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Los Angeles, California

Philosophical Research Society

A library of rare occult books in Los Angeles. 

Los Angeles has long been home to mystics, far-out spirituals, and occult practices.

The city boasts an Alchemy Lab and a “Magickal Marketplace.” The Philosophical Research Society has been at the center of the occult in LA since its inception in 1934. Founded by Manly P. Hall, the PRS explores “wisdom traditions” ranging from religion to science to more esoteric philosophies. Even for those of us who aren’t trying to tap into the spirit world, the library of the Philosophical Research Society provides a wealth of information on obscure, rare religions and philosophies.

The library has some very notable titles: a book on divination once owned by Napoleon from 1801, a rare book about theosophy, and a book on mesmerism from 1852. According to lore, the books about Satan are kept under a Buddha statue, to balance the energies. They even, according to some, have books about black magic. These books are not open to the public with the rest of their collection; one must obtain special permission from the librarians to explore them.

Of course, the library is non-circulating, as it is solely a research facility.