This Local Courtyard Under the Sway of Satan … Or So I’m Told

The real world horrors you discover in October might be lurking right outside your office door. The terrors crawling beneath the stones of your workplace, the cultists scheming just out of sight.

By day I work from the fourteenth floor of a building in Costa Mesa, CA (walking distance from my apartment, which is almost unheard of in Orange County) located near the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. This is the courtyard located behind the building:



Here’s a top-down view of from the fourteenth floor—what I see every day:


At first glance, the style is a bit too open and bleak for my tastes, but it’s definitely creative and not the work of a conventional designer hired by the corporation that owns the land, the Irvine Company. (I don’t know how the Irvine Company seized this property in Costa Mesa; the actual city of Irvine is a few blocks away.)

This information monolith explains the origin of the unusual courtyard, which is called the California Scenario.


Isamu Noguchi was commissioned to design a 1.6 acre public garden to enhance two office towers built on family land once used as a lima bean farm. California Scenario, an abstract metaphor of California’s diverse natural environment, is considered to be one of Noguchi’s significant contributions to landscape architecture.

Hmm, interesting. Once I found out what the designer was trying to achieve, the space did take on greater meaning and beauty. The Forest Walk is one of the more pleasing spots to take a break in the middle of the commercial rigidity of the area, and the desert landscaping hill is a good all-in-one gathering of Southern California desert foliage.

However, I didn’t know of the dark current lying beneath this apparent sincere gesture toward the Great State of California by a Japanese-American landscape architect. For the internet has told me it all covers up a great … evil!

Commenter Liar Loan wrote that a sculpture garden and plaza designed by Isamu Noguchi has the nickname Devil’s Playground.

“There’s an urban legend that these buildings form the outline of a pentagram from the air.” Some even believe, he said, that Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey had something to do with the design because the property is located on Anton Boulevard.

Oh dear, a commenter on a blog about Macguire Properties turning over six OC properties to lenders says that some people believe Anton LaVey had something to do with a design by Isamu Noguchi. Well, I’m sold. Sure, Anton LaVey Satanism isn’t actually theistic Satanism, and the “urban legend” seems to have originated from—well, a commenter on a website who uses the name “Liar.” And I can see the courtyard from the air, and that pentagram must be extremely well hidden. Just what they would do!

I know the Irvine Company would work with Satanists if they thought they could profit, so there’s no reason to dismiss the urban legend outright in spite of all the reasons to dismiss it outright. I think it’s time the Irvine Company plays this up and installs a haunted attraction maze for October in the plaza called The Devil’s Playground.