Superstition is rife among those who work in show business, which means that Angelenos living in the shadow of the entertainment industry have heard their share of ghost tales. And some of the spooky looking houses you see are familiar because you saw them in a movie.
For adults, who like Halloween thrills with a touch of reality:
Tragical History Tour
Meet on Sunset Blvd, between N Shrader Blvd & Cassil Place (exact location given after ticket purchase)
You’ve got to love a business with a dark sense of humor. Dearly Departed Tours co-owner Scott Michaels was an operator at the original “Grave Line Tour” back in the 1980’s, where guests piled into a hearse and embarked on a darkly humorous trip to sites of Hollywood’s most lurid crimes and scandals: See where Hugh Grant and George Michael had their run-ins with the law… visit the sites of the Menendez murders and the infamous Black Dahlia case… and see the homes where so many famous people died too young (including Michael Jackson’s).
Today’s guests ride in comfortable vans (dubbed “Tomb Buggies”), but still get to enjoy campy patter by knowledgeable tour guides as they meander through the dark and seamy side of Los Angeles.
$45 per person/approximately 2.5 hours
Special Halloween Horror Film Location Tour
Sunset Blvd, between N Shrader Blvd & Cassil Place (exact location given after ticket purchase)
Fans of the original 1978 movie “Halloween” and the 2007 Rob Zombie remake may be surprised to learn that both were filmed in South Pasadena. This tour will take you there, plus the locations featured in “Zombieland,” “Scream 2,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” You’ll even see the neighborhood that was the setting for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” As the films will be playing while you ride, you can see just how much the locations have changed (or not). Just watch out for the tour guide: He’ll be dressed just like Michael Myers.
Oct 27: 1:00 PM
$55 per person/ Approximately 4 hours
Haunted Hollywood Tours
Depart from: Grauman’s Chinese Theater
6925 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
The operators of this tour promise to take you to the “darkest parts of Hollywood,” beginning with the Chinese Theater itself. and spots at the Roosevelt Hotel where the ghosts Montgomery Clift and of Marilyn Monroe is said to reside. The tour also visits the sites of famous murders (like the Cielo Drive property where the Manson family killed Sharon Tate) and a visit to the Comedy Store, which owner Brian Sapir claims is haunted. Tickets range from $40 – $60.
Blood & Dumplings: A Crime Bus Tour of the San Gabriel Valley
Pickup at the Daily Dose
1820 Industrial Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021
You can file this tour under “weirdest juxtaposition of topics in a tour,” because first you drive around looking at the locations of grisly deaths, and then you enjoy the best dumplings on offer in the San Gabriel Valley. Having a tour guide for the latter experience is the best way for a newbie to eat dumplings, in our opinion, so the crime tour is a bonus.
Sunday: 12:00 PM
$63 per person/Approximately 3 hours
Museum of Death
6031 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
The guided tours can only show you the spots where murders occurred, and they don’t look all that frightening in daylight. Satisfy your grisly Halloween needs with the country’s largest collection of artifacts from some of the same crimes described on the tours.
The curators at the Museum of Death have assembled “the world’s largest collection of Serial Murderer Artwork, Photos of the Charles Manson Crime Scenes, the Guillotined Severed Head of the Blue Beard of Paris, Henri Landru, Original Crime Scene and Morgue Photos from the Grisly BLACK DAHLIA MURDERS, a Body Bag and Coffin collection, replicas of Full Size Execution Devices, Mortician and Autopsy Instruments, Pet Death Taxidermy, and much much more!”
Self-guided tours take about 45 minutes to complete, and while all ages are welcome, visitors are urged to use a little discretion and leave the children at home.
Donna Schwartz Mills enjoys learning the idiosyncracies of her city and blogs at SoCal Mom.