Zan's Blog

Apartment shopping in LA...not for the faint of heart.

It's a bad sign, when someone's showing you an apartment and turns around and says "Oh by the way, this place totally isn't haunted."

What! Why would you say that if it wasn't?

Let me back up. So I'm in LA with nothing more than a borrowed car and some false hope. Cheapest place I can find to live is downtown (no one lives in downtown LA, it's like a burned out post apocalyptic urban nightmare). Name of the place is The Alexandria, a renovated hotel, glamorous back in the 1920's, a place where stars mingled. My full name is Alexandra. It's on Spring Street. I'm now full of real hope and ready to lay down a non-refundable deposit. I've no doubt it's all part of my dreams coming true.

Even though the lobby looks like an entrance to a homeless mission, I'm fine - hey, it's "the big city" I keep telling myself. It's not going to be a ginger bread house. If I wanted comfort, I could have stayed in Indiana.

The leasing agent shakes my hand and sits me down, but he's still standing, and shakes another guy's hand. I'm pretty sure something got passed off in that handshake. And I'm not talking about the common cold. Surely I did not just see a drug deal. Surely, I'm mistaken. While my mind is in denial, my body is starting to tense up, I'm calling it rigamortis of my dreams.

He walks me across the big spooky lobby and opens the door to a vast room in pitch darkness and tells me to "go on in." Ain't no way. He goes in and flicks on the lights to a massive empty ball room, tells me this is where they filmed the famous scene in "The Shining" where all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Are you kidding me? So you're telling me 20 years ago, executives thought this was the creepiest place in all of Hollywood? And now it's just 20 years more creepy? I said "Dude, that is not a selling point. I wouldn't even tell people that."

By now, I'm not living in this place, but it's still the cheapest studio in town, so I go ahead and take the elevator upstairs with him. That's when he tells me it's not haunted. OK. Whatever dude. The room was about 119 degrees - livable if you also had red skin and carried a pitch fork. I was outta there.

On the way back down the elevator, a girl gets in. She's young, looks like an aspiring dancer. I say "So, you live here? How do you like it?"

Her response, "Well, there's a lot of screaming."

Nuff said.

Oh by the way, you can Youtube The Alexandria Hotel and hauntings. The ghosts can have it.