If you’re a horror buff, you can satisfy your thirst for murder and mayhem at the Museum of Death, but be prepared for grisly exhibits and shocking imagery. Even the most seasoned of you will be amazed at the depths of depravity and the proof that humans can stoop to the most heinous levels of debauchery.
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The History of the Museum of Death in LA
Originally founded in 1995, the Museum of Death was first established at the site of one of San Diego’s first mortuaries, where the building was initially owned by Wyatt Earp. It was eventually moved to its current location in Los Angeles – where the iconic front gate is decorated with a skull and roses – in 1999.
This site was previously a recording studio, where Pink Floyd and other artists produced their music. Initially, founders J.D. Healy and Catherine Schultz had a mission to make people happy to be alive, by exhibiting artwork from serial killers, which soon grew into the macabre attraction it is today.
Wanting to educate people about death, they displayed the personal belongings, letters and artwork obtained from prisons around the country, but by 1999, they started to amass items from around the world. When they tried to procure items from the infamous Heaven’s Gate cult, they were able to purchase many objects from a police auction.
They were not able to obtain a real electric chair in 2001, but there are many other terrifying things to see. Pray that you don’t have too many nightmares after a visit to the Museum of Death in Los Angeles, California.
A Few Warnings Prior to Visiting...
First off, try not to eat before you visit, in case you have to race outside to heave your previous meal into the bushes. This is not hype, as many visitors have advised that this was exactly what happened to them. There are all kinds of deathly exhibits, creepily recreated scenes and horrific photos and videos to absorb.
You might think that you’re tough and that you can handle it, seeing as you’ve watched many horror movies and played a lot of video games. The thing is, these exhibits, photos and videos are real and unless you’ve had a lot to do with death and dead bodies, you might find it too much to handle.
Also – if you’re thinking of bringing your kids – you might want to think twice, especially taking into consideration the previous statement. They might think that they’re tough like you – but you’re the one who will have to deal with the nightmares.
There are many sections with items and displays ranging from baby coffins, serial killer artifacts, autopsy films and ghastly photos of crime victims. Try not to personalize what you see as the imagery is sure to make you think about your own mortality. This museum is more terrifying than a horror movie because it’s real.
You’re able to take in the sights of a room dedicated to animal taxidermy as well as gaze on the head of French serial killer – Henri Landru. Known as the Bluebeard of Paris in the early 1900’s, he lured his victims via lonely hearts ads in the newspapers, going on to kill eleven victims – including a child.
Definitely a one stop shop for those fascinated with gore, there’s a lot to see here, including infamous murderers and scenes of death. If you’re not the type to freak out, you could easily spend the whole day exploring all the exhibits. It’s a safe place to see the things you might not want to be tracked on your computer.
If you can stomach it, step into the room devoted to mortuary practices or another dedicated to Charles Manson and the Black Dahlia, who is famous for having being found decapitated and cut in half, along with other atrocities inflicted on her body. The museum isn’t big but it’s jam-packed with death.
Another room has a display about deceased degenerate punk rocker GG Allin and there’s a section with animal skulls and shrunken heads. Some visitors call it a gross and over-the-top collection of death and horror, but of course – that depends on each individual’s threshold for morbidity.
There’s a plethora of terrifying objects to look at, such as body bags, execution machines and implements, binders and books displaying information about many things associated with death – including cannibalism. There’s also an infamous film called Traces of Death, which shows scenes of actual deaths.
The Waco death scene has been recreated here along with others, but if it all becomes too much for you, getting out could prove to be difficult, as some say it seems like a murderous maze if you’re trying to leave in a hurry. Many visitors have fainted during the tour of this terrifying establishment.
The Museum of Death hosts a Black Dahlia look-alike competition each year, where participants dress up as the beautiful victim – choosing to present themselves as either the living version or her frightening, post-mortem corpse.
Open seven days a week, parking is free and the admission is $15. You can purchase t-shirts, sweatshirts, totes and magnets in the gift shop. Take note of the rules which advise that you cannot take pictures or film in the museum.
It is located at 6031 Hollywood Blvd and is a self-guided tour. While all ages are welcome, management strongly advise that only mature audiences should visit.
You might want to carry rosary beads or a crucifix when you visit the Museum of Death. Who knows what energies or which tortured souls decide to follow you home? Be prepared for graphic and gruesome displays as this place is not for the faint-hearted.