L.A.’s Top 25 Legends: The Guide

Cover for Richard Matheson's novel 'I Am Legend'From Monday, March 5th and Friday the 9th, Metroblogging Los Angeles counted down their Top 25 favorite urban legends from the City of L.A., including ghost stories, celebrity rumors, conspiracy theories, and other mythical tales.

Some of these legends are infamous the world over, others are only locally known. Either way, it was left up to each author to research and conclude the truth behind each story, leaving plenty of room for debate.

Feel free to dispute or argue each urban legend at its respective post, or if there’s a glaring omission please leave it in the comments here.

In a city like Los Angeles, legends are born every day – some surprising true, some debatably false, some totally new, and others dusted off and given new life. Regardless, Tinseltown is home to more than just movies.

Here’s just 25 of our greatest legends:

The List

#25: A real mummified body was found in a Long Beach amusement park ride (by Sanjay Shah)
Did the Six Million Dollar Man uncover a sixty year old corpse?

#24: The L.A. Coroner’s office has a gift shop (by Kathleen McGivney)
Your choice of paper or plastic body bag.

#23: Tarzana was named after Tarzan, the ape man (by Jillian)
Right. And Encino was named after Brendan Fraser’s Encino Man.

#22: Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard was a Satanist (by David Markland)
Would the devil approve of auditing?

#21: E.T. was based on a true story (by Heathervescent)
Topanga Canyon frequently plays host to aliens from other planets, not just other countries.

#20: The White Lady of Elysian Park (EL CHAVO!)
Can you help her find her head?

#19: Birds are taking over Los Angeles (Cybele)
Chickens on the Hollywood Freeway and wild parrots in Temple City are a sign of the apocalypse. Or barbeque.

#18: Vietnam War Protesters Took Over Disneyland (Jillian)
Long haired hippies lay siege to Tom Sawyers Island, demanding an immediate troop pull out and an unlimited suppy of churros.

#17: Tornadoes are common in LA, but are referred to as wind anomalies (Heathervescent)
Then again, a light sprinkle in L.A. is referred to as a rain storm.

#16: Jamie Lee Curtis is a hermaphrodite (Joz Joz Joz)
You’ll never watch Halloween the same way again.

#15: Turnbull Canyon is used for Satanic rituals, including human sacrifices (Cindy Mosqueda)
The scariest night drive in Southern California

#14: Sylvie The Silver Lake Serpent (Will Campbell)
There’s photographic proof, so it must be true!

#13: Disney’s Frozen Head is at Disneyland (by Cybele)
You can buy ice cream Mickey Mouse heads all over the park, so why is this rumor so hard to believe?

#12: Gang members drive with their headlights off, then target drivers who flash their high beams (by Wil)
Publically agreeing with this legend also marks you for death.

#11: Griffith Park is Cursed (and haunted) (by David Markland)
Such a nice place for a picnic and a ghost hunt.

The Top Ten Los Angeles Legends

#10: A Starlet Jumped From the Hollywood Sign to Her Death (by tammara)
This urban legend brought to you by the letter H.

#9: An alligator named Reggie lives in Lake Machado (by Wil)
And how Reggie cursed Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin.

#8: A Real Life Munchkinland was built in the Valley for Wizard Of Oz actors (by Annika Barranti)
This one tends to make every urban legend short list. (get it? short list?)

#7: Santa Ana Winds Jack Up the Murder Rate (by Mack Reed)
How can they aim their guns straight with sand blowing in their eyes?

#6: Nobody Walks In LA (by eecue aka Dave Bullock)
Those Ugg boots weren’t meant for walkin’.

#5: Orson Welles holds the record for eating the most hot dogs in one sitting at Pink’s (by Jay Bushman)
Possibly inspiring the Slimer character from Ghostbusters.

#4: MGM Sets were used as filler during the construction of the 10 Freeway (by Annika Barranti)
So if you see a ghostly lion haunting an offramp…

#3: Lizard People Live Under LA! (by Benjamin)
And the LA City Nerd is one of them.

#2: There Really IS Earthquake Weather (by Tammara)
Not necessarily made up by the Ebayer selling “earthquake early warning alarms”.


and the top Los Angeles legend is…

#1: The Auto Industry Killed Los Angeles’ Streetcars (by Jillian)
Was Roger Rabbit responsible for LA’s most infamous urban legend?

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