El Segundo High School

Happy to be alive on a visit to the Museum Of Death

Museum of death


As high school students in Los Angeles, while there is so much to do and see, we constantly do the same things over and over again.  So, as a result of these repetitive activities, I am always looking for new, unique things to do.  Let me preface this article with the fact that I am creative, an art enthusiast, and I am fascinated by psychology.

Recently, I discovered something that is a bit odd and unique. A place that my friends would not go with me to because they thought it was creepy, and they were a bit frightened. I went to the Museum of Death.

The Museum of Death is located in Hollywood. It was opened in 1995 and the owners are J. D. Healy and Catherine Shultz- death education is their life’s work. The museum’s goal is “to make people happy to be alive.” The owners are personal collectors of death objects and history, so the museum is actually a display of their collections. They even write to serial killers as pen pals, then they save their replies to put in their display.

In the museum, there are many artifacts all surrounding the subject of death. There are letters and artwork of serial killers displayed in one room. It is both terrifying and interesting to think what goes on in their minds. There are many coffins, including baby coffins. There are films of stories about killers or deaths, and about how to prepare a dead body before an open casket funeral. There were incredibly graphic photos of people after being killed in a shooting or something else. There was a section of graphic pictures of people who had been in a car crash. And next to it, there was a sign saying “Wear your seat belt.” There is also a room full only of animal taxidermy. The Heaven’s Gate mass suicide beds from 1997′s largest mass suicide to occur in the U.S are on display; the deceased wore identical sweat suits and Nike sneakers and lay neatly arranged on bunk beds in the belief that they’d soon be picked up by a spacecraft and ferried away to a new beginning. There is also a suicide euthanasia machine created by Jack Kevorkian called Thanatron.

However, the scariest, yet most intriguing artifact was the guillotined, severed, head of the Bluebeard of Paris, Henri Landru. It was moldy and black and dusty, it was one of the most interestingly terrifying things I have ever seen. Also, there is an electric chair with actual clothing that was worn by the people on that day. The last room of the museum was a room dedicated to the “Savior of rock and roll, GG Allin.” – if you don’t know him, and you don’t mind the disturbing, look him up.

The visit to the Museum of Death was extremely entertaining. It made me feel creepy, and excited, and after observing these devastating photos and videos, I can tell you that I appreciate that I am alive!

-Cece Jane