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‘Ghost Adventures’: What’s the Haunted History of The Alley Music Studios?

Continuing their quest to make contact with the “other side,” the team at Ghost Adventures is turning their attention to an iconic location in Los Angeles. After their time at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Hollywood left them with no striking evidence, Zak Bagans and company are staying in California to check out what they’re calling The Alley of Darkness.

Locals may not immediately recognize the moniker used to title the episode, but it’s a well-known establishment that has served musical legends like Kurt Cobain and Tom Petty. Best known as The Alley Music Studios, the recording studio has a history of star power walking through its doors, but that’s not what caught the attention of the Ghost Adventures production team. The studio is also allegedly afflicted by a darker history that frames its near five decades in the music industry.

According to the Travel Channel’s episode description, “Zak and the crew investigate an iconic Los Angeles recording studio plagued with a dark presence that may be tied to its past.” Digging into The Alley Music Studio’s history, there aren’t any apparent instances that would spawn a dark spirit, but, as Zak reveals in the episode’s preview, the studio does have a rather rich and troubled past.

Though it’s known as The Alley today, long before Bill Elkins took over the lease for the building, it was known by its nickname “The Dog House.” The music studio was first built in 1943 as an office building and, seven years later, was taken over by a carpet and furniture store. In 1967, Dunhill Records moved into a small building on the lot and converted it into a recording and rehearsal space. Around the same time, The Redwoods had signed with the label, changed their name to Three Dog Night, and started using the new studio to record.

As both The Dog House and The Alley, the recording studio has hosted famed musicians like Elvis Presley, Rick Springfield, Mickey McGee, Jackson Browne, Ricky Nelson, and Danny O’Keefe. With the presence of high-profile artists and the growth of the industry came an abundance of drug use which led to an unfortunate string of overdoses that, according to Bagans, “occurred as early as [2018].”

Courtesy of Melina D Photography

Though The Alley’s haunted history may not be well documented, Ghost Adventures aims to uncover the claims made by the studio’s current staff, which includes owner John Strand. In 2015, Strand acquired The Alley from Shiloh Elkin, Bill’s widow, after hearing of its potential demolition. In 2017, Strand started renovations to official save The Alley and, as of early March 2018, was still making alterations, including adding a speakeasy in the building’s basement. Strand believes that, among the spirits in The Alley, Bill Elkins is one of them.

Some may criticize The Alley’s appearance on Ghost Adventures as convenient timing. Strand relaunched the official website as savethealley.com and is currently seeking donations to “keep the Alley alive.” A spot on one of the Travel Channel’s more popular productions would absolutely give The Alley the attention it needs.

To see who or what is haunting The Alley, check out the latest episode of Ghost Adventures at 9 pm EST on the Travel Channel and the Travel Channel app. Joining the Ghost Adventures crew at The Alley of Darkness is Patti Negri, Hollywood’s leading medium.

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  • Mark is a full-time freelance writer from Las Vegas, NV and former Long Islander. With a creative ed... keep reading

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