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Explore the Spooky Spots in Pasadena on National Ghost Hunting Day

Published on Sep 25, 2020

Who is Crazy Cazaurang?

Saturday is National Ghost Hunting Day, and Pasadena Walking Tours will showcase the spookiest spots and stories that Pasadena has to offer, via a virtual “Haunted Pasadena” tour, scheduled on a “Pay As You Can” format, to help keep you entertained at home.

All virtual tours are hosted by a live tour guide via Zoom, who entertains you with the history, architecture and culture of Pasadena digitally. Donations may be extended through GoFundMe, and will be helpful to keep the company operating and offering new content and events through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘Haunted Pasadena’ tour comes and goes throughout the year, and will have a few dates in October, according to Pasadena Walking Tours.

Some of the stories that you could discover during the virtual tour are about some of Pasadena’s spookiest spots and history, and are introduced here:

Who Killed the Don Juan Dentist? And Why?

The Tale of the Don Juan Dentist is a much-talked about story of a Pasadena dentist, a Russian-born lover of music and the arts and of women. The dentist was said to have been murdered under mysterious circumstances around 1933. His body, shot multiple times, was found near the Sphinxes that guard the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Pasadena, according to news reports published at that time. His death remains to be a mystery even today.

Al Caltech, the archives of the Human Betterment Foundation, an American eugenics organization established in Pasadena in 1928 by E.S. Gosney are kept in Special Collections and is included in the virtual tour. The organization was established with the aim “to foster and aid constructive and educational forces for the protection and betterment of the human family in body, mind, character, and citizenship.” It primarily served to compile and distribute information about compulsory sterilization legislation in the U.S. for the purposes of eugenics. After Gosney’s death in 1942, Gosney’s daughter and the Foundation’s board liquidated HBF with its funds going to form the Gosney research fund at Caltech in 1943.

Turner and Stevens Live Oak Mortuary and Memorial Park

Turner and Stevens Live Oak Mortuary and Memorial Park have more than 100 years of experience catering to the funeral and cremation needs of the San Gabriel Valley. Located at 200 E. Duarte Road in Monrovia, the memorial park has served the burial needs of San Gabriel Valley residents since 1887. Often described as calm and serene by our guests, the cemetery is located near the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Another interesting place to visit during an actual tour, or simply to talk about during a virtual tour, is the Holly Street Livery Stable, at 110 E. Holly Street, which is said to have been owned by a J. Cazaurang, who immigrated to the U.S. From France around 1885 and married a woman in Los Angeles. The name “J. Cazaurang” is inscribed on one of the walls of the building, but no official records have been found to prove that he actually owned the building.

At Mills Street in present-day Old Pasadena, a laundry building rented by a Chinese businessman once stood. The Chinese businessman had his old laundry on South Orange Grove Blvd. But moved to Mills Street, then called Mills Place, in 1883. The building became the site of a riot in the evening of November 6, 1885 where many of the first Chinese settlers in Pasadena ran to escape lynching by a white mob. The violence was only temporarily halted after Pasadena Deputy Sheriff Thomas Banbury, a relative of the Civil War colonel, intervened. The next day, many of the Chinese settlers left Pasadena.

Pasadena Catacombs

The Pasadena Catacombs, another favorite haunted attraction, are said to have been built under an old abandoned mission that used to be on the corner of Raymond and Colorado Blvd. during the Mexican war. The catacombs were used to keep prisoners locked up. These prisoners disappeared under unknown circumstances and were later found crazed into insanity. People believe that an evil spirit roams the catacombs to this day.

Pasadenans also have great interest in the story of Parsons’ Suicide Squad, named after Marvel Whiteside Parsons, more commonly known as Jack Parsons. He was a researcher at the Caltech-affiliated Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory (GALCIT) Rocket Research Group, which became the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1943.

Parsons and his team at GALCIT, which included Caltech mathematician Qian Xuesen and laboratory assistant Weld Arnold, who worked as the group’s official photographer, became well known on campus as the “Suicide Squad,” for the dangerous nature of some of their rocket experiments. Parsons was a follower of English occultist Aleister Crowley, and in 1939 converted to Thelema, Crowley’s new religious movement.

Castle Green

Castle Green, located in the heart of old Pasadena, is considered one of the most foreboding hotels in Southern California. Built in the late 1890’s, it served as a luxury resort destination for traveling Easterners for many decades. When its run as a hotel ended, it was abandoned and fell into ruin. Today, the former hotel occasionally serves as a movie location.

Occasionally, Castle Green is open for public tours, not so much for its impressive architecture as for its popularity as a haunted place, where tenants have reported everything from door knobs turning by themselves to phantom footsteps. The most prominent ghost however is a woman dressed in a white Victorian gown that wanders the halls followed by the faint scent of perfume. Her identity and connection to the building is unknown.

For more information, visit

If you would like this hosted as a private virtual experience or as a live walking tour, call Pasadena Walking Tours at (626) 349-9651 for availability and quote, or email

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