Question of the Week: What is your favorite Los Angeles legend?

Los Angeles is a magnet for conspiracy theories, celebrity rumors, hoaxes, curses, and anything else that might fall into the catch all term of “urban legend”.

Yesterday, in fact, was the 65th anniversary of “The Battle of Los Angeles”, where a supposed UFO hovered over Santa Monica even after being showered with gunfire from nearby military batteries. The incident made front page headlines in 1942, but with the official US goverment story dismissing the UFO as a “weather balloon”. (watch NBC’s Today Show segment on the legend)

Almost every neighborhood has a local boogeyman, and everyone’s heard the one about Richard Gere having a gerbil extracted from his rectum at Cedar’s Sinai. There’s supposed “gravity hill” at Rose Hills Cemetert in Whittier, and as written about here, an actual “bridge to nowhere” in the San Gabriel Valley.

And I’m not even scratching the surface. In fact, there are so many local legends that next week, Metroblogging Los Angeles will be counting 20 of our personal favorites. To help us assemble a comprehensive list, I wanted to reach out to you, dear reader, for your help.

It could be a curse that extends to the Southland, or a tale that never ventured past the cul-de-sac where you grew up. Maybe its a rumor about a celebrity, or a conspiracy theory about a historical event in LA’s past (or future!). And sometimes, the best legends are ones that are far fetched, but actually true…

What’s your favorite local legend?

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15 Replies to “Question of the Week: What is your favorite Los Angeles legend?”

  1. This is a pretty small-bore legend, but has anyone heard about the Mays cats of Silver Lake? Someone once told me that the reason you see a lot of stray “tuxedo” cats (black cats with white socks and bellies) around LF-SL-EP is that the Mays family lived in a mansion up some hill and bred oodles of tuxedo cats, most of whom wandered off. I adopted one, and then another one found that one, and after the mistaken-identity follies wore off, a friend adopted the second one.

  2. I’ve lived here my 27 years on this earth, and I’ve never heard of lizard people or something in Silver Lake.

  3. The White Lady in Elysian Park! She has no head and walks ghostly through the park in her white dress. Ask anyone who grew up in the area.

  4. David: What I’m saying is that perhaps some of these are very local legends.

    Tell me more about the Lizard People.

  5. I have been told a trillion times that back in the day Pink’s used to be right up against the street, and Orson Welles would pull his limo up and was capable of eating a bakers dozen of their chili dogs. I highly doubt he could really eat 13 in a row, but I do not doubt his love of hot dogs.

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