In Seraphic Secret’s move to WordPress last week, this post was, for a while, lost in cyberspace. Due to the kindness and tech know-how of our faithful reader Alter Ben-Zion, we have been able to snatch this blog out of its spectral prison. Alter also sent all the comments and they are included.
In 1925, on Stage 6 of the MGM lot, electrician Carl Barlow was working on a lighting platform when one of the supports fractured. The entire platform collapsed in a heap and Barlow plunged to his death.
Stories of a ghost in white overalls haunting the catwalks of various MGM stages were widespread in Hollywood for many years.
As told by Esther Williams in her memoir “Million Dollar Mermaid,” in 1953 the swimming star heard spectral noises from Stage 5.
Williams entered the empty stage. She heard a voice tragically wailing. Tentatively, Williams moved towards the tortured echo.
And then she saw it.
But Williams did not see a ghost.
She saw the legendary star Joan Crawford, after a twelve-year absence at MGM, standing on the dark sound stage pleading to an audience that no longer existed:
“Why have you left me? Why don’t you come to my movies? What did I do to you? What did I say? Don’t turn your back on me!”
It’s no wonder that when Williams saw her movie career heading into its inevitable decline she got out of Hollywood and became a highly successful businesswoman.