Museum of Death (Hollywood)

History:

Located on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California is the famous Museum of Death! This macabre museum was established in June of 1995 by J. D. Healy and Catherine Shultz, with the museum’s goal being “to make people happy to be alive”. The museum was originally located in San Diego’s first mortuary, and was referred to as the (highly controversial) Rita Dean art gallery. In the Museum of Death, you will see displays that feature serial killer artwork, antique funeral ephemera, mortician and coroners instruments, Manson Family memorabilia, pet death taxidermy, crime scene photographs, and much more! There is also a second location in New Orleans, Louisiana, with no two items being the same; they are all authentic originals…no copies!

Display from inside the doors to the Museum of Death in Hollywood. Taken by Ivy in 2019.

Haunted History:

The Museum of Death is filled with items that have witnessed some of the worst of humanity; fear, hate, sadness, tragedy, and pain beyond what many of us will ever comprehend. Although I have not found any particular paranormal encounters experienced by staff or visitors, I am still a firm believer that strong residual energies reside in this museum, which is supported by an odd experience that I had when visiting the museum myself…

Photo of me overlooking the famous Hollywood sign!

I traveled to this area of California in 2019 with the Museum of Death being at the top of my list of places to go. The night before our flight left for California I had strange and vivid prophetic dreams, which is something I have experienced often in my life. (I was born with a “veil” over my face, which is believed to be a sign of psychic abilities.) In my dream that night, I saw an older man with a distinct white patch of hair on the front of his head that stood out against the rest of his darker hair. I also dreamt of the Charles Manson exhibit in the museum that night as well; I was standing in front of a wooden display case filled with items that Manson had made with his own hands. It was impossible for me to know what the display looked like (or what any part of the museum looked like) because photography is strictly forbidden. I had seen no photos, videos, or read any detailed descriptions prior to going, I only knew that somewhere inside was an area with items related to Charles Manson. I was shocked that next morning to see the exact man with the white patch of hair from my dream on our airport shuttle. As if this wasn’t strange enough, when approaching the Manson exhibit in the museum I was stunned to see that the exhibit was EXACTLY how it appeared to me in my dream. I have no explanation for why this kind of prophetic dream occurred or what it meant. Did it have to do with the residual energies that I believe reside inside? Was it a sign that I was supposed to visit this location and experience the energies and emotions in the museum? I’m not sure that I will ever know…

The front of the Museum of Death in Hollywood. Photo taken by Ivy in 2019.

My Tips for Visiting the Museum of Death

I have always had a strange interest in things that most people consider to be dark, depressing, or scary. The museum was fairly easy for someone like me to walk through, but my husband did struggle after a while with some of the graphic imagery. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go:

  • Photography is still strictly forbidden, and you cannot have your phone out or use it at all.
  • Food and drink are not allowed inside.
  • Please try to remain composed and respectful while viewing some of the imagery and displays. Remember that much of it, such as crime scene photos, show real human victims.

If you are prone to passing out at the sight of blood or gore but are still determined to go, I have some extra tips for you as someone who passes out often from other triggers: (But first, please talk to your doctor if you can to make sure you don’t have an underlying condition that causes you to pass out.)

  • Drink fruit juice or other beverages (like Gatorade) prior to going to try and keep your blood sugar up.
  • Some of the first signs that you will pass out are splotchy vision and the sound of static in your ears. If this happens, it means that some blood has already stopped making it to your eyes/brain and that you will likely faint within the next few seconds. Lay down immediately with your legs up (if you can) to help blood flow easier back to your head. Don’t worry about looking silly; doing this is far better than passing out in a standing position and risking a concussion from your head hitting the ground! Trust me on this, I once ignored these fainting warning signs and ended up with a concussion myself.
  • When you start gaining consciousness again, you will probably feel nauseous and have cold-sweats, but it should pass within a few minutes at the most.

The staff are used to visitors fainting, and will be quick to call for further medical help if needed.

Although the Museum of Death is filled with things that many people care to never see, I do know one thing for sure; they do a great job at making you happy to be alive!

I have recently discovered on the museums official website that they will be relocating the Hollywood museum to a larger location in February of 2021. Although I am sad to see that it wont look the same as it did in the photos I took and memories I made in 2019, I am still excited to see them grow! And who knows, maybe I will have another prophetic dream about this new location before mine and Hannahs future visit…

Frighteningly yours,

Ivy!

Work Cited:

http://www.museumofdeath.net/

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