Greystone Mansion


Edward Doheney was murdered in his mansion.

The Greystone Mansion, located in Beverly Hills, California, comes with a haunted reputation based on the following story and information gathered from Wikipedia. Paranormal investigators from all walks of life continue to visit this historic landmark:

On February 16, 1929, four months after Ned Doheny, his wife Lucy and their five children moved into Greystone, Ned died in a guest bedroom in a murder-suicide with his secretary, Hugh Plunket. The official story indicated Plunket murdered Ned either because of a “nervous disorder” or inflamed with anger over not receiving a raise. Others point out that Ned’s gun was the murder weapon and that Ned was not buried in Los Angeles’ Calvary Cemetery, a Catholic cemetery, with the rest of his family, indicating that he had committed suicide. Both men are buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, within a few hundred yards of each other. Both were involved in the trial of Ned’s father in the Teapot Dome Scandal.

Ned’s widow, Lucy, remarried and lived in the house until 1955, whereupon she sold the grounds to Paul Trousdale, who developed it into Trousdale Estates, and the mansion to Chicago  industrialist Henry Crown, who rented the estate to various film studios. In 1963, Crown planned to subdivide the property and demolish the mansion. Beverly Hills stopped the demolition by purchasing the mansion in 1965] The estate became a city park on September 16, 1971, and on April 23, 1976 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The city leased the mansion to the American Film Institute, from 1965 to 1982, for $1 per year, hoping to get repair and upkeep work from the institute.

doheny Murder

Greystone is now a  public park, and is also used as a location for special events, including the Beverly Hills Flower & Garden Festival. The estate is popular as a filming location due to its beauty, manicured grounds and Beverly Hills location. Some productions contribute to the upkeep and renovation of the mansion. The 2007 film There Will Be Blood, loosely based on the life of Edward Doheny via the Upton Sinclair book Oil!, renovated the downstairs two lane bowling alley to include it in the film.

In addition to the numerous events that take place at Greystone, the mansion plays host each year to Catskills West, a theater arts and drama camp run by Beverly Hills Parks and Recreation, from mid June to early August. The camp presents a play in the pool area twice during the summer. The mansion is also used for performances of the play The Manor written by Kathrine Bates, directed by Beverly Olevin and produced by Theatre 40, of Beverly Hills. The Manor takes place in a number of different rooms of the mansion. The audience is separated at certain times during the play to watch some scenes in a different order. The plot of the The Manor is a fictionalized account of the Doheny family, involving Doheny’s involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal and his son’s murder. The Manor has been performed at Greystone Mansion since 2002.

Ned Doheny murder scene

Greystone Mansion is also the location of “The Annual Hollywood Ball” where hundreds of celebrities gather each year for a grand fashion show, dinner and auction to raise money for the Pure Foundation, helping children in need around the globe. The million-dollar gathering also includes live performances by leading artists. Since 2010, an annual Concours elegance  car show has been held at the Greystone Mansion.

According to an article written by Ghosthunters of Urban Los Angeles:

The official story (as reported in the newspapers of the day) is that Plunkett went crazy one night and murdered his employer, and then turned the gun on himself. The reasons given for Plunkett’s psychotic episode have ranged from a salary dispute to his recent divorce. (His ex-wife, incidentally, was an out-spoken believer of the paranormal.) The homicide detective who arrived at the scene, Leslie T. White, later wrote an autobiography entitled “Me, Detective,” in which he devoted a chapter to the injustice of the Doheny investigation. In addition to waiting a couple of hours before calling the police, the family (with help from the family’s doctor) apparently staged the scene of the crime and the placement of the bodies as well as tried to disguise the time of death (which all contradicted the blood and bullet evidence). A proper investigation was never conducted (perhaps because of the family’s political influence). Despite the obvious tampering and the “rehearsed” eye-witness testimony from the family’s housekeeping staff, the case was declared solved by the District Attorney’s office the next day, and the bodies were immediately cremated (even though this practice was contrary to the family’s religious beliefs.

Over the decades, there have been many theories and rumors surrounding this case. One of the most popular stories is that Ned’s religious wife killed both of them, when she discovered that they were having a gay romance. It should also be noted, that earlier that day, witnesses claimed that the two men were having a loud argument at Plunket’s apartment (636 South Cochran Avenue), followed by what sounded like doors slamming. Did the other tenants actually hear gun shots, and just mistake them for doors? Curiously, the Doheny family also buried the remains of Hugh Plunket, the supposed killer of Ned Doheny, near their beloved son/husband’s remains. Why?

Whatever happened that rainy day (regardless of “official” reports) remains a true mystery. It is these unanswered questions of this tragedy that most likely are at the heart of this historic house’s haunting. Why else would the apparition of a man be seen walking the halls outside the scene of the crime? Is it the ghost of Ned Doheny, or is it Hugh Plunkett? Why does a pool of blood appear (then disappear) on the floor of room where the murders supposedly happened. Why just one pool of blood when there were two victims. Who’s blood is it? And more importantly, what are the manifestations trying to tell us?

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Thanks for stopping by and Happy Halloween to all!

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  1. Todd Graham

    I toured this mansion on the 80th anniversary of Ned’s murder. I observed some strange things that I can not explain. I have a very strong opinion that the mansion is haunted. The events of that night were a tragedy and misfortune.

  2. Alexa Nicole Schultz

    It isn’t the ghost of Ned or Hugh. Ghosts do not exist, as many believe they do. This is not to say, paranormal things do not exist and occur…they do, but these manifestations are ALWAYS demonic. Ghostlt activity is always caused by Satanic beings, not loved ones, acquaintances, or strangers, passed.

    1. Donna L (Post author)

      That’s you opinion and you certainly cannot prove that opinion one way or another.Many people would disagree with your theory, especially those who have experienced visitations from loved one.

    2. Lisa

      You must be catholic!

  3. Francisco Ricardo Algarra Gonzalez

    Es la famosa mansión de las películas the Bit Sleep, y una de Jean Simmons y Robert Mitchum ambientada años 50.💏


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