Los Feliz Murder Mansion - January 2016
I got the chance to explore the famous Los Feliz murder mansion a few months ago. Long story short, this Spanish-style home was built in the 1920s. Back in the late 1950s, a doctor lost his mind, bludgeoning his wife with a hammer, trying to kill one of his children with the same fate, and committing suicide via a mixture of drugs:
Curbed has a couple of great posts on this house, and quotes:
With all of that said, I got the chance to explore this poor little mansion, murder scene-turned-hoarder scene and all, and put together a little video-- I had a lot of fun playing around with all the creepy feels:
Below are some of my favorite stills. You can see the full set here.
Starting out coming up the driveway, and exploring the back of the house:
The kitchen area. It's obvious people have broken in over the years, whether transients, prostitutes, or other such urban explorers... but it's still a trip to see:
And on back throughout the house. This yellow light you see comes from those amber-glass windows. It's the only thing that I'd change out if I could afford to buy and restore this home.
Previous writings about this house have claimed that there is still a tree and presents upstairs. I was hoping with all of my might that that was the case; that I could have some prolific photographer's moment where I could document the scene as-is, image every package as-is, then document the contents... but alas. Either there never was this unopened Christmas from 1959, or it had been stolen over the past 50+ years... This was all I found, but I'm not so sure of its origins:
It was a smoggy, cloudy day, but just imagine what the view is like on a clear day! This was taken downstairs, I think. Even better views would have been upstairs, had one been able to make it across the clutter to the window...
The basement/sub-first floor area was probably the scariest. It's apparent how little this poor home has been cared for, just left abandoned for so many years. There appears to be a lot of structural damage. It would be wonderful if someone could come in and restore this beauty, but I fear the dollar signs from this prime location will take over and transform this into some cookie-cutter monster.
And back to the front. The details must have been, and the remaining ones still are, stunning. I'm in love with the door handle and lock, and the front door detailing reminds me of my old school. Swoon.
Can you imagine how beautiful this fountain must have been in the '20s? Like someone's own private Great Gatsby moment every time they pulled in the driveway. Also, I didn't happen to get a picture of it, but there is a bench (or two, I don't remember now) built in to that hillside right near the fountain.
All I can do at this point is hope for the best for this home and all of the souls who have seen it.
After exploring, it's hard to tell that the owner, Rudy, mentioned above, was actually something much more than his eccentric possessions. I got the chance to speak with his relatives, who remembered him as a well-kept, dapper man who was quite devoted to his church and who went out of his way to take care of stray cats in the area. This house, much like this piece, is an exploration on the broadest limits of the human mind. Two very different stories and outcomes, one harmful and one just harmless, but fascinating nonetheless.