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Linda Vista Community Hospital is now used for movie and TV shoots. Is it haunted?

April 4, 2010 |  3:24 pm

Do the shadows know?

The iron chain falls with a clang as the old man steps into the dark, deserted hallway of Linda Vista Community Hospital. Lights flicker and a stench of mold hangs in the air. Down the main corridor, a lone metal gurney rests against a wall.

More than a century ago, the six-story building in Boyle Heights opened to much fanfare as Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital. The Mission-style building -- with verandas, a dome tower and sweeping views of downtown Los Angeles -- catered to railroad workers across the Southwest. Patients were cared for by a surgeon who once tended to Howard Hughes; they drank fresh milk from the hospital's own Jersey cows.

They were brought into the lobby in wheelchairs, taken up an elevator operated by the simple pressing of a button and delivered to a heated room that could swiftly be evacuated by automatic fire escape.

"So complete and unique are the automatic features of the new hospital that it will not be strange if all who enter therein for treatment are healed automatically,"announced a 1904 newspaper article.

Now the wheelchairs are gone, the elevators broken. The heating-and-cooling system hasn't worked for 16 years. Jesus Mena walks the halls alone -- flashlight in hand, keys clinking on his leg -- like an orderly making his final rounds. The 73-year-old watches over a building that in less than two decades went from community hub to haunted house.

Read the full story here.

--Emeralda Bermudez in Boyle Heights

Photo: A crew member is silhouetted against the exterior of Linda Vista Community Hospital during a film shoot at the allegedly haunted site in Boyle Heights. The abandoned hospital, where railroad workers with tuberculosis once were cared for in furnished tents, has been used as a location for the movies "Outbreak," "End of Days" and "Pearl Harbor" and the pilot episode of the television show "ER." (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)