gates that block off where the Manson Murders occurred (which now stand as the gates to a new house). There was something surreal about the area as the modern houses all around stood in stark contrast to the dark history. While I still may not have gotten a glimpse or feeling of a nearby specter, the view over LA I got while peeking through the gate and the sense of what happened on that spot nearly fifty years ago was enough to give me goosebumps.
From here we were transported back to LA’s American Legion Post 43 to partake in some good old-fashioned ghost hunting. After a quick overview of some of the more well-known deaths at the post (a few over card games, one standup comedian who had a heart attack, and a former caretaker of the grounds among others), we were introduced to our professional ghost hunters. We were led by Alejandro Dominguez of The Dead Explorer fame who gave us some wonderful gadgets to try to see if we could uncover any spooks. Even after venturing into some of the darker corners of the building, I was unable to uncover anything that proved the existence of ghosts, but getting to see the different processes paranormal investigators use for myself was a very memorable experience.
All in all, the list of activities alone is enough to have made this night worthwhile, even if not a single celebrity had been involved. It was also cool that each individual event (Dearly Departed Tour, the Oman House, and the ghost hunting) was interesting enough to justify doing on its own for an even longer period of time than we were given. Fans of things that go bump in the night should check out each of these places/tours themselves to get a better idea of LA’s dark history.
INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY is now available to own on Digital.