The Macabre and the Unusual

Dark Spots in Tinsel Town

LA Weekly Interview

If you’re in Los Angeles, pick up this weeks LA Weekly. It’s free and worth every penny. There’s a full page feature on Dapper Cadaver with a full color photo and everything. It’s a great article and gives you a good behind the scenes look at the oddities we make and the oddballs we make them for.

Read the Dying Art of Dyeing the Dead in LA Weekly here


Dark Spots in Tinsel Town: The Haunted Valley

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Attack Boju, originally uploaded by Boju.

by BJ Winslow

As part of my quest here at Dapper Cadaver to leave no gravestone unturned I am adding a new feature to the Dapper Cadaver Blog – Haunted Los Angeles. There are over 300 different neighborhoods in Los Angeles- from out of the way spots like Aliso Village and the Yucca Corridor, and of corpse Hollywood, Downtown, Venice, and the other big deal parts of town, and every single one of them has strange specters afoot.

I’ll start with The San Fernando Valley, AKA “The Valley”

Slymar-
The northern most burb of The Vally boasts 2 paranormal epicenters that have garnered national attention. An alleged Gravity Hill in Lopez Canyon where naughty objects openly break the law of nature and apparently roll UP HILL, and a possessed statue in Glen Haven Memorial park that witness claim walks the grounds on certain nights.

Granada Hills-
Here you’ll find the home base of the independent production company Spooked TV News. We worked together on a film called Death Tunnel set in a real haunted ayslum. Best title in their catalog? “Ghouls Gone Wild”

Chatsworth-
Home of one of the largest, oldest, and most beloved Haunted Mansions in the Valley, Chatsworth is a mecca in The Valley for families looking for a fright. The attraction? Spooky House. Look for the flickering neon sign and the Bates Motel exterior. Inside you’ll find scenes of murder and insanity and more costumed actors then you can throw a pumpkin at.

North Hills-
At James Monroe High School witnesses have heard loud footsteps and opening and closing of doors when the halls are lonely. The girls gym room is haunted. Students have heard lockers open and close when no one is present.

Mission Hills-
At the Mission San Fernando Cemetery a apparition of a lady in a white dress and a white scarf on her head has been seen praying in the front row of the chapel. She has appeared both ghostly, or solid at first, then vanishing in the air.

Pacoima-
Pacoima was home to Etta Smith, an otherwise normal professional who made the news in 1980 in a very unusual case.
From CNN.com
“A nurse named Melanie Uribe vanishes on her way to work without any suspects or physical evidence. Los Angeles detectives are searching without a map for the missing woman. But one woman, Etta Smith, feels she knows exactly where Melanie Uribe is. How? A psychic vision supplied her with the exact location of the missing nurse…

Etta doesn’t know Melanie Urbie, but she’s sure that the images flooding her mind are connected to her disappearance. Detective Ryan knows that every second counts in the hunt for a missing person. Could Etta Smith’s psychic clues give them a much needed break in the case? Etta Smith’s vision becomes a reality, when she sees the exact location flash in front of her eyes.

Now, investigators left to make sense of a bizarre chain of events. A woman goes to the remote canyon and finds the body of a murder victim she claims she’s never met. It seems like an improbable feat. So improbable, that Etta Smith becomes suspect No. 1 in the murder of Melanie Uribe.”

For the rest of the article visit CNN.com here

Shadow Hills-
Despite its ready for horror sounding name, I could find nothing spooky about Shadow Hills. Correct me if I’m wrong Shadow People!

Sunland-
Something must be happening in Sunland, because in the past few years both Ghost Ride Productions and UFO Magazine moved their shops elsewhere. What’s going on there that’s scaring off the spookies?

Tujunga-
The Eastern end of the San Fernando Valley features a famous UFO sighting and a famous haunted house. Good job Tujunga!
For Ghosts it’s The Bolton Hall Museum. Investigative groups have documented paranormal phenomena on numerous occasions at Bolton hall over the past few years here. Supposedly, six spirits haunt this now historic museum. A W.W.II soldier, a blonde haired woman dressed in a Victorian style dress, a young girl with red hair, two older gentlemen with white hair and beards, one is missing and eye and
the other is missing a leg and in addition, a tall well dress man is also seen.

The book Situation Red documents a 1975 UFO sighting over Tujunga. The article can be found here

Sun Valley-
Quite probably the most unusual spot in the whole valley. Paranormal and Haunting things you can find in Sun Valley-
Michael J. Kouri, famous ghost seer, spirit communicator, TV Ghost expert, and paranormal author.
A 13th degree Rosicrucian mother who can send telepathic roses to her children.
A mall that a plane crashed into and is now haunted.
A haunted power plant.
And, my personal favorite, a man who is tying to sell his haunted house for $400,000 Lets see if the price comes down. Does a house in need of an exorcism count as a fixer upper?
Here’s the description-
“I lived grew up in that house, and I can tell you from first hand experience that there is something there. We would hear footsteps at night, we would feel like we were being followed down the hallway to the bedrooms to the right of the house. We would see shadows at night and we would also have things fall off of shelves for no apparent reason as if they were pushed. We were never hurt by the energy, but our family did tend to fight more when we were in the house. We always wanted to get a priest in there to bless it but we never did. Then we moved. If you are considering buying this house, please make sure to bless it.”

_______________________________

That’s it for the Dapper Cadaver tour of the Haunted Valley…for now. I’ll be going through the neighborhoods of Los Angeles one by one hunting for hauntings and other unusual apparitions between now and Halloween 2008. Halloween parties, Haunted Houses real and man made, horror movies, spooky stores and all things gory are on the menu. If you have a ghost story to share, let me know.


Dark Spots in Tinsel Town: Monster Hunting in LA

10. Bigfoot

You make think Bigfoots are only a Northwoods beast, but Los Angeles has 3 distinct breeds of city ape. The first is your standard bigfoot, 6-11 ft tall shaggy gigantopithecus. The first sighting came in 1973 when a full sized Macho Sasquatcho chased down a pick up truck out in San Fernando Valley. The beast got close enough to the vehicle that they could smell its breath, which they later told reporters was “stinky.” In 1974 a bigfoot was actually seen in the city, between 45th st and 47th st on Quartz Hill.

Best places to go bigfoot hunting: Big Rock Canyon in San Fernando Valley, Quartz Hill in the San Gabriel Mountains, Azusa at the San Gabriel Mountain Foothills, Campgrounds in Santa Clarita, Elizabeth Lake, Lancaster.

9. Skunk Ape
Bigfoots little brother is most commonly sighted in Florida, but he’s also been seen in Palos Verdes and Redondo Beach, moving in and out of the suburbs via the sewers and knocking over trash cans for food. Skunk ape stands about 4 to 5 feet tall and reeks.
Best Place to go Skunk Ape hunting: Palos Verdes near the Dominator shipwreck. Redondo beach fields and suburbs at night.

8. The Beast of Billiwhack

The third kind of LA bigfoot might not be an ape at all. Seen once in Santa Paula and once in nearby Ojai, the Billiwhack beast has an shaggy, grey-black ape-like body, but an extended muzzle and goat like horns. It may be related to the Krampus or Wampa. Known to raid farms for chicken, corn, and dairy products.

Best places to go Billiwhack hunting: The Billiwhack Dairy in Aliso Canyon, Santa Paula, farms and forests in the San Rafael mountains and Ojai.

7. Starcle Men

Believed to be visiting aliens or inter-dimensional beings, Starcle men are mysterious in nature and seem to only appear to people in an altered state of consciousness.

Best place to see Starcle Men – Sewers and tunnels beneath LA. Signs of their pressence is marked by locals with angry eyed, star man graffiti.

5.Gray Aliens – Out in Lancaster it seams everyone has seen a UFO at one point or another, and locals get into heated debates as to whether Gray Aliens have a sinister plan for us, or are the good guys trying to save us from the evil Reptoids. The mankind united cult of the 1930′s and the scien-ology cult of today both base a lot of their doctrine on the earthly struggles of good and bad extra terrestrials.

Best place to spot UFO’s – Mt Baldy, Giant Rock in Landers, Lancaster.

4. Sea Serpents

Sailors off the California coast from Monterey to Mexico occasionally reported seeing giant, hundred foot long sea serpents with human faces staring up at them from beneath the surface of the water or skimming along the surface. And it turned out to be real. Oar Fish like the one pictured above can reach hundreds of feet in length, exhibit all the behaviors of the California sea serpent, and even have a flat face and forehead, that at night or through the distortion of the water could easily be seen as human.

Best Place to go Sea Serpent Hunting: East Cape of Baja California, San Diego.


3. The Thunderbird

Since native American times people have reported seeing gigantic birds of prey flying over the Los Angeles valley with wings so powerful they sound like thunder and bring storms.. Some people even claim to have found their enormous feathers. In the La Brea Tar Pits bones of vultures that would dwarf even the larges condor have been found, leading some to speculate the Thunderbird may be a surviving Ice Age Vulture.

Best Place to see the ThunderBird: The La Brea Tar Pits Museum


2. Demons of Elizabeth Lake

Elizabeth Lake, near Lancaster, was believed by the natives to be a gateway to Hell. From that lake witnesses have seen Dragons, Giant Bats, Giant Pythons,and Reptoids emerge. Livestock near that water have been mysteriously devoured. In the 1880′s a farmer saw a six legged bulldog with bat wings feeding on a steer, he opened fire on it with his colt .45 but the bullets bounced off. In the 1990′s a horned kangaroo with bat wings was seen bounding away from the lake in broad daylight. Several goat carcasses were found mysteriously killed that week.

Best Place to go Demon Hunting: Elizabeth Lake, Lancaster

1. Reptoids

Reptoids are, according to legends, a race of reptilian men that live in tunnels and underground cities throughout Los Angeles and Lancaster. Stories about them date back to Indian times, some Indians called the “Snake Brothers,” others lived in terror of them. All manner of conspiracies are linked back through them, from drug epidemics to UFO’s to genetic engineering to the Illuminati to government mind control. They may be evolved Dinosaurs, Aliens, Demons, or interdimensional beings. They can be invisible. They feed on fear and will climb onto people back to control them, menace them and eat their fear. The mouths of their subterranean tunnels are believed to be in Lancaster. For more info check out http://www.reptoids.com.

Best Places to Go Reptoid Hunting: Elizabeth Lake, Lancaster, Fort Moore Hill, the public library on Fifth st, the Southwest museum on museum dr, at the foot of Mt Washington.


Dark Spots in Tinsel Town: Monster Hunting in LA

10. Bigfoot

You make think Bigfoots are only a Northwoods beast, but Los Angeles has 3 distinct breeds of city ape. The first is your standard bigfoot, 6-11 ft tall shaggy gigantopithecus. The first sighting came in 1973 when a full sized Macho Sasquatcho chased down a pick up truck out in San Fernando Valley. The beast got close enough to the vehicle that they could smell its breath, which they later told reporters was “stinky.” In 1974 a bigfoot was actually seen in the city, between 45th st and 47th st on Quartz Hill.

Best places to go bigfoot hunting: Big Rock Canyon in San Fernando Valley, Quartz Hill in the San Gabriel Mountains, Azusa at the San Gabriel Mountain Foothills, Campgrounds in Santa Clarita, Elizabeth Lake, Lancaster.

9. Skunk Ape
Bigfoots little brother is most commonly sighted in Florida, but he’s also been seen in Palos Verdes and Redondo Beach, moving in and out of the suburbs via the sewers and knocking over trash cans for food. Skunk ape stands about 4 to 5 feet tall and reeks.
Best Place to go Skunk Ape hunting: Palos Verdes near the Dominator shipwreck. Redondo beach fields and suburbs at night.

8. The Beast of Billiwhack

The third kind of LA bigfoot might not be an ape at all. Seen once in Santa Paula and once in nearby Ojai, the Billiwhack beast has an shaggy, grey-black ape-like body, but an extended muzzle and goat like horns. It may be related to the Krampus or Wampa. Known to raid farms for chicken, corn, and dairy products.

Best places to go Billiwhack hunting: The Billiwhack Dairy in Aliso Canyon, Santa Paula, farms and forests in the San Rafael mountains and Ojai.

7. Starcle Men

Believed to be visiting aliens or inter-dimensional beings, Starcle men are mysterious in nature and seem to only appear to people in an altered state of consciousness.

Best place to see Starcle Men – Sewers and tunnels beneath LA. Signs of their pressence is marked by locals with angry eyed, star man graffiti.

5.Gray Aliens – Out in Lancaster it seams everyone has seen a UFO at one point or another, and locals get into heated debates as to whether Gray Aliens have a sinister plan for us, or are the good guys trying to save us from the evil Reptoids. The mankind united cult of the 1930′s and the scien-ology cult of today both base a lot of their doctrine on the earthly struggles of good and bad extra terrestrials.

Best place to spot UFO’s – Mt Baldy, Giant Rock in Landers, Lancaster.

4. Sea Serpents

Sailors off the California coast from Monterey to Mexico occasionally reported seeing giant, hundred foot long sea serpents with human faces staring up at them from beneath the surface of the water or skimming along the surface. And it turned out to be real. Oar Fish like the one pictured above can reach hundreds of feet in length, exhibit all the behaviors of the California sea serpent, and even have a flat face and forehead, that at night or through the distortion of the water could easily be seen as human.

Best Place to go Sea Serpent Hunting: East Cape of Baja California, San Diego.


3. The Thunderbird

Since native American times people have reported seeing gigantic birds of prey flying over the Los Angeles valley with wings so powerful they sound like thunder and bring storms.. Some people even claim to have found their enormous feathers. In the La Brea Tar Pits bones of vultures that would dwarf even the larges condor have been found, leading some to speculate the Thunderbird may be a surviving Ice Age Vulture.

Best Place to see the ThunderBird: The La Brea Tar Pits Museum


2. Demons of Elizabeth Lake

Elizabeth Lake, near Lancaster, was believed by the natives to be a gateway to Hell. From that lake witnesses have seen Dragons, Giant Bats, Giant Pythons,and Reptoids emerge. Livestock near that water have been mysteriously devoured. In the 1880′s a farmer saw a six legged bulldog with bat wings feeding on a steer, he opened fire on it with his colt .45 but the bullets bounced off. In the 1990′s a horned kangaroo with bat wings was seen bounding away from the lake in broad daylight. Several goat carcasses were found mysteriously killed that week.

Best Place to go Demon Hunting: Elizabeth Lake, Lancaster

1. Reptoids

Reptoids are, according to legends, a race of reptilian men that live in tunnels and underground cities throughout Los Angeles and Lancaster. Stories about them date back to Indian times, some Indians called the “Snake Brothers,” others lived in terror of them. All manner of conspiracies are linked back through them, from drug epidemics to UFO’s to genetic engineering to the Illuminati to government mind control. They may be evolved Dinosaurs, Aliens, Demons, or interdimensional beings. They can be invisible. They feed on fear and will climb onto people back to control them, menace them and eat their fear. The mouths of their subterranean tunnels are believed to be in Lancaster. For more info check out http://www.reptoids.com.

Best Places to Go Reptoid Hunting: Elizabeth Lake, Lancaster, Fort Moore Hill, the public library on Fifth st, the Southwest museum on museum dr, at the foot of Mt Washington.


Dark Spots in Tinsel Town part 2

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zombie zoo 57, originally uploaded by Boju.

There are so many great weird and spooky locations in Hollywood. I couldn’t fit them all in one post. For the haunted tourist, more dark destinations. And remember, no trip through the horror’s of Hollywood is complete without a stop at Dapper Cadaver, 5519 Hollywood Blvd

1. The Abandoned Zoo – A very post apocalyptic part of LA where you get to crawl through the caves and onto the rusted cages of the old zoo. “Zombie Zoo” (above) was shot there. In Griffith Park, it shares a parking lot with the Merry Go Round, keep hiking west, not far from the parking lot.

2. Cipher – an art gallery that sells molding old statuary, metal bolted to skulls, and other items for the gothic home and garden.
165 1/2 S. Fairfax Ave.

3. The “Halloween” House
1530 & 1537 Orange Grove Ave., L.A., 1000 Mission St in Pasadena
Halloween’s Haddonfield, Ill., was actually a neighborhood in hip west LA. Jamie Lee Curtis’ friends were killed in 1537 Orange Grove Ave.—a house renovated almost beyond recognition. Much of the exteriors were shot in Pasadena.

4. House on Haunted Hill
2655 Glendower Ave.,L.A.
This Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece (also home to Bladerunner) was built in 1923. Very unusual Architecture have been made only creepier through years of neglect.

5. The Batcave (Bronson cave)
The top of Bronson Avenue
So many features and TV shows have used the caves, you’ve probably seen them a hundred times as a hundred ” different” ocations, including various Star Trek planets, the old west of Bonanza, King Kong’s Skull Island, Mars, Robin Hood’s Sherwood forest and more. Actually a man made tunnel less than 100 ft long. Info on how to get there here

http://www.seeing-stars.com/Locations/BronsonCaves.shtml

6. A Nightmare on Elm Street
1428 Genesee Ave. L.A.
This house—featured in the Nightmare on Elm Street series—sold just a year ago; the asking price was $1.1 million. The new owner kept the façade, and rebuilt the home behind it. One touch she insisted on—returning the front door to its red color featured in the film.

7. Forest Ackerman’s house – The man who created “Famous Monster’s” magazine has the greatest collection of horror and sci-fi memorabilia in the world, including the Robot from Metropolis. He’s on in years, I think in his 90′s, but tours are still held every Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. 4511 Russell Avenue. Don’t miss it! There will never be another Ackerman!

8. Kirk’s Rocks (Vasquez Rocks) – ever notice how every planet in the original Star Trek has a jutting triangular peaked canyon? Well, here it is

Feel like you’re on every other planet in the universe at Kirks Rocks
10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd.
Agua Dulce, CA 91350

9. The Queen Mary- A real tourist destination, but also really haunted. I’ve spent enough time there to experience my own ghostly encounters. Plus the art deco design is great, and the bar at the front sometimes has elvis impersonators and bikini contests. Spooky cool plus swanky cool plus cheesy awesome all in one.
1126 Queen’s Highway, Long Beach

10. Nova Express- Also known as Space Pizza. This is where Barbarella goes for pie. Every inch of this swanky dive is covered with robots or aliens or craters, and all kinds of trippy 60′s sci fi lighting. Also, Cthulu is there, so you can have Pizza with Cthulu. 426 Fairfax.


Everyday is Halloween in Hollywood – Dark Spots in Tinsel Town

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mummies 2, originally uploaded by Boju.

One thing every visitor to Hollywood needs to know is this city doesn’t exist and don’t even think about going to the Hollywood sign. Yes, there is a city called Hollywood in north central Los Angeles, and yes Grauman’s Chinese theater is there, but that’s it. The real Hollywood is scattered throughout the thirty mile radius of Los Angeles.

If your of the gothic or horror sort like I am, or you love Halloween, your going to want to visit Hollywood’s essential horror landmarks. It’s going to take some driving, but let me tell you what’s worth the drive.

1. Dapper Cadaver – okay, sure, I’m a little biased, but we’re the only horror prop shop in Hollywood that welcomes the public. We’ve done blood and gore for most of the crime shows and horror shows of the last six years, and where else are you going to find stacks of body parts, shelves of specimen jars, and mummies hanging on a rack? check out http://www.dappercadaver.com and http://www.bjwinslow.com fo more photos and info. Open m-f 10-6. Open saturdays during septemeber and october for Halloween.

dapper cadaver

2. The CIA – Nothing like the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA in North Hollywood is part speak-easy, part underground venue, part freakshow museum. CIA actually stands for the California Institute of Abnormal Arts (I guess that last A is silent). See the Mummified Clown and the Feegee Mermaid! 11334 Burbank Blvd. Irregular Hours.

3. Necromance – A store that specializes in the beautiful side of the dead. Funeral memorabilia, jewelery made of dead animals, and vintage scientific charts. 7220 Melrose Ave

4. Hollywood Forever Cemetery – the most famous cemetery in LA with the most famous internees. A beautiful location. Oh, and the screen movies on the side of their mausoleum.
6000 Santa Monica Blvd

5. Wacko – Occult books, bizarre toys, horror action figures, tiki statues and an outsider art gallery all under one roof. Also known as La Luz de Jesus and the Soap Factory.
4633 Hollywood Blvd

6. Sunken City – You know how they say LA is going to fall into the ocean one day? Well part of it did. Located in San Pedo, the jagged ruins of this city block are part on a cliff, part in the sea. It looks like if one of the Tony Hawk skateboarding games had a Flintstones themed level. This is where they scattered Donny’s ashes in The Big Lebowski. Down hill from the Korean Bell at Angels Gate Park, Gaffey and 37th Street, San Pedro 90731

7.La Brea Tar Pits – this famous LA landmark and location is totally worth the price of admission, but the best part is the grounds around it. Statues of giant ice age mammals lurk in the park, and tar bubbles up everywhere, often rising up inside the statues and dripping in sticky black tears from their eyes. Also, the baby elephant tableau in the front main tar pit is the most tragically moving statue I have ever seen. It’s like the mastodon version of La Pieta . 5801 Wilshire Boulevard

8. The Magic Castle – a members only club for Magicians, by Magicians. I was part of the first freakshow ever allowed to perform there. What strange mysteries you will find if you make it inside!
7001 Franklin Ave


9. Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena – This is the most filmed cemetery in Los Angeles. You’re sure to recognize some of television more somber moments amongst the great monuments, including “Susan’s” funeral from Seinfield. TV’s first Superman, George Reeves, who died a tragic and mysterious death, is also buried there.
2400 Fair Oaks Ave

10. Reggie the Alligator – for three years this monster lurked in a Los Angeles lake, menacing locals, eating dogs and outfoxing a slew of potential captors. Eventually Reggie was caught and interned at the LA Zoo, where he escaped the very next day and was loose in Griffith Park for a week. This dangerous beast now has a specially designed maximum security habitat and his own guard. LA Zoo on Zoo Dr in Griffith Park


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