About Craig Owens
Los Angeles-based photographer Craig Owens first fell in love with history and the paranormal in 1972. At that time, he was as a seven-year-old boy playing on the grounds of a Southern plantation known as Waverley, located outside of West Point, Mississippi. While Waverley's owners admitted to seeing and hearing the ghost of a young female child, Craig never encountered her. Yet the atmosphere and history of Waverley stayed with him long after his family moved to Texas.
In 1994, he moved to Los Angeles and began to work freelance in the film and television industry. His production credits include Fudge (1995), The Christmas Box (1995), Wag the Dog (1997), Phone Booth (2002), and The Gilmore Girls (2000-2001). In 2002, Craig left film production to work for the Century City Chamber of Commerce and later the International Cinematographers Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 600. While working for the chamber of commerce, he contributed articles for the Century City View and wrote the History of Century City.
In 2009, Craig began staging vintage style photo shoots at haunted hotels as an idea for an Old Hollywood themed project. While on location, he experienced paranormal activity. This left him wondering if his photo shoots were somehow triggering it.
The following year, he started his Facebook blog, Bizarre Los Angeles, a page dedicated to Los Angeles’ forgotten history. He also continued to hold vintage photos shoots at haunted locations. Little did he know that his love for haunted hotels would bring media attention. In 2013, he appeared on My Ghost Story: Caught on Film after he unintentionally photographed an apparition at the Palomar Inn in Old Town Temecula, California. The following year, the online magazine, The Verge, published an article on his paranormal experiences at the Aztec Hotel in Monrovia, California.
Craig Owens has now gained notoriety for his photography and his passion for historical research. He has also appeared in other people's books, including Gourmet Ghosts 2 by James T. Bartlett and Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey. While he firmly believes that ghosts do exist, he is reluctant to accept all paranormal stories. He instead approaches the subject with a good deal of skepticism, preferring to err on the side of not believing enough. He also encourages his readers to form their own opinions as to whether ghosts exist, and warns people not to believe in ghost legends unless the legends are supported by historical fact.
Craig Owens is a graduate from Southern Methodist University with a B.F.A. in Communications.
- Fifth cousin to country and western legend Ernest Tubb.
- Went to Permian High School (of Friday Night Lights fame). One of his closest friends in high school was Mark S. Allen, currently a well-known local television personality in Sacramento, CA.
- Was part of a medical study on the anti-acne drug Accutane (now called Isotretinoin) in 1981-82 prior to its approval by the FDA.
- National Dean's List recipient in 1986-87.
- Dislikes catsup...intensely.
- A teetotaler.
- Favorite food: chili con queso and chips.
- Once took acting lessons from Spencer Milligan (Land of the Lost) and Richard Hatch (Battlestar Gallactica).
- In the early 1990s, Owens wrote, directed, and starred in a silent comedy short Blind Man's Bluff, shot in the historic town square of Lancaster, Texas, with a Bolex 16 mm camera. After the film's completion, a series of tornadoes destroyed many of the old buildings used as locations (including a bank that was once allegedly robbed by Bonnie & Clyde). Years later, a clip from that film was featured in the Made-For-TV film Going Home (2000). In the TV movie, Jason Robards watches the film and laughs uproariously.
- In 2011, Owens accidentally photographed an apparition in a photo at the Palomar Inn, but is reluctant to post it on social media because it undermines his overall skepticism of ghost photos.
- Does not use Ghost Boxes, Ovilus's, tracking cameras, seances, psychic impressions, Ouija boards, divining rods, and most other occult practices when conducting paranormal investigations. He prefers EVP tests using high quality recorders, camera monitoring, and historic research because he has found that these methods produce a higher level of accuracy.
- Favorite film genres: Noir, Western, Silent, Horror, Satirical Comedy, and Science Fiction.
- Favorite Book: Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilgore Trout (Philip José Farmer).
- Favorite Paranormal Book: An Experience of Phantoms by D. Scott Rogo.
- Most Influential Author: Kurt Vonnegut.
- Most Influential Artistic Style: German Expressionism.
- Favorite Movie: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly (1967).
- Favorite Television Show: The Monkees.
- Favorite Song: "Happy Together" by The Turtles.
- Favorite Musical Group: The Beatles.
- Favorite Old Hollywood male movie star: George Raft.
- Favorite Old Hollywood female movie star: Marlene Dietrich.
- Favorite Comedian: Buster Keaton.
- Favorite star of the past 50 years: Clint Eastwood.
- Favorite photographer: William Mortensen.
- Favorite photographic themes: mirror reflections, shadows, humor, surrealism, isolation, role/gender reversals, vamps, implied horror.
- Favorite directors: Stanley Kubrik, Sergio Leone, and Fritz Lang.
CONTACT & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Art Deco Society of Los Angeles
San Fernando Valley Historical Society
Culver City Historical Society
Temecula Valley Historical Society
Sons of the Golden West, Ramona Parlor
Greater Los Angeles Writers Society
"Owens’s gorgeous photo stagings recreate the romantic and heady days of each lodging while adding dashes of visual humor, subtle sensuality, and haunting atmosphere. Lavishly illustrated and handsomely produced, the book’s entertaining and informative narrative dwells on the documented facts while dispelling most of the colorful myths." -- Publishers Weekly Starred Review