Skeletons in the Closet – Los Angeles, California - Atlas Obscura
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Los Angeles, California

Skeletons in the Closet

Gift shop offering toe tags and chalk body beach towels tucked into a coroner's office. 

Skeletons in the Closet is the name of the improbably placed gift shop squeezed into an office on the second floor of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office. “Part of you thinks it’s in poor taste, part of you wants an X-Large,” is the store’s slogan. It may be in poor taste, but the considerable proceeds are donated to the Youthful Drunk Driver Visitation Program to educate kids about the dangers of drunk driving.

The office was converted into a store when employees realized that friends and relatives took an interest in leftover souvenir items originally made for company-wide events like sporting competitions and picnics.

Visitors can pick up all manner of traditional tourist gear – plus a few extras. The store regularly stocks mugs, clothing, hats, beach towels with chalk body outlines, key chains, magnets, mouse pads, and even toe tags, which they will customize with your name. The bestselling items, perhaps not surprisingly, are also the quirkiest: the beach towels and toe tags.

For anyone in need of a toe tag outside of California, Skeletons in the Closet will take orders by phone or fax. Over the years, the store has built a healthy mail order business, with more than 30,000 people subscribing to their catalog.

Know Before You Go

From the Golden State Freeway, head south and exit at Mission Road. From there, turn left onto Mission and drive northeast to 1104 N. Mission Road, across from Jack in the Box, just under the freeway after Marengo.