“Where the stars end and the darkness begins,” is the motto of a little museum at the end of the Walk of Stars in Hollywood. Ripley’s Believe It or Not, eat your heart out! I can confidently say The Museum of Death is the creepiest museum on Hollywood Boulevard.
The first thing that greeted my cousin and I was a little 6-year-old beagle, Buddy. He’s the little mascot of the museum that meanders around and doesn’t mind getting a little scratch behind his ear. The staff greets us with a smile, tells us it’s a ~one hour self-guided tour and enjoy the grim show!
Death is an event we will all experience. All too often, we skirt over the issue but this museum takes the subject head on. Entertaining everyone’s sick, dark side, The Museum of Death has a collection of vintage mortician instruments, letters from serial killers, photos of executions and more. While some rooms have a humor, others are a somber look at the horrors in the world.
Each room has a different focus. In my opinion, the scariest room was the suicide room. This was a collage of police photos with people who shot themselves, hung themselves, crashed their cars etc… Right next to it, was a collage of Iraq war photos. It was truly disturbing. The large collection of images made my stomach churn.
My favorite room was the mortician’s room. It’s a large room with a selection of coffins including a Mexican shrine and a Jewish coffin. There are lots of vintage mortician equipment, vintage funeral announcements and a old educational video focusing on how to prepare a body. There was a little part that also included Victorian death portraits. I’m definitely love some good death portraits!
Of course, there are rooms dedicated to famous murders in California including Charles Manson, The Black Dahlia and Heaven’s Gate. The Charles Manson room plays old videos from the commune and some of Manson’s songs. There’s also a quilt that was stitched by the commune hanging on the wall. Then, of course, there is a small shrine to the most famous victim, Sharon Tate.
The collection is creepy, extensive and organized in a fun fashion. I do have a few critiques though. Many of the little blurbs for items had typos and seemed to be falling apart. It looks unprofessional, especially considering how expensive this museum is ($15). Also, there is a room of taxidermy and wet specimens poorly displayed in a corner where it is difficult to see. There’s very little light making the specimens look like blobs. Also, many of the wet specimens were just in mason jars. I feel like for a museum they could invest in a lighted display case and better jars. They don’t allow photos in the museum so I can’t show you any of the cool stuff but make sure to stop by for a visit if you want to get spooked.
However, it was worth the $15 for a different kind of experience in Hollywood. Also, they have some awesome shirts!
6031 Hollywood Blvd Hollywood, California 90028