The Old Los Angeles Zoo
Behind all the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles sits a forgotten, abandoned zoo left to rot and decay within Griffith Park. In operation from 1912 to 1966 the zoo was once the premiere place to gawk at exotic animals while in LA. The facility closed after demand called for a larger space and the animals were relocated to the new Los Angeles Zoo.
The ghost of the old zoo remains, with many of its structures and cages intact, a haunting reminder of a controversial past. Public dissatisfaction with the zoo’s appearance and rumors of animal mistreatment further contributed towards the zoo’s final closure.
During World War I a meat shortage forced the zoo to substitute beef for horse meat. This regrettably lead to the illness and death of many carnivorous animals, most notably the zoo’s large cat collection. Further issues with disease contributed to the deaths of some lions, which were forced to be euthanized.
The zoo’s past is tainted by its poor reputation and many misfortunes. It is not hard to think that the probability of hauntings in the area is a plausible one.
Paranormal Activity at the Abandoned Los Angeles Zoo
During the zoo’s existence many emotions have been expressed within its grounds. From visitors gleefully enjoying their day out to the pain an anguish of animals kept in torturous conditions. These emotions and experiences form strong energy. The paranormal community believe this energy can become just as much a part of a place as the bricks and mortar making up its foundation. The repetitive behaviors of caged, wild animals are still played out in death. Growls, roars and moans can still heard from now empty cages. Skeletal looking large cats and elephants with infected, pus ridden feet are still seen pacing their cold, artificial environments.
These reports make the Old Los Angeles Zoo a hot bed for residual hauntings. A place abandoned by so many, but sadly not the tortured souls of its past residents.
Visiting the Old Los Angeles Zoo
For an abandoned place sitting inconspicuously within the heart of Griffith Park, the Old Los Angeles Zoo is surprisingly intact. It is now a popular picnic and hiking area as well as a gateway to a bygone era.
The park is easily accessible by a short walk and nearby parking. One can explore old offices as well as the cages that large and small animals were displayed. Wandering through the graffiti covered ruins is both surreal, creepy and leaves one a little saddened for the animals once forced to call this place home. I recommend a visit to anyone looking for a truly unique experience while visiting Los Angeles.
Find the Old Zoo Trail at 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Griffith Park, Los Angeles. Look out for a haunted attraction that takes over the area during Halloween season.
If you’re looking for other creepy haunted places to visit in Southern California, check out my blog on Long Beach’s Queen Mary.
Thanks for reading!