Although I had heard of the “woman in black” who brings red roses to the grave of Rudolph Valentino every year on the anniversary of his death, I wasn’t aware of the numerous sightings of the great lover in various places since he passed in late August of 1926.
The Italian actor was well known during the silent film era of the 1920s. Valentino died at the young age of 31 from peritonitis that had set in after an appendectomy.
Valentino’s first funeral was held in New York City. A rash of suicides by downhearted fans occurred at the time.
The actor’s body was transported by train to Beverly Hills, where a second funeral was held. Having made no prior arrangements, Valentino’s friend, June Mathis, let his body be placed in her crypt. They are currently buried next to each other at the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery.
His active spirit has been reported at his last home, called Falcon’s Lair, in Beverly Hills. Valentino has been spied in his old bedroom, petting the horses in the stables, and looking out of the windows of the house. Footsteps are heard in the hallways, and doors often open and shut themselves.
One of Valentino’s ex-wives, Natacha Rambova, claimed she communicated with the dead actor for years after his death. She said he “refused to accept the idea he was dead.”
Actors Harry Carey and Millicent Rogers reported encountering Valentino’s ghost when each had stayed overnight in the home of the late Valentino.
One overnight guest, staying up late to write letters while visiting from Seattle, heard footsteps in the hallway, and saw the doors open and close. Rudy and Brownie, two Great Danes, who had been pets of Valentino, were in the house with the guest. They were watchdogs, but didn’t react to the presence.
Valentino Place, an apartment building that had been a fancy speakeasy in Valentino’s day, is another favorite hangout for the departed actor. He especially liked to visit during parties, and is reported occasionally even today.
A few years ago, the spirit of the great lover climbed into bed with a young actress living at the apartment building. She was lying in bed when she felt the weight of someone else on the bed. She was able to identify the solid figure of a man under the sheet next to her. She claimed to also be able to “feel the bulge of the man’s excitement” as he pressed against her. She even felt his breath. The young actress lifted the sheet and passed out when she saw the face of Rudolph Valentino looking back at her!
Valentino’s ghost sometimes walks back and forth on the veranda of his old beach house in Oxnard. This is where he stayed when the movie “The Sheik” was being filmed.
The Santa Maria Inn, about a half hour’s drive from San Luis Obispo, is another favorite place for Valentino to haunt. Guests staying in his former suite, 210, report a presence in the room with them, and odd noises.