After a few rough weeks filled with open houses, conventions, sickness and other shenanigans Mommy Fearist decided it was time for a night out-without the kids.
So I called my friend and proposed an evening filled with adventure, spirits and “spirits.” We braved traffic at 4:30pm from Orange County into Hollywood, which in itself is a scary experience, and pulled into the parking lot behind the historic Pantages Theater to pay $20 for parking.
The Frolic Room
Our first stop of the evening was “The Frolic Room” adjacent to the Pantages. I chose this as our first stop because
1. The place has been here since the 1930s and is filled with history
2. The Frolic Room is rumored to be the last place that the Black Dahlia was seen alive
3. It has ridiculously cheap drinks
To say that this is a hole in the wall would be almost an understatement. The Frolic Room was a speakeasy during prohibition and continues to hold onto the most basic desires of bar patrons; good drinks, good music and a good mix of people. A Frolic Room regular, “Dan the Man,” immediately offered us his seat at the bar and offered up some fun conversation while Abby the bartender kept our glasses full.
We were soon introduced to another regular, Tony De La Paz, who has been a customer of the Frolic Room since 1967. Tony was like a walking encyclopedia who is more than happy to share some stories and details of not only the Frolic Room but the Pantages as well.
As for sharing any stories about a possible haunting here, we couldn’t get anyone to divulge that information. But that’s ok, the night was still young and we had one more stops planned.
The Burgundy Room
The Burgundy Room, located at 1621 Cahuenga Blvd, is the epitome of what I needed that night. We were greeted by Torrance, the Burgundy Room’s doorman for the past 19 years. The bar is ominous and dark as its only illumination comes from the red glass Victorian candle holders. We walked in as soon as the door opened at 8 pm and were both met with a sense of something a little “uneasy” going on here. We sat at the bar first then made our way over to the Ouija table that I had read about. It’s a tiny booth akin to the “snugs” that were popular in Irish Pubs. Fitting more than 4 people would be a tight squeeze but manageable.
And even if you sat down by yourself in that booth, you wouldn’t be alone.
The only way to describe what I felt when I sat down was that the energy was “thick” and very off putting. We stayed in the nook for only a minute or two before we became a little overwhelmed and had to move back to the bar. Mike the bartender was not only charming and a fantastic maker of adult beverages, he was also more than happy to share a little history and some stories of things that go bump in the night.
I headed outside to talk to the doorman. Torrance is a looming figure with a kind smile and some great stories of patrons both in the bar and on the street. I highly suggest you have a quick chat with him early in the night before it gets busy. Don’t bother to ask about any “other worldly” experiences in the Burgundy Room, he won’t share that. Per my conversation with him about the apparent “regulars” beyond the veil, his reply was simple, “I’ve seen scarier things outside the door.” I can only imagine. Cahuenga has transformed over the years. It has become quite the scene for clubs, music and the restaurants there are plenty. There is something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a fun and possibly spooky night out sans children, tell Mike the bartender that Mommy Fearist sent you. Who knows, you might catch me in there again.
I won’t be sitting at the Ouija table.