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The Halloween Series LbNA #6223

Owner:Kelsung Contact
Plant date:Oct 19, 2003
County:Los Angeles
Planted by:Buzzard Contact Inactive
Found by: Bloomin' Gramma Jo (2)
Last found:Mar 23, 2012
Last edited:Oct 19, 2003
Difficulty: Easy. Dogs on a leash are okay, as are children in strollers. Wheelchairs can get to some of these letterboxes, please email me for details.

We Pasadenans love holidays. We put holiday-themed lights on our houses, fly banners outside our houses, and decorate our lawns with lighted figures for St. Patrick’s Day, July 4th, Easter, Presidents’ Day, and most of all to celebrate our favorite holidays: Halloween and Christmas. As a true Pasadenan, I love all holidays, but my all-time personal favorite is Halloween! By October 7th, the French Hen and I have decorated our house with Halloween lights, vintage die-cuts, and special effects (black lights, fog machine, strobe light, scary music, etc.). On Halloween night, I’ve been known to don a spooky costume and hide in bushes around the neighborhood in order to jump out and scare trick-or-treaters.

As I introduce my Halloween letterbox series let me make this perfectly clear—I’m a believer in a scary Halloween. You won’t find any smiling ghosts or cutesy benevolent witches in my Halloween Series—it’s scary! So if you letterbox with an impressionable, possibly nightmare-prone child (or adult . . .), you may want to reconsider tackling this series.

#1 Suicide Bridge **MISSING as of 8/2** **This letterbox was replaced with a new stampbook on 12/23/04.**

This beautiful 1,467 foot concrete bridge is the scenic gateway into downtown Pasadena, just northeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is also well-known to Angelenos as "Suicide Bridge."

Constructed in 1913, the 150 ft. high structure crosses the dry Arroyo Seco riverbed. A decades-old story maintains that the body of a worker who toppled into a just-poured concrete support could not be recovered and remains entombed in the bridge to this day. Supposedly, his soul cries out to other desparate beings. While this particular story may be unfounded, a number of men did die awful deaths in the bridge’s construction. This may explain why the bridge became a hot spot of sorts during the early part of the last century and the Depression when 95 people jumped to their deaths between 1919 and 1937.

One of the most famous suicides occurred on May 1, 1937, when a despondent mother threw her baby girl over the railing and then jumped over herself. The mother died, but miraculously, the little girl survived the plunge. Her mother had inadvertently tossed her into some nearby trees, and she was later recovered from the thick branches.

It was reported to me by Doughnut that while looking for this box, small children sometimes poke their heads out from the guardrail a little too far out into the traffic lanes, and those cars do whizz by pretty fast, so be aware. This is a pedestrian sidewalk, though, so you are supposed to be safe here. Exit the 134 Freeway at Orange Grove Avenue in Pasadena and drive south to the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Orange Grove. From this point, travel one block south on Orange Grove to Green Street. Turn right on Green Street for one block, then right on Grand for one block until you come to a circular dead end in a park area. Park your car where you are allowed (check the signs), and walk along the paved path west toward the bridge. On the bridge, you will see regularly-spaced, inset benches. Count them until you get to bench number six on the bridge’s south side; here, sit and rest, and notice that you are at the one of the bridge’s highest points—the place where someone committing suicide would have likely climbed over the railing. In front of you, separating the sidewalk from the street, are double metal guardrails mounted on evenly-spaced metal posts. Look beneath the lower rail behind the left-most post you see in front of you for the letterbox.

#2 Rialto Theater **MISSING as of 8/2**
**Replaced for the second time on 11/26/04.**
From “Suicide Bridge,” travel back to Colorado Boulevard and drive east on Colorado for two blocks until you reach Fair Oaks Avenue. Turn right on Fair Oaks, and follow it for 2.2 miles into South Pasadena until you reach the corner of Fair Oaks and Oxley Street. This is the location of the Rialto Theater. In the 1920s, a famous murder occurred in Los Angeles. A man went to a grammar school in Venice, and, saying that he was her uncle, kidnapped a little girl. The girl was held captive for a few days in an apartment, and to distract her, the killer took her to the movies here at the Rialto Theater. A ransom note was given and paid, but the little girl was murdered in a manner so gruesome that I won’t mention it here. In which of this theater’s seats do you suppose they were sitting?

Go behind the theater. Here you’ll find a concrete incline that leads down to theater access doors. In the Robert Altman movie “The Player,” this is the location where Tim Robbins’ character kills a man he thinks has been stalking him. After having drinks in the Japanese restaurant just up the street from the theater (the restaurant is still there), Robbins gets into a fight with the man, and punches him through the metal railing above, where he falls to the bottom of this incline and dies. Look underneath the bottom step of the old metal stairs in front of you, in the front-right corner, to find the letterbox. (There are more than one set of metal stairs around this theater.)

#3 The Memorial Park Moon
**This letterbox is missing and won't be replaced at this location.**
From the Rialto Theater, travel north on Fair Oaks Avenue 2.2 miles toward Pasadena to Colarado Boulevard. Turn right (east) on Colarado Boulevard for 1 block until you reach Raymond Avenue. Turn left on Raymond and travel 2 blocks until you reach Memorial Park, which is located on the right side of the road. Memorial Park sounds like a cemetary, but it’s really just a city park that memorializes the sacrifices of war veterans
. . . who in their right mind would hide a letterbox in a cemetary?!! In Memorial Park, find the Yankee (that’s what they call ‘em where I come from [North Carolina]). From the front of the Yankee . . . ummm, I mean the Union soldier, take a compass reading of 328 degrees and walk 60 paces to the library. Behind the library, you’ll find a redwood tree. From the redwood tree, travel at a direction of 78 degrees for 55 paces, climbing up a small hill, to join one of the park’s main paved paths. Follow the paved path east for another 30 paces until you feel the need to touch your toes. About 25 paces from this spot, at a heading of 190 degrees, you'll see some horizontal slabs of concrete. One of the top slabs has a small metal ring embedded in it. At the far right, underneath the ring slab, the letterbox is buried under a little sand behind some rocks.

#4 The Memorial Park Scaredy Cat **This box has been reported missing as of 2/15/05.**

The letterbox is hidden under a green brick at the northwest corner of the old library in Pasadena's Memorial Park (not the new library built in 1927 across the street).

#5 The Charmed Witch
***This box is missing as of 9/13/04 along with the entire garden in the courtyard of the Pasadena City Hall. I may have to wait until they put in a new garden before I replace it.***

Return to Raymond Avenue (which borders Memorial Park to the west). Travel south on Raymond to Colorado Boulevard, and head east on Colorado Boulevard for 7 blocks until you reach Garfield Street. Take a left on Garfield, and travel three blocks until you reach the Pasadena City Hall. This city hall has been featured in many movies and television shows, but for me, its most notable role was as the setting for an episode of my favorite television series, “Charmed,” the adventures of three modern witches in San Francisco. Walk into the garden in the center courtyard of the city hall until you reach the fountain. My favorite episode of the WB series “Charmed” was filmed here, and featured my favorite actress, Rose McGowan. In this episode, Rose (who plays Paige Matthews), is turned into a nymph, and is filmed dancing—scantily clad, along with two other scantily clad nymphs—around this selfsame Pasadena City Hall fountain. (Look in vain for the barefoot prints.) I’ll never pay my late electric bill the same way again. You'll find the Charmed Witch stamp in the City Hall courtyard behind an electrical box due east from the fountain.

#6 The Halloween Series Ghost
**This letterbox is in place as of 10/24/04.**
This letterbox is only available between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM daily, so plan accordingly. From the Pasadena City Hall, travel north to Corson Street, the frontage road to the 210 Freeway, and travel east on Corson until you get to the next freeway entrance. Take the 210 Freeway heading east for about 3 miles until you reach the Michillinda /Rosemead Boulevard exit (note: there are other Rosemead Boulevard exits, take the one specifically labeled Rosemead/Michillinda). At the first traffic light after the exit, turn left, travel one block east on Colorado Boulevard, then turn left again onto Michillinda Avenue. Travel .9 miles until you reach the corner of Michillinda and Sierra Madre Boulevard. Turn right on Sierra Madre and travel .9 miles until you reach downtown Sierra Madre (charming town, isn’t it?). Continue east on Sierra Madre Boulevard out of downtown and look for the spookiest place in Sierra Madre. If you reach the bridge at Oakhaven Drive, you’ve gone too far. Enter the spooky location, and look for a small house. Upon entering the small house, you’ll be shocked to discover a touch-screen television. Look for the name James Brooks. Touch James' name on the screen, and you will be led to the location of the letterbox. (Lately, this touch-screen marvel has been on the blink, so to find James, search around the vicinity of N/O [as opposed to A/B, B/C, etc.].) Just left of James is a tall tree, and planted 6 feet up—how ironic—on the opposite side of James is the Halloween Series Ghost Letterbox (mind you, pine cones can be pretty sharp, gloves or caution would be good here).

#7 The Black Widow
Winnie Ruth Judd had a slender but curvaceous figure, a disarming smile and hair the color of burnt copper. She came to California in the 1920s to study nursing, and married a respected Santa Monica physician. Then she came down with Tuberculosis and was sent to live in the dry air of Phoenix. On the night of October 16, 1931, she shot and killed her best friends, possibly in jealously over their relationship with each other. After shooting them, she shot herself in the left hand, so she should claim self-defense. It was a crazy thing to do, but Winnie Ruth Judd was insane.

Winnie was going back to Los Angeles, and decided to take the bodies with her. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit into her steamer trunks, so she had to cut them up, then had them hauled to the train station. Upon arrival at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, Winnie checked her bags and took a taxi to meet her brother, a law student at U.S.C. Upon meeting her brother, she told him they must go back to the train station, collect her trunks, and dump them in the ocean. Mystified, he drove her back to the station.

At the station, a baggage clerk noticed dark fluid seeping from one of Winnie’s trunks, and when she returned to claim them she was told they would first have to be opened for inspection. Winnie told the clerk she had to get the keys to the trunk from her husband, walked out of the station with her brother, and drove away. Suspicious, the clerk followed Winnie out to her brother’s car, and took note of the license number. Shortly thereafter a detective arrived with a crowbar and opened the trunks; people in the vicinity were sickened at the ghastly site.

Winnie asked her brother to let her off at Sixth and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, and then disappeared. Police launched a search. The tabloids had two-inch-high headlines about the “Velvet Tigress” and “The Wolf Woman,” but Winnie had vanished.

Winnie vanished by walking 20 miles to a disused building on the grounds of La Vina Sanitarium in the foothills above Altadena. Winnie had once been a patient here. She hid in the building, sneaking into the kitchen at night for food. She hid until the infected gunshot would in her hand began to throb. It was then that she saw an ad in the newspaper taken out by her husband begging her to give up. She called her husband’s attorney and arranged to turn herself over to the police.

Winnie was committed to an insane asylum. Over the years she managed to escape seven times, often walking incredible distances across the wilderness.

To find the Black Widow Letterbox, exit the 210 Freeway in Pasadena at Fair Oaks Avenue. Drive north three miles on Fair Oaks to Altadena Drive, then turn left on Altadena Drive for 7/10s of a mile to Lincoln Drive. Turn right on Lincoln Drive towards the mountains. After several blocks, Lincoln Drive ends at the La Vina Development which consists of million-dollar homes built on the site of the La Vina Sanitarium. (In the late 80s, my wife and I saw the original buildings here.) Just before the development's guard station, turn around and drive down a block to the first driveway on the left. This is the parking lot of Loma Alta Park. The letterbox is hidden near the northwest corner of the parking lot, at the northwest corner of the Kiwanis Club marker, buried underneath a rock. Black and red ink stamps work well here.

#8 Candy Corn (This box is missing)
The retail store STATS is the best place in Pasadena for Halloween decorations. Like me, they go for the ghoulish stuff; on my visit today, I saw a grammar school girl who was afraid to even enter the store with her parents—this is my kind of Halloween place! The store is also famous for their fantastic selection of Christmas decorations and lights, and holds a spectacular 1/2 price sale on December 26, opening their doors at 5:00 AM (regulars know they actually open at 4:00 AM).

STATS is located in Pasadena, one block south of Colorado Boulevard at the corner of Raymond Avenue and Green Street. From the store’s entrance, walk 150 steps south on Raymond Avenue to a brick planter which is mostly located behind bars. You’ll find the letterbox under the planter’s loose brick, which you can reach between the bars. Yellow and orange ink stamps work well here (or red and brown inks, if you want Indian Corn).

#9 Bow Tie Cat **MISSING as of 8/2**
***This box was just planted for Halloween 2005***
This box is available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. In Pasadena, exit the 210 Freeway at Fair Oaks Drive, and travel north on Fair Oaks until you find the spookiest place in the city of Altadena. If you reach Ventura Street, you’ve gone too far. As you enter the location, bear to the right and look for the name “LOWE.” Here is a hint: “Royal Oaks.” Lowe is a very famous name in Pasadena history, and for a time there was another letterbox planted by Leslie at the site of one of his hotels in the mountains above this location. Go to the tree across the street from LOWE. The letterbox is hidden where the branches join the trunk, underneath leaves.

#10 Bat and Moon **Still there as of 8/2/2010**
Take the first left after driving west across the Colorado Street Bridge. This is San Rafael Avenue. Go to 160 San Rafael Avenue, and look past the gates to the burned ruins of the mansion that appeared in the 1960s Batman series—stately Wayne Manor. Drive back and park near the corner of San Rafael and Colorado Boulevard. Get out of the car and walk right on the sidewalk bordering Colorado Boulevard, back towards the bridge. The letterbox is hidden underneath a rock and leaves behind the first streetlight (some people thing this should be described as the 2nd streetlight).

#11 Skeleton Cat
***This box was just planted for Halloween 2005***
This is my favorite Halloween Series carving. I’ve always found this spot to be a little creepy, so I hope you do as well (you may not want to visit here by yourself). Go to Hahamonga Watershed Park at the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Oak Grove Drive in Pasadena, across the street from La Canada High School. Drive to the “Do Not Enter” signs at the south end, then circle around and park (do not take the road down to the Frisbee Golf Course). Walk south back to the “Do Not Enter” signs and take the road bearing left (the signs mean don’t drive in; it’s okay to walk). Continue walking south for a few minutes until you reach a yellow gate. Continue on the road past the gate until the road ends at a chain-link fence. Turn right and follow the trail as it travels under the street, and then under the 210 Freeway. The letterbox is hidden between the last two cement columns, in the right corner, under a small block of cement.