By Kristen Winiarski

Is the Hollywood sign haunted? The world famous landmark represents the larger-than-life glitz and glamour that goes along with movie magic, but it also has tragedy tied up in its reputation. The tragedy dates all the way back to the 1930s, so if this ghost is still there, she’s been there for a long time.

Who was Peg Entwistle?

Peg Entwistle photo from the playbill for her role in Just to Remind You

Peg Entwistle went to Hollywood like so many hopeful young actresses at that time with dreams to make it big in pictures, but for her, it was not to be. We’ll never know if her career would have taken off or not because she ended it on her own terms after she was almost completely cut from the film Thirteen Women. The reason for this was to keep the film more wholesome because she played a lesbian, which was controversial at that time.

Peg Entwistle in Thirteen Women, courtesy RKO Pictures

She had thought the role would be her big break and lead to bigger and better things, but after that setback, she never recovered, despite being an actress on Broadway in the years before her trek out west. After that film, she, along with several other actresses, were cut out of their contracts.

The Circumstances of Her Death

Before Thirteen Women was even released, Peg ended it all. She left her home that she shared with her uncle on the night of September 16, 1932, and he never saw her alive again. Peg walked from her home to the Hollywood sign, balanced on the rickety maintenance ladder to reach the top of the letter H before leaping off of it.

Her specific reasons and afflictions will never truly be known, but it is suspected that she was drunk that night. Combine that with her apparent depression, and it proved to be a deadly combination.

Promo photo for Peg Entwistle in the play, The Wild Duck

She was found the next day by a female hiker, along with her suicide note, which read: “I am afraid, I am a coward. I am sorry for everything. If I had done this a long time ago, it would have saved a lot of pain. P.E.”

Since it was only signed with her initials, it took two days before her uncle came and identified her. Newspaper stories were written about her heartbreaking death, and it was the story about an unknown woman jumping off the sign that caught her uncle’s eye because she had been fascinated by the sign while alive.

The Hauntings Ever Since

There have been many sightings of Peg since her death. Gardenia perfume was a favorite of hers, so you will often witness ghostly happenings with the hint of gardenias in the air. Joggers, hikers, park rangers, and trespassers have all witnessed Peg. She is always dressed in 1930s clothing with a sad or confused expression, walking on the path or floating on the hill, and often accompanied by her favorite scent. According to park ranger John Arbogast, he’s seen her several times late at night when conditions are foggy. It seems that she has never fully escaped the area that killed her dream. The H that she jumped from even fell over in 1949, and needed to be fixed. Could it have had something to do with her as well?

If you’re excited to learn more about classic Hollywood ghost stories, you can visit haunted Hollywood Boulevard in person on our ghost walk—every night at 7 pm!