With over 62 acres filled with the embalmed or cremated remains of celebrities and notable Los Angeles citizens, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the ultimate destination for creepy-seeking tourists. During daylight hours, the grounds are completely free, and parking is ample. Headstones and memorials depicting the city’s diverse ethnic and religious population are sure to delight anyone taking a casual stroll, along with the grand possibility of recognizing many of the names of the cemetery’s permanent residents.
The only problem comes when you’re trying to find a particular grave. For the more serious star seekers, a flower shop near the entrance sells a map showing the relative location of some of Hollywood Forever’s more notable graves, or anyone could also take notes of the cemetery’s online, interactive map.
But the best way to visit Hollywood’s legendary graveyard is by taking a tour led by Karie Bible. Arguably the city’s greatest expert on the cemetery, Bible personally escorts guests around the mausoleums, crypts, and graves, sharing tales of unusual demises and fascinating life stories along the way.
Over the nine years of giving the tour, Bible says the biggest change has been the constant addition of graves to show and stories to tell, explaining, “There have been many new points of interest that I’ve added to the tour that weren’t there in 2002 when I first started including Johnny Ramone, Vampira, Mr. Blackwell, Darren McGavin, Don Adams, Toto and Estelle Getty.”
She now gives the tours, rain or shine, at least twice a month (and most Saturdays and Sundays between September and October).
In addition to the regular tour that focuses on major celebrities and the history of the cemetery, she also has themed tours on select dates focusing on “Hidden Hollywood,” “Jewish Heritage,” and other themes. Unfortunately, for safety reasons none of the tours are held in the dark. Reservations are never required, but check out her site for upcoming dates and tour price.
A notable classic film historian, Bible has appeared on the AMC network discussing film, and runs FilmRadar, listing alternative and vintage movie screenings and other events taking place at independent Los Angeles cinemas. Once a year, she also takes on the role of the notorious Lady In Black, bringing flowers to Valentino’s Hollywood Forever crypt on the anniversary of his death.
According to one story she told CreepyLA, perhaps her draw to Hollywood Forever goes beyond mere mortal interest.
“One night I went to sleep and dreamed that I was doing my tour in the cemetery in a full Victorian gown from a horse drawn carriage,” Karie recalled. When she awoke, she’d nearly forgotten the dream until she drove through gates of cemetery only to come across an eerie reminder. “I was shocked to see a large wooden Victorian horse drawn carriage. It was hand carved, ornate and beautiful–similar to the one in my dream. There was a lady sitting up on the buckboard pulling the reigns on a big white horse. I spoke with her briefly and she said that a family had hired her to to a funeral service and transport a coffin.”
[yelpprofile id="hollywood-forever-cemetery-tour-hollywood" align="right"]6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90038