The Museum of Death was founded in San Diego, in a building that was California’s first mortuary in 1995. It was in a building that was once owned by the famous Western lawman involved in “Gunfight at the OK Corral”, Wyatt Earp. It is now located on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. Open daily with self-guided tours, this rather unique museum contains a grisly collection of artifacts, photos and videos related to famous murders, serial killers, and executions. The museum also contains artwork by serial killers, instruments used in autopsies and by morticians and the severed head of Henry Landru, who was called the Bluebeard of Paris. He murdered eleven people from 1915 to 1919 and was guillotined in Versailles in 1919.
The videos include the recruiting video of the Heaven’s Gate Cult, a doomsday religious group that combined Christianity and UFO beliefs, whose thirty-nine members committed suicide in 1997 in order to reach an alien spacecraft. Also able to be viewed is the “Traces of Death” video which depicts real deaths such as actor Vic Morrow’s death during a filming, a man who is flattened by a bus, and other surreal but actual scenes. Visitors can watch the videos for as long as they like; they are run continually.
Some of the photographs on view are of the scenes of the Manson Family Murders that made headlines in 1969, beginning with the murder of director Roman Polanski’s pregnant actress wife, Sharon Tate, and others. There are also crime scene and morgue photos of Elizabeth Short, nicknamed the Black Dahlia, whose body was dumped in two parts in an empty lot in Los Angeles in 1947 and whose murder is still unsolved.
The self-guided tour of the museum will take approximately forty-five minutes but visitors can spend as much time as they want watching the videos. Although open daily to all members of the public, it is perhaps best for mature audiences only, as it may be upsetting to young children and can be rather shocking for the faint of heart.
Museum of Death address and hours
Museum of Death
6031 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
Admission is $15 with free parking.
Sun-Fri 11AM - 8 PM
Sat 11am - 10pm
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