By Vanessa Payes
There are countless museums, tours and exhibits in Los Angeles that showcase the city’s arts, culture and Hollywood movie history.
Although much can be learned about this grand and fascinating city with visits to its familiar landmarks and traditional museums, there is a wealth of mystery, magic and myth that lies beneath Los Angeles’ glamorous façade.
If two-headed animals, bearded ladies, murder mysteries, and creepy exhibits spark your curiosity, then get a glimpse into the unusual and eccentric underbelly of the City of Angels with one of these weird museums and tours in Los Angeles.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology
This museum houses a unique and intriguing collection of unusual and imaginative relics that transport visitors back in time to the earliest period of museum exhibition. From micro-miniature sculpture to floral radiographs, Soviet space dogs and elaborate fruit stone carvings, these oddities will have you scratching your head in disbelief. Sit back and enjoy tea and cookies on their rooftop garden before you head into the museum’s small and quirky Borzoi Theater to catch one of their film screenings.
Venice Beach Freakshow
An afternoon stroll down Los Angeles’ iconic Venice Beach Boardwalk will yield its fair share of street performers, bohemian artists and vagabonds but a visit to the Venice Beach Freakshow, star of AMC’s Freakshow, will deliver awe-inspiring human and animal biological rarities like the famed two-headed turtle and the classic bearded lady. Venture outside of the conventional and explore the intrinsic beauty and awe of the eclectic cast in Todd Ray’s Venice Beach Freakshow.
The Holyland Exhibition
Explorer Frederick Futterer’s vast and almost unceasing collection of artifacts, jewelry, and biblical relics takes visitors on a journey through time. Rumored to have been the real life inspiration behind adventure movie hero, Indiana Jones, Futterer’s Los Angeles house is home to an exhibition spanning his life’s search for biblical history throughout the Middle East. From a now extinct Egyptian corn husk, to an authentic ancient sarcophagus, this exhibit is quite an adventure.
The Museum of Death
The name says it all. This museum is not for the faint of heart. If you’re a horror fan or a gore junkie, you’ll definitely dig a dark and spooky self guided tour of death. A gallery of jaw-dropping and eerily graphic crime scene photos, videos and a collection of death and torture paraphernalia are among the museum’s highlights. There’s no special effects guru at the helm here, this house of horrors is the real deal.
The Black Dahlia Tour
If you’re crime novel aficionado, or a fan of Los Angeles noir, Esotouric’s guided The Real Black Dahlia Tour offers a close and personal look into the highly publicized 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short in Leimert Park, Los Angeles. The crime continues to baffle investigators and curious minds as it remains unsolved and shrouded in mystery. The story, which has inspired several books and films, is relived on this tour as passengers trace the victim’s last hours and learn the lurid details of this legendary Los Angeles murder case.
California Institute of Abnormal Arts
This underground novelty cannot be easily defined. It’s a bar, a museum, an art gallery and a movie house that also hosts wacky live band performances. Vaudevillian entertainment value is taken up a few notches as visitors are lured away by macabre artifacts such as freaky “wolf boy” and a plethora of other mind-boggling oddities. This creepy funhouse is an experience worth checking out.
Los Angeles Hauntings Tour
Los Angeles’ haunted past is frozen in time in the city’s many historic landmarks and hotels. From Hollywood to Downtown, the Westside, and even underground, this bus tour explores some of the fabled paranormal mysteries of Los Angeles. Paranormal researchers, Connor Bright and Scott Markus, open up a pandora’s box of haunts and spooks as they impart a wealth of knowledge and “Hollyweird” lore on passengers during this three-hour bus tour.
Angel’s Attic Doll Houses
If you think that old dolls are exceptionally creepy, then you’ll want to check out the Angel’s Attic Doll Houses. The small museum holds an impressive collection of antique porcelain-faced dolls, dollhouses and miniatures dating back to Victorian times. While it celebrates the art of doll making and the detailed craftsmanship employed in building miniatures, this museum is sure to give anyone with a fear of dolls a hair-raising spook.