Exploring an old hotel in Hollywood

    The Hollywood Tower Hotel is a Pueblo Deco styled building opened in 1929. The hotel was meant to be home for celebrities and famous people from all around the world. All of the data we managed to gather about the hotel were of one mind: the hotel was always full, it gave a lot of people a job… All was perfect until that Halloween night of 1939.

    The weather has been menacing for a few days, and it seemed that the city of Hollywood would soon know the biggest thunderstorm of its history. At around 8.00 pm, the storm finally started with thunder so loud that the ground vibrated enough for people to be afraid an earthquake was happening. A few minutes later, an enormous lightning stroke the Hotel, vaporizing the frontage and a complete family that was in an elevator. After that, the storm went away.

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    It’s still really early in this day of October, 2015, and we’re arriving on Hollywood Boulevard. We have learned that decades ago, a mysterious incident happened in a now abandoned hotel, not far from here. Because of the rising conflict in Europe, the newspaper quickly lost interest about an abandoned hotel. As curiosity is a weak word to describe us, we decide to go on and check by ourselves.

    Walt Disney Studios, Paris - Hollywood boulevard
    Walt Disney Studios, Paris - Blue hotel

    After a long walk (let’s say it, we were lost in Hollywood), we eventually arrive in front of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, also known as the Tower of Terror since that night of October, 1939.

    Even though the building was evacuated in a hurry right after the frontage was destroyed by the thunderstorm, nobody dared to come back to clean the place and re-open the Hotel. 76 years have passed since the catastrophe, and the building’s lights are still on at night.

    The tower looks like it happened yesterday, its conservation is absolutely perfect, the purple tint left by the lightning on the remains of the frontage is still here and we are nearly sure the elevator gates that we see in the upper part of the tower are still operating…

    Having contemplated the Tower for a while, we decide to ignore that strange premonition deep inside us and to enter the building. It’s not an easy thing to do, we have to find a small passage somewhere in the hotel’s garden, and of course we lost ourselves again for a moment… Having finally found a way through the garden, we arrive in the majestic hall of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

    What’s absolutely striking here is the stillness of the place. 76 years after a forgotten tragedy and a probably terrific evacuation, everything’s still in place.

    But we still have that strange feeling, of not being welcomed here…Also, what if some people stayed here during the evacuation?…

    Walt Disney Studios, Paris - The beginning (Tower of Terror)

    Feeling more and more uncomfortable in the hall, we move to the corridor behind the reception desk, to find what looks like the doors of a badly damaged elevator. What could have happened to destroy these doors so bad? As we approach the doors, the lights of the hall behind us start to flicker and the air feels suddenly quite electric. Well, we’re not Otis technician, we can’t do anything with a broken elevator, let’s try to find some stairs…

    Outside, the thunder is rumbling far above the Hollywood hills… At least the temperatures will go a few degrees down, and we’re in a hotel, so no worries, we’ll stay dry!

    During our search for a staircase up the tower, we end up finding  a library. At the second we pass the doors, a deafening sound from outside. I’m pretty sure the windows just shuddered…And the thunderstorm just began…Glad we’re not out right now. And we even have a working TV to divert ourself!

    Forget that. There’s no way to change the channel and its seems to be blocked on a rediffusion of an old show that proposes to send us visit the Twilight Zone…

    Also, we came here to explore the hotel, not chill in front of an old TV in a library, let’s see what’s behind this door…

    Walt Disney Studios, Paris - The story (Tower of Terror)

    Funny how quick you can forget that you’re in a luxurious hotel by simply going through a door… The only thing we could hear in the library was the noise of the thunderstorm outside… Here the noise is terrible. Looks like we found the boiler room, its hot and moisty in there. And that’s not reassuring, the hotel was abandonned 76 years ago, and the boiler is still operating…

    Well, we didn’t come so far to run away… What can we find here? We just have to be careful not to lose ourselves in that labyrinth of pipes and stairs… Really, the atmosphere is strange, and it really seems like someone is here, watching us…

    Wait…What was that? I’m pretty sure I just heard a girl screaming?…Again?! No, I must be dreaming, it comes from the walls…

    We were uncomfortable in the hall, but here, that feeling is way worse… Maybe we should try to go upstairs and see what the rooms look like… This elevator seems to be working, and we cannot find the staircase, so…let’s go for a ride in an 80 years old elevator!

    The inside is pretty rubbish, but that’s a service elevator, quite normal. The top button is stuck…There, hitting it hard enough do the job! There we go, up the tower to get an aerial view of the storm over Hollywood!

    Damn, that’s quick, probably one of the fastest elevator I’ve ever been into, and it’s more than 80 years ooooooldfisfeubgrsikqdsucvbd


    Walt Disney Studios, Paris - Get ready for a big jump! (Tower of Terror)

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