Haunted Snowden House

  • Ghosts and Hauntings
  • 5 mins

By Crusader1307

 The Sowden Home, located in Los Angeles, California – is a model of rather odd architecture. The strange facade rather resembles the ''jaws of some great animal''. It has also been compared to an Ancient Mayan Temple. But The Home was the brainchild of World renown (and still studied) Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. That alone is enough to find The Sowden House a registered State and National Historic Point of interest (which it is). It is also possibly the location of MANY unsolved murders and perhaps – was where one of California's (if not America) most horrendous murders of the 1940s. That particular victim's name was Elizabeth Short. History knows Her as ''The Black Dalhia''.

The year was 1947. World War II had been over barely 2 years and California was again a hub of great activity. From businesses and jobs catering to returning Veterans, to an uptake in California's main industry – Hollywood Films, just about everybody, everywhere – wanted to come to California and ''discovered''. Elizabeth Short was one such. Coming from Massachusetts, California had everything she wanted. But Hollywood was filled with very pretty girls (of which Short was just another one). She struggled to find and keep menial jobs while She tried out for every ''bit part'' that came along. Becoming sullen and refusing to go back East, Short turned to prostitution (so it was alleged and so too did The Los Angeles Police Department arrest and ''book'' Her for the charge). Short was a fixture in many ''seedier'' bars and nightspots. Her dark hair and dark looks earned Her the nickname by some, alluding to the recently released film ''The Blue Dalhia'' (1946) becoming ''The Black Dalhia''.

Enter our second ''character'' – one Dr. George Hodel. A well educated and multi-talent Physician, Hodel brought The Sowden House (which befitted His ''station'') Many parties were held inside and Hodel filled His home with fine Art. Married with Children, Hodel appeared to have a ''dark past''. Having been named as a sexual abuser in a Patient Case, it would be learned that Hodel liked ''trashy women'' and to beat and abuse them. Some even speculated that He drugged women and tortured them 9although must of this was never quite proved). Hodel also like to ''hang out'' in some of the same seedy Hollywood and Los Angeles Bars that Short did. With Her looks and outright ''desperate need'' to get into pictures, someone like Hodel would have jumped at the change to ''be with'' Her. Perhaps he was. On January 15, 1947, a Mother and child were walking down the sidewalk near Leimert Park. Much of the area (then) was still bordered by trees, open lots and tall grass. The Mother ''saw'' something ''very white'' laying in the grass. Closer investigation revealed the truth. It was a body – or rather ''two pieces'' of such. The Police were called and the investigation began in earnest. The victim was a female in Her 20s. She was nude. Further, the Killer had dissected the poor girl into two halves. The upper torso, head and arms were separated from Her lower abdomen and legs. Absolutely no blood was found. In fact much of the victims fluids had been drained. Finally, the victim's face bore the ''scars'' of what was known in Irish crime circles as ''The Glascow Smile''. This act involves the slicing of a 4-inch laceration, beginning with the end of the mouth opening (nearest the cheek) and cutting rearwards to the ear. This is done of both sides of the face. The County Coroner would arrive and take the victim. IT took little effort to identify ''Her'' as one Elizabeth Short.

The Coroner determined that Short was dead ''before'' she was cut in half – and even given Her ''smile''. Cause of death was from blunt force trauma to the rear of the head. Further She was obviously murdered someplace else. That ''location'' would be covered in blood, no doubt. The crime made the headlines of just about every Newspaper in The US. The Police began their search for a suspect. Which led them to Dr. Hodel. Hodel was well known as stated for His being under Police investigation for patient sexual abuse. Further work found the He had other victims – mostly ''loose women'' and prostitutes. Some stated that Hodel had abused Him, even stating He like to ''talk about dismemberment and torture''. The Police could not really establish any of this to the full extent of The Law. Hodel also may have had major connections within The City because of His wealth. No investigation of His House was conducted. And although several other suspects were advanced (some famous others not) – Hodel beat the Patient Abuse case and divorced His Wife. He would leave The US and settle in The Philippine Islands. Coming back to America in the mid-1990s, He would die in 1999 at the age of 91.

Hodels Son – who would grow up to become an LAPD Detective, found evidence (letters), that He claimed shows His Father was not only the murderer of Short but MANY other women. He has put forth the theory that His Father would bring women back to His Sowden Home, drug and rape them. Short may have had a severe reaction to the drug and died or Hodel got to carried away and smashed Her in the head, killing Her. As a Doctor, He would definitely had the skill and training to perform the ghastly dissection of Short and dump Her remains. There are MANY variations. In the early 2000s, a Police Cadaver Canine was brought to The Sowden House. In the dank basement, full of crushed rock and dirt, the animal ''alerted'' to the presence (or one at one time presence) of human remains. The Police were none too interested. The case had been cold for 60 nearly 70 years. ANYONE involved with it would have been long dead. The location was NOT dug up. In 2012, a group of Paranormal Investigators had ''a crack'' at The House. An assigned Medium picked up ''dread dread and fear'' within the house. Further, ''something was present'' (but is is unclear as to if it is a Male or Female ''feeling''). Cold Spots and temperature variances were present withing the interior. However, an Electromagnetic Voice Experiment was conducted – without response.

Not since London's ''Jack The Ripper'' Case of 1888 – had a single crime created such response by people. Seen as being the oldest unsolved murders in Los Angeles History, the real truth (and killer) may never be truly known. But in a peaceful cemetery in the City of Oakland, California – lies the simple flat plaque bearing the name of Elizabeth Short, ''The Black Dalhia''.