Alexander Thorn's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Oakland, California

Jonestown Memorial

The memorial to the victims of the Jonestown Massacre carries the names of 918 lost, including one name people wish wasn't there.
Colma, California

Emperor Norton's Grave

The final resting place of the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.
San Francisco, California

The Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Staircase winds down the side of Telegraph Hill through gardens, wild parrots flying overhead.
San Francisco, California

Vaillancourt Fountain

This concrete tangle of square pipes has stood as a proud thorn in the city's side since the '70s.
San Francisco, California

The Pirate Shop at 826 Valencia

An essential stop before plundering, BYO Cutlass.
San Francisco, California

Paxton Gate

A shop full of natural curiosities, carnivorous plants, and costumed taxidermied mice.
San Francisco, California

The "Full House" House

This private residence was the template for one of the most beloved television homes ever.
San Francisco, California

Corporate Goddess Sculptures

Faceless white figures loom over the city from the rooftop.
Placerville, California

Gothic Rose Antiques & Curiosities

Eclectic collection of dark and macabre antiques.
San Francisco, California

Alcatraz Island

In all of the 29 years it was in operation, no prisoners ever escaped successfully... or so they claim.
San Francisco, California

The Wave Organ

A huge musical instrument played by the ocean.
San Francisco, California

Musée Mécanique

A collection of 20th-century automata, penny arcade games, and musical contraptions.
San Francisco, California

San Francisco Columbarium

The restored and active Victorian-era final resting place of San Francisco.
Virginia City, Nevada

Comstock Cemeteries

These once-beautiful historic graveyards are set against the barren Virginia City hills.
Palo Alto, California

Stanford Mausoleum

Guarded by the Angel of Grief, the Stanford family tomb attracts an odd mix of halloween revelry and somber contemplation.
Palo Alto, California

Arizona Cactus Garden

A hidden world of exotic succulents and cacti.
Palo Alto, California

Gates of Hell Sculpture

Rodin's famous depiction of Dante's 'Inferno', amidst a sculpture garden of many of his other works.
San Jose, California

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

An extensive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies.
San Jose, California

Rosicrucian Park

The headquarters of a secretive order is also a beautifully-designed park.
San Jose, California

Santana Row Chess Plaza

A giant chess set, minus the psychedelic drug trip.
San Jose, California

California Trolley and Railroad Corporation

Historical trolley restoration and operation at History San Jose, Kelly Park.
San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House

A peculiar mansion built by the troubled heir to the Winchester gun fortune.
San Jose, California

Drawbridge

San Francisco Bay's ghost town.
Milpitas, California

Great Mall of Milpitas

This giant shopping mall still holds signs of its automotive past.