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In One Ear: Come back to Larrabee Street, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Vampira channels James Dean
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on October 27, 2017 12:01AM

Fun rerun (Oct. 25, 2013): Halloween would not be complete without mention of Astoria’s very own glamour ghoul, Vampira, aka Maila Nurmi, who wrote “The Ghost Of James Dean” in 1964 for Borderline Magazine, “which dares the unknown” ( A section of the magazine’s cover is shown.

“I have always been interested in psychic phenomena,” she revealed, so it wasn’t a big surprise when Dean, who was a close friend, made his presence known to her several times after his death in 1955.

The events mainly involve his communicating with Vampira via a cut-up photograph of himself which he had pinned to her wall with a small dagger five weeks before his death.

In one incident, the photo fluttered off the wall and landed on actor Tony Perkins’ midsection. Vampira immediately pinned it back up. Twenty-five minutes later, she received the phone call informing her that James Dean had died at 6:10 p.m., the exact time his photo fell.

Shortly after his death, mediums contacted her to tell her that James Dean was in great pain because he was earthbound. So, she asked the photo on her wall if it was true. “The top part of the ear wiggled,” she reported, “… and at the same time from my radio came the song, ‘Dig Me A Hole and Bury Me Deep and I Will Lie in Peace.’”

And the story gets stranger from there, moving on to a consultation with famed astrologer Sydney Omarr, a chilling seance and incendiary ashtrays. “The word spread ­— fast — word of the ‘haunted’ house on Larrabee Street in Hollywood,” she wrote.

No doubt about it, Vampira spins a good spooky yarn.


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