My Michael Jackson photo shoot ghost story.

My idea for this blog was always to be diversified and cover equipment, instruction, and occasionally even this photographer’s philosophy and stories. Since Halloween isn’t far away I thought I would share a ghost story from the Michael Jackson shoot with you. I was hired to be the set photographer on the Dome Project, at the time a secret shoot at Culver City Studios, the first two weeks of June 2009, just a week before Michael passed away. Michael was redoing 3 classic songs of his including Thriller, updated and in 3D. They were to be part of the planned final London shows. I was staying at an old, but, well preserved landmark hotel very close to the studio. This hotel which I will not mention the actual name of had been around since the days of Chaplin and was the home to many a movie star of eras yesterday and today.  I told the front desk I needed a wake up call at 6am Monday since there was 7am call at the studio. Rumor had it I was in a room on an upper floor that had once been the favorite of the film siren, Greta Garbo. Considering the next day on the set and first day of the job, I was excited and not just a little anxious, but, I managed to fall asleep. Before I knew it the phone was ringing… my wake-up call. At the moment I thought it was quaint that the ring was so old fashioned. I showered quick and grabbed my photo gear and headed out. Once downstairs the lobby was dark … it was obviously still dark out and that didn’t compute with the wake-up call. I asked the front desk what time it was and they told me 3:30. What?  I inquired why they called me at the wrong time.  They checked their list and said I was on schedule to be called at 6. I said they already called me. They said it was all automated, and they had never had that complaint before.  So, I went back to me room bummed that I might not get back to sleep and would be dragging the first day. Once I got to my room and opened the door there was a distinct smell of women’s perfume. Odd, since I wear no scents at all. And the water from the toilet was recycling like someone had just flushed the toilet. I was definitly a little spooked. I was able to get back to sleep. Then when the 6 am wake-up call happened it was a completely different modern ring. Hmm  I always kid with people that I have shared a bed with Greta Garbo.


  1. Milky September 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    You have an interesting take on this topic. I am happy you seahrd your thoughts and I find myself agreeing. I really appreciate your clear writing style and the effort you have put into this piece. Thank you for the solid work and good luck with the blog, I look forward to updates in the future.

  2. Framed prints September 25, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Spooky! I think you must have! Got the chills just reading that…

  3. Tom August 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    That would have made a great story line for the Twilight Zone show. Love stories like this, thanks for sharing your adventure.

    ~ Tom

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