In mid-March, we were fortunate to be able to investigate the historic former Propaganda Films building in Hollywood. Movie buffs will recognize Propaganda as the early home of music video & commercial directors turned major filmmakers David Fincher, Michael Bay and Spike Jonze, among others. Today the building is used by a production company as a workshop and studio.
Carol did some research into the building and discovered that the architect who designed the Propaganda Films office structure inside the larger warehouse was well-known in Southern California. Architect Franklin Israel built contemporary residences and offices for mostly entertainment clients, and the building we were about to investigate contained what many believe to be one of his most notable works. Israel died in 1996 at the age of 50.
Joining us were several guests who work at the studio, as well as Susan Bell who had helped arrange access to the building. The production company employees had many stories of strange happenings that had been reported by at least two dozen crew members. A stage manager saw a figure move across a back hallway when he was locking up. Others reported hearing movement in the third floor loft when no one was up there. An editor told us he’d be working on the weekends alone and he had to lock the door to his second floor office and put on his headphones to block out the strange noises. Andrew, who joined us for the investigation, shares some of his experiences:
We gathered the group and began near the southeast corner of the building where activity had been reported in the back hallway. The exterior wall of this area was the location of the studio’s electric panels, which were emitting a high electromagnetic field in the immediate vicinity.
However, these readings dropped off sharply just a few feet away and would not be affecting the nearby stages and hallways. The group spread out the length of the shorter hallway near Stage 13. I was facing a long dark hallway leading down the length of the building and this was where we kept hearing something moving or shuffling. Had a couple of odd EMF hits on the Mel meter as well as a temperature drop that wasn’t associated with the HVAC system that would later turn on. We tried to contact it several times and I got one good response that everyone heard:
It was a clear knock back. A few minutes later, one of our guests, Ivy, thought she saw something moving in the main area of the building. Check out the full YouTube video of this segment to see her reaction around 3:00 (she was a bit freaked out!).
Next we moved into a smaller office area where there had been reports of hearing something pacing outside a side door. But none of us heard anything that night — probably because several computers and hard drives kept waking up from sleep. Was this a sign of something? I don’t think so, but the computers were bothersome enough that we moved on. While we were inside this closed-off area, we left a camera recording in the main studio area. About 18 minutes after we walked away, a series of loud knocks was captured. In the video below the faint voices you hear are us talking, but the knocks are very audible. There is no hot water heater nearby, but maybe it is a piece of equipment? However, we didn’t hear anything similar to this sound the entire night.
Around 11pm, Ivy (who was thoroughly spooked) and another guest called it a night. The remaining group moved back to the far hallway where the shuffling noises and knock had been heard earlier. Here we focused on trying to contact who was haunting the building. At Tyler’s suggestion, Andrew took over asking questions and several people thought they heard faint replies. Carol began to believe it was architect Frank Israel who was in the building. We heard several single knocks and faint footsteps and movement as before. I personally felt a very negative energy at the base of a flight of stairs (so much so that I left a meter there and retreated), but nothing definitive was noted on our audio or video.
By now we had been there over three hours and our remaining guests, except for Susan, decided to leave. The four of us went upstairs to the third floor loft. And that’s when we had one of the oddest experiences in a long time. After hearing a faint reply to Sam’s asking for a response, Tyler told Susan to try the personal angle since she had worked in the building. Check this out:
Following this static transmission, Susan asked again for some type of communication and there is a faint sound of something clicking as if in response. Carol and I had been carrying a pair of walkies all night, but had left them both downstairs when we said goodbye to our guests. I had turned mine off, but Carol had left hers on. What was amazing is that the walkie was picking up a transmission exactly in response to Susan’s question. And it hadn’t made any type of static or transmission noise all night. We’ve never used walkies as a way to communicate with a spirit, so I guess there’s a first time for everything! Check out the full video of the loft with the second response as well as our further investigation into the matter on our YouTube channel.
Franklin Israel obituary – LA Times