HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM OF DEATH: SERIAL KILLER MEMORABILIA, MORBID MURDER PHOTOS, GRUESOME EXHIBITION IN LA.
This is my favorite jacket in the universe: a wicked creation of Lip Service. It’s shiny and has SPIKES jutting out the sleeves and front. It’s got a faux fur mohawk and fuzzy shoulders, like Gackt in the Vanilla PV. And it was appropriate attire for the day’s destination: the Hollywood’s Musuem of Death.
Hollywood Boulevard is lined with overweight tourists and overpriced tour attractions. But if you keep driving east, you’ll discover RuPaul-tastic wig and shoe stores — and a morbid gem called the Museum of Death.
The recently-opened LA location houses execution devices, serial killer art, pet death taxidermy, body bags and many a-gruesome photograph. I asked Cathee, one of the grim curators: who would dare step past the red velvet curtains? “People of all ages — children included.” How do they react to the bloody imagery? “The women grow pale, but it’s the men who do the fainting. We call it timberrr or a falling ovation.” How many keel over? “Seven people fainted in December; probably because we put more up on the walls that month.”
When the UFO cult group Heaven’s Gate committed mass suicide, the museum founders were first in line at the memorabilia auction. With these items, the death scene is re-created on the left.
We walked through several rooms packed floor-to-ceiling with deathly artifacts. On the right: a blood-smeared autograph and other wholesome memories of punk crazy-man GG Allen. Rozz Williams (singer of Christian Death) is pictured holding the skull. Above hangs the cabinet that he used to hang himself.
A lot of the content will make you clutch your mouth and heart. I couldn’t look for long at photos of the Black Dahlia severed in half, a woman happily dissecting her husband, car accident aftermaths, and the remains of Sharon Tate after Charlie Manson’s minions did his bidding. But I enjoyed seeing old coffins and torture devices and learning fun facts about death. Did you know that in early 20th century America, funeral homes advertised their services by handing out paper fans with euphemistic drawings?
What compelled the curators to build this collection? Cathee says, “We all die, and death in my opinion is more interesting than sex.” So be bold and visit the Hollywood Museum of Death — the staff is very nice and admission is only $15 (with free parking in the back!).
Move over, Louis XIV. Come read about 6 of Asia’s most expensive cribs in my new CNNGo article.
Would you be brave enough to tour the Museum of Death — or wear my wacky Goth jacket?
Due to the positive response on my Twitter and Facebook, I decided to try out a new blog feature: Japanese Word of the Day. Every day, I’ll post a cool word (vampire, bat, poison) and the translation, so we can build our vocab together. What do you think: is this a feature you’d find helpful?
Japanese Word of the Day #1: Snow White = Shirayuki-hime (literally white snow princess!)
Song of the Day #342: Christian Death – Romeo’s Distress (RIP, Rozz…)