October 14, 2019
When in the city of Angeles you can’t help but look for ghosts at some of LA’s legendary hotels, especially the notorious Alexandria Hotel, Mission Inn and Hotel Cecil.
Meet the man behind Bizarre Los Angeles, Craig Owens. Craig’s an LA-based writer and photographer who began staging vintage style photo shoots at haunted hotels as an idea for an Old Hollywood themed project. Little did he know that while on location, he he would catch his first ghost on film. This left him wondering if his photo shoots were somehow triggering paranormal activity.
Craig’s book, "Haunted by History, Vol. 1," earned a Publishers Weekly Star Review. His encyclopedic knowledge of each hotel's history, paired with his haunting photography and sense of humor has made him a favorite of historical societies and ghost enthusiasts alike. His next volume, featuring the true histories of eight more haunted Southern California hotels, will be released in 2019.
He’s appeared on "My Ghost Story: Caught on Film" about an apparition at the Palomar Inn in Old Town Temecula. Since that time, he's been quoted in James Bartlett's book, "Gourmet Ghosts 2," and Colin Dickey's book: "Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places." More recently, he has appeared on Nerdist's popular "Bizarre States" online podcast, and has been featured in "Los Angeles Magazine," and "NBC Los Angeles."
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Bridget Marquardt is best known to television audiences and pop-culture connoisseurs as the sweet and brainy star of E! Networks’ wildly popular reality show “The Girls Next Door.” After moving out of the Playboy mansion in January 2009, Marquardt hosted “Bridget’s Sexiest Beaches,” a sixteen-episode series on The Travel Channel in which she traveled the globe searching for the world’s best surf, sand, and sun in countries including Croatia, Jamaica, Thailand, Spain, Australia, and the United States.
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Lisa Morton - Ghost Reporter
Everyday is Halloween to award winning horror author and Ghost Reporter Lisa Morton. She has published four novels, 150 short stories, and three books on the history of Halloween. Her most recent releases include the anthologies Haunted Nights (co-edited with Ellen Datlow) and Ghost Stories: Classic Tales of Horror and Suspense (co-edited with Leslie Klinger), both of which received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly. She lives in the San Fernando Valley, and can be found online at www.lisamorton.com .
About Craig Owens
Los Angeles-based photographer Craig Owens first fell in love with history and the paranormal in 1972. At that time, he was as a seven-year-old boy playing on the grounds of a Southern plantation known as Waverley, located outside of West Point, Mississippi. While Waverley’s owners admitted to seeing and hearing the ghost of a young female child, Craig never encountered her. Yet the atmosphere and history of Waverley stayed with him long after his family moved to Texas.
In 1994, he moved to Los Angeles and began to work freelance in the film and television industry. His production credits include Fudge (1995), The Christmas Box (1995), Wag the Dog(1997), Phone Booth (2002), and The Gilmore Girls (2000-2001).
In 2002, Craig left film production to work for the Century City Chamber of Commerce and later the International Cinematographers Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 600. While working for the chamber of commerce, he contributed articles for the Century City View and wrote the History of Century City.
In 2009, Craig began staging vintage style photo shoots at haunted hotels as an idea for an Old Hollywood themed project. While on location, he experienced paranormal activity. This left him wondering if his photo shoots were somehow triggering it.
The following year, he started his Facebook blog, Bizarre Los Angeles, a page dedicated to Los Angeles’ forgotten history. He also continued to hold vintage photos shoots at haunted locations. Little did he know that his love for haunted hotels would bring media attention. In 2013, he appeared on My Ghost Story: Caught on Film after he unintentionally photographed an apparition at the Palomar Inn in Old Town Temecula, California. The following year, the online magazine, The Verge, published an article on his paranormal experiences at the Aztec Hotel in Monrovia, California.
Craig Owens has now gained notoriety for his photography and his passion for historical research. He has also appeared in other people’s books, including Gourmet Ghosts 2 by James T. Bartlett and Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey. He has also been featured in articles published on Los Angeles Magazine and NBC Los Angeles.
While he firmly believes that ghosts exist, he is reluctant to accept all paranormal stories. He instead approaches the subject with a good deal of skepticism, preferring to err on the side of not believing enough. He also encourages his readers to form their own opinions as to whether ghosts are real, and warns people not to believe in ghost legends unless the legends are supported by historical fact.
About Haunted By History, Volume 1
Haunted by History, Volume I, by Craig Owens uncovers little known facts about eight prominent historic hotels in Southern California and the origins behind many of their ghost stories.
Not only does his well-documented research separate facts from fiction, but Owens also keeps the subject matter interesting by interweaving historic photos with his own elaborately staged Old Hollywood-style photos shot in the most haunted rooms, hallways, and lobbies. This unique book blends solid research, fascinating insights, and haunting photography that will appeal to believers and non-believers alike.
Hotels and inns featured in Vol. 1 are the Hotel del Coronado, Victorian Rose Bed & Breakfast, Julian Gold Rush Hotel, Mission Inn Hotel & Spa, Alexandria Hotel, Wyndham Garden Pierpont Inn, Banning House Lodge, and Glen Tavern Inn.