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One of my new admired allowance shops is at the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
Cheekily called “Skeletons in the Closet,” the allowance boutique is a abundant antecedent for biking mugs that say “Bodily Fluids” and book outline bank towels. They acclimated to advertise anatomy bags, but as I abstruse during a contempo visit, those items accept been phased out — already they chock-full absolution bodies bite them with “mother-in-law,” the articles no best flew off the shelves.
It’s a bit arrant to apperceive that bodies are perusing affected abomination arena kits and sweatshirts emblazoned with “CORONER” appropriate aing to the allowance breadth ancestors aces up the acreage of their asleep admired ones, but honestly, it makes faculty here. It’s accurate that the sun shines best canicule in L.A., but that doesn’t beggarly there’s not a aphotic vibe to the city.
Think about it — how abounding bodies accept set out for Hollywood, assertive they’re the aing A-list starlet or director, alone to accomplish account not for their movies, but rather their adverse demises? This is the abode breadth the Black Dahlia took her aftermost breath, and the Manson ancestors was able to brainwash abhorrence in millions.
Those are the extremes, of course, but L.A. absolutely does accept a aphotic side. There are bags of old homes, theaters, parks, bridges, schools, hospitals, museums, and cemeteries that are said to be haunted. Intrigued by all of the aberrant destinations the burghal has to offer, I absitively to go to some of the spookier places in Los Angeles.
That’s how I begin myself at Skeletons in the Closet. Housed in the old Los Angeles General Hospital building, I bound abstruse the allowance boutique has a faculty of amusement — there are signs on the bank that apprehend “Shoplifters’ next-of-kin will be notified” and “Checks accustomed with two forms of I.D. or dental records.”
Forget Macy’s or Kohl’s — you can acquisition aggregate you charge at Skeletons in the Closet, as continued as you’re air-conditioned with your shirts, cafeteria bag, and hat accepting the coroner’s logo or a cartoon of a skeleton dressed up like Sherlock Holmes. The allowance boutique absolutely opened 25 years ago as a antic — as the affectionate woman who works there, Edna, told me, an agent fabricated a shirt with a anatomy outline on it, and anybody anticipation it was amusing and asked for one. They ample they ability as able-bodied alpha affairs them to the public, too.
Halloween is the store’s busiest time of the month, because bodies appetite to dress up as the coroner. Celebrities stop by — there are photos of Matt Damon, Megan Mullally, Dustin Hoffman, and Emily Deschanel on affectation — and visitors appear from about the world, with some authoritative abiding to stop by for new items every time they’re in town. Appropriate afore I arrived, Edna said, a man absolved in afterwards accepting best up his brother’s acreage in the allowance aing door. He told her: “My brother would annihilate me if I didn’t appear in and buy anything.”
I had wondered if bodies came in and took affair with the actuality that while they were ambidextrous with the afterlife of a ancestors member, the coroner’s appointment was affairs commodity aloof a few yards away, but Edna said no, she gets added absolute comments than negative. I absolved out of there with a few analytic priced pens and a agenda pad that says “We’re dying for your business…L.A. County Coroner’s Allowance Shop.”
Next up was the Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum in Burbank, which is additionally an art arcade and allowance shop. There are all sorts of oddities on display, with abounding pieces from the Victorian era. In one bend there’s old medical instruments, attractive so capricious it’s abundant to accomplish you bead to your knees so you can acknowledge God for avant-garde medicine. Lining the shelves are awesome post-mortem photos from the 19th and aboriginal 20th centuries, old adoration cards and burial notices, and bottles and tins absolute embalming aqueous and Esco Beautifying Tint, “for abacus accustomed blush to bloodless cases.”
Thoroughly creeped out, I fabricated my way to the allowance boutique area, breadth I met Mystic Dylan. He’s the centralized analytic who does tarot, palm, and cartilage readings. I asked him to acquaint me about my accomplished lives, application the tarot. This was an advantageous time, he said, as I was affair him the day afterwards the Autumnal Equinox and the 326th ceremony of the beheading of eight bodies accused of actuality witches in Salem.
He confused the deck, and I chose my cards, absolutely accessible to be told that I was already a queen. Mystic Dylan instead a me that my aboriginal agenda showed that way aback in the day, I was absolutely an outcast who was best acceptable a adult of the night. It wasn’t what I accepted to hear, but does advice explain why I like lucite so much. The account lasted about 15 account — you can pay for best sessions — and was cool informative, with Mystic Dylan answer how the cards were affiliated and abating me they showed that whichever aisle I booty in life, I’ll be successful.
Now, if you accept a able stomach, you can appointment the Museum of Afterlife in Hollywood. I do not, and afterwards account the Yelp reviews admonishing bodies this wasn’t for the aside of heart, anon accomplished this abode was aloof too awful for me. There are belletrist from consecutive killers, a diminished head, abomination arena photos, video of a alive autopsy, and so on. I skipped advanced to Plan B — visiting celebrity graves.
Hollywood Forever and the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park are apparently the two best cemeteries to appointment if you appetite to pay your respects to a acclaimed person. Hollywood Forever is breadth Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, Bugsy Siegel, and two Ramones — Johnny and Dee Dee — are all buried, and if you appetite to absorb the night there, you can — back 2002, Cinespia has hosted alfresco cine screenings at the cemetery, complete with DJs and themed photo booths. It’s aloof as alluring to drive through Hollywood Forever and attending at the huge, busy monuments that accord to approved people, featuring engraved portraits of the deceased, religious syms, and continued poems.
Westwood Village Memorial Park isn’t the better cemetery, but it’s abounding with apparent names — Gene Kelly, Farrah Fawcett, Merv Griffin, Ray Bradbury, Hugh Hefner, and the one who attracts the best visitors, Marilyn Monroe. Her headstone is simple — all it says is “Marilyn Monroe, 1926 – 1962” — but it’s bedimmed due to the admirers who appear and kiss it, abrogation blush and red lipstick marks behind.
I almost aching the apparent of the awesome places I could visit, and afterwards activity to Skeletons in the Closet, I wouldn’t alike abode it in that class — it’s too in on the antic to be creepy, although I’m not assertive that architecture isn’t haunted. Accepting a account with Mystic Dylan was eye-opening, and alike the cemeteries acquainted tranquil. Still, already Halloween is over, I’ll acceptable save the chilling outings for aing Oct. 31, alike if I do absorb the absolute year scribbling addendum with my book outline pen on my coroner’s appointment pad of paper.
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