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Dearly Departed Tours
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Dearly Departed: The Tragic History Tour of Los Angeles
Ranked #14 of 248 Tours in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Murders, Deaths, Scandals and fun things happened all over Los Angeles. But it's light hearted. Promise. Dearly Departed Tours is a 3 hour tour of the Deathstyles of the Rich and Famous. Legends from Mae West and Bela Lugosi, to Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson. With a side of Hugh Grant and Chris Brown and Rihanna thrown in for good measure. "Creepy, Hilarious, but not for kids or the prissy." - Lonely Planet Also available, The Helter Skelter Tour - based solely on the Manson Murders. Join Scott Michaels, the host of the documentary, The Six Degrees of Helter Skelter will unravel this bizarre time in American History. American Horror Story based their "Eternal Darkness Tour" on us and we've been featured in Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, E! 20 Most Horrifying Hollywood Murders and The Girls Next Door. Hundreds of unedited positive reviews online, Tripatini, Yelp, Yahoo Travel and Tripadvisor. *** Because of our recent move, the MUSEUM is closed until mid to late April.
Bolton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 April 2014

We did this tour with Richard on the second day of our LA stay in April.

Firstly be mindful on this tour if you are squeamish or easily offended.....you get a folder that accompanies the narration as you drive which includes actual photos of bodies!!

You go through crime scenes of Los Angeles with excellent pointers and soundbites from some of the most publicized events in history......The Black Dalia murder, Whitney Houston's death, Michael Jackson's death, Janis Joplins overdose etc. Richard is very knowledgeable and adds recordings and at times funny anecdotes too!

We both enjoyed the tour very much and recommend it!!!

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Tracy A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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417 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Excellent, but not for children”
Reviewed 18 April 2014

If you have an interest in the darker side of Hollywood, this is the tour for you! Our guide (alas, I can't remember his name) took us to the locations of many of the sites where murders, suicides, accidental deaths and other unfortunate events occurred. He gave excellent narration and provided a binder with pictures of the people involved in the events, as well as related photos. The page with the Black Dahlia had a cover with a warning that beneath the cover were very graphic photos. Let me just say the cover is a good idea. Raise it at your own risk!

All of the narrative was informative and descriptive. Some would have to be omitted if children were present. But that's what this tour is, and it does it well. It's not for children.

Our guide also gave us an "extra." He drove us through several neighborhoods and pointed out current and former homes of many stars. IMHO, he should consider including this as part of the tour. It added to our enjoyment.

So if you want to learn about River Phoenix, Janice Joplin, John Belushi, the Black Dahlia, Sharon Tate, and many others, book this tour. But don't bring the kids.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank tbolt96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Murray, KY
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great Way to *Kill* An Afternoon”
Reviewed 11 April 2014

I've always been interested in the dark side of history - and I'm a big fan of the true crime and horror genres of literature, tv and film - so, this particular tour is something that I've been hearing about (and enjoying through E!'s programming and Dearly Departed Tours Vol. 1) for a long time. When I found out that I was going to be traveling to the Los Angeles area for business, I quickly reserved a spot on this tour for myself and my husband on a Sunday afternoon. The tour that we took (The "Tragical History Tour") departed at 1pm from the storefront location on West Sunset. I'm not sure if it was because we booked a Sunday afternoon tour or we just got lucky, but there was plenty of metered street parking available and a small pay lot with lots of open spaces right down the street. We arrived in plenty of time to check out some of the tour's artifacts and prepare for the trip.

Our guide, Richard, was very friendly and knowledgeable - providing lots of great insight about all of the spots on the tour as well as LA/Hollywood/Beverly Hills in general. My husband was prepared to dislike the tour from the beginning since he's not a fan of anything involving mystery and crime - but he ended up really enjoying himself and appreciated getting to see lots of Hollywood landmarks (not just those involving death).

Sure, these are locations that you can track down on your own and read about independently - but, isn't it worth the $50 to sit back, relax and enjoy?

Visited April 2014
1 Thank muckiepupp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
long island, Ny
Level Contributor
127 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“awesome tour”
Reviewed 10 April 2014

I'm a huge fan of the findadeath website and all things like it from tv shows etc. of course I've seen the E! specials and just spend hours reading about all things like this lol. creeps out my husband a lot :) anyway of course going to LA we had to take this tour, and even my husband enjoyed it. I see another review about a documentary on netflix which I'll have to investigate today lol. I highly recommend this tour. Only thing we thought was eventually they should do 2 different tours, 1 with the older stuff and 1 with the newer. though of course both should have the black dahlia because that's just a great story (not great as good but more like crazy great, fascinating ?) I wanted to see where the actor went crazy (probably bath salts) & fell to his death! like on the special on Haloween. a lot of the older people we had no idea who some were compared to River, Michael, Whitney, etc obviously know who they are. honestly I think the saddest thing about the tour is listening to the 911 call for River. can't imagine how it felt seeing him die, his own brother.

then again it was so interesting hearing all the older stories also. I just loved the whole thing. I can't wait to go back out there and try one of the other tours esp the helter skelter one. and I hope we'll be staying at the chateau Marmont next time too! such a cool looking hotel.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank poisonivy918
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
46 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Enjoyable Trip to the Dark Side”
Reviewed 4 April 2014

Having done the standard "Home of the Stars" / Open Top Bus type tours on our last visit to LA, we wanted to do a tour which was slightly different to the norm. We chanced upon the Dearly Departed tours flyer at the Hollywood Tourist Information booth, and decided to give it a go.

Good decision - this tour was the highlight of our second trip to LA!!

Their office (where you meet up for the tour) was easy to find on Sunset Boulevard - just opposite the Cat and Fiddle bar (which we can also recommend for some post tour drinks ...), and we were warmly welcomed by the owner Scott and driver/tour guide Brian. First thing that impressed us was that not only had Scott been to Wales, but actually to the town of Port Talbot (near where we live), for reasons too detailed to go into here. The office is something of a mini-museum of the macabre, but we were soon off on a 16 seater minibus for our tour.

The next three and a half hours went by in a flash, no small part in our tour guide Brian's constant stream of fascinating facts, history, scandal and gossip. We did an extensive tour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the surrounding areas, and thoroughly enjoyed finding out about the dark side of these areas and the celebrity scandals that happened there (or that happened there but were grossly exaggerated...) We actually counted ourselves lucky that the traffic that afternoon was quite bad, as Brian was able to fill the waiting time with yet more interesting stories and history - honestly, this guy was a force of nature, and obviously loved his job of relating this history to the people on the tour. In fact we were quite disappointed when the tour ended, but we resolved to check out some of the other tours they offer if we ever come back to LA a third time.

Be warned that due to the history you are being told about, the tour could be quite dark and graphic, so we wouldn't recommend it for kids - however from older teenagers upwards who are not overtly prudish or squeamish then you will do far worse than take this tour.

Visited March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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