From murder mysteries to the catacombs beneath city streets, a local tour group is getting into the Halloween spirit and inviting the public to join them online to delve into Pasadena’s preternatural past with its “Haunted Pasadena” Virtual Tour on Saturday.
The virtual guided tour is being hosted by Pasadena Walking Tours and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.
“Through castles and courtyards, mortuaries and theaters, darkened alleyways and shuttered shopping malls, come walk with us and discover the sordid side of the City of Roses,” organizers said in a written statement. “Meet the phantoms who haunt its alleys, underground tunnels, corridors, and back rooms. Unexplained mysteries and dirty dealings pepper Pasadena’s past, but we’ll expose them on a nighttime wander through the Playhouse District and Old Pasadena!”
The online tour is being held on a “pay as you can” basis, and donations are appreciated, said Pasadena Walking Tours Founder Julia Long.
Participants must register online beforehand at pasadenawalkingtours.com/haunted-pasadena, and a link to the event will be provided upon registration.
The event is a digital version of walking tours hosted by the organization in the past around Halloween, Long said.
“Basically, it’s a tour that looks at some of the haunted spots of Pasadena,” she said.
“A couple are hauntings, a couple are creepy murders or that kind of thing. And then others are just sort of strange things that have happened in Pasadena,” according to Long. “It’s a wide range and definitely one that we have found people really enjoy, which is great. People seem to like scary stories.”
Highlights of the tour include Castle Green, Turner & Stevens Live Oak Mortuary & Memorial Park, the old Union Savings Building with its underground catacombs and rumored hauntings, and a recounting of Jack Parsons and his storied “Suicide Squad” of scientists.
Long said her personal favorite site on the tour surrounds the mysterious killing of a dentist in 1933.
“I won’t give anything away… we talked about the sort of mystery surrounding this murder that sort of gripped Pasadena and the area,” she said.
Pasadena Walks Tours plans to repeat the Haunted Pasadena Virtual Tour again in October, but scheduling was pending, Long said.
The event is meant to provide an evening of fun, along with some local history.
“We are really just looking at this time as an opportunity to provide entertainment and a little bit of education thrown in there,” Long said.
She’s been running tours in town since 2017.
“I founded Pasadena Walking Tours because I grew up in Pasadena and found that I just didn’t know as much local history as I really kind of wanted to. So when I started researching different areas and themes and stories, I found that there’s so much history in this area,” she said.
“We want people in Pasadena and in the surrounding areas to feel like they have a little bit more of an understanding of the area, even if it’s just a couple of fun facts or ghost stories that they can share with their friends and neighbors,” she added.
Other upcoming virtual tours include one of Monrovia on Sept. 20, as well as a tour of Pasadena’s Saloons & Speakeasies on Sept. 25.
More information, as well as links to reserve spots on the tours, is available on Pasadena Walking Tours’ website at pasadenawalkingtours.com.