Friday, May 29, 2009

The ghost of Valentino

Rudolph Valentino died suddenly of complications due to a perforated ulcer in 1926, at the height of his popularity. Fans around the world committed suicide when they heard the news. He was only 31 at the time of his death; the hysteria surrounding his funeral was something to see. Since Valentino died in New York, his body had to be sent (by train) back to California for his burial. Crowds surrounded the train at every stop on the long trip across the country, climaxing in Pola Negri's antics (she claimed they were engaged) when it finally arrived in California.

Valentino's house, Falcon Lair, was reported afterwards to be haunted by his ghost; one woman even claimed that he had chased her through the hallways. Another claim is that he haunts a Hollywood hotel.

Falcon Lair, like so many of the grand homes of the once-great Hollywood, is no more. It went up for sale in 2006 and was then destroyed the same year. When Valentino first came to the States, he was often homeless. Now, he is again.

The address of Falcon Lair was 1936 Bella Drive. Here is how it looks today:

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