Luxury Tours of Los Angeles - 3:00 22 April 2013

Finding the Manson Cave on a Private Los Angeles Tour

An Tale from Our Guide of a Recent Private Los Angeles Tour

Elite Adventure Tours
guide Paul shared the following account with our staff of his recent tour and we are sharing it now with you because it is so interesting:

My guests from Adelaide (Australia) had something a bit different at the top of their wish list for their custom private Los Angeles tour:  they wanted to visit the remains of the old Spahn Movie Ranch in the Santa Susana Pass (near Chatsworth).  Back in the late ’60s, this is where Charles Manson and his “family” were living in a communal society — in the old buildings on the ranch and throughout the caves and canyons of the area.  The Spahn Ranch structures were destroyed by fire years ago, and I knew there wouldn’t be much to see — but our guests didn’t care.  They just wanted to be able to say they were there.

I knew where the entrance of the Spahn Ranch used to be, so we started walking.  We soon found a steep path leading down into a rocky canyon.  We had no idea what to expect or what we might find.

Old photograph of Manson FamilyYears ago, I read a 1969 Life Magazine story on the Manson “family” and their involvement in the infamous Tate – LaBianca murders — and I always remembered a photograph in that story — it showed nine members of the “family” huddling in a cave-like rock overhang somewhere deep within the canyons of the Spahn Ranch property.  This is the photo from the Life Magazine article…

As we continued to explore the canyon, we found a few pieces of a mid ’60s Volkwagen.  I knew we were on the right track and that we had to be getting close to the epicenter of the Manson “commune” — where Charlie, Squeaky, Sadie, Tex and all the rest were living.

After 15 minutes of climbing down to the bottom of the canyon and another 10 minutes of exploration, we stumbled upon a chilling discovery…

Our photo of the Manson cave todayThere wasn’t a soul to be seen anywhere in the area — but someone before us had written MANSON in the dirt. We noticed it immediately as we approached the cave. It looked fresh — as though it had been done earlier in the morning. It was BEYOND creepy.

Inside the “cave” we found a copy of the Life Magazine photo — with the name of each “family” member written above their picture…

Photo of our guest in the Manson caveWe both took time at this location to reflect on the truly terrible events of August, 1969 and I said a silent prayer for the innocent lives destroyed by the very evil Charles Manson and his “family.”

I’ve been to some creepy places in Los Angeles. This one topped them all.

If you are interested in a “special” tour of specific sights and locations anywhere around Los Angeles then we are the people to talk to.  Visit our website at

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