Alexander Thorn's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
Free iron-on Atlas Obscura badge when you preorder our new kids’ book. Shop now.
Loading map...
The four modest plaques that hold the names of the dead
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.
37.7711, -122.1776
Emperor's tombstone, Colma
Colma, California

Emperor Norton's Grave

The final resting place of the Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.
37.6794, -122.4688
The wild parrots of Telegraph Hill
San Francisco, California

The Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Staircase winds down the side of Telegraph Hill through gardens, wild parrots flying overhead.
37.8021, -122.4039
Vallaincourt Fountain
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.
37.7954, -122.3953
San Francisco, California

The Pirate Shop at 826 Valencia

An essential stop before plundering, BYO Cutlass.
37.7596, -122.4214
Paxton Gate Exterior
San Francisco, California

Paxton Gate

A shop full of natural curiosities, carnivorous plants, and costumed taxidermied mice.
37.7596, -122.4217
The fictional Tanner's residence.
San Francisco, California

The "Full House" House

This private residence was the template for one of the most beloved television homes ever.
37.7863, -122.4420
San Francisco, California

Corporate Goddess Sculptures

Faceless white figures loom over the city from the rooftop.
37.7928, -122.4043
Gothic Rose Antiques & Collectibles.
Placerville, California

Gothic Rose Antiques & Curiosities

Eclectic collection of dark and macabre antiques.
38.7295, -120.7998
Alcatraz from the Bay 2012
San Francisco, California

Alcatraz Island

In all of the 29 years it was in operation, no prisoners ever escaped successfully... or so they claim.
37.8267, -122.4230
The Wave Organ, San Francisco Bay
San Francisco, California

The Wave Organ

A huge musical instrument played by the ocean.
37.8085, -122.4398
San Francisco, California

Musée Mécanique

A collection of 20th-century automata, penny arcade games, and musical contraptions.
37.8093, -122.4159
San Francisco, California

San Francisco Columbarium

The restored and active Victorian-era final resting place of San Francisco.
37.7806, -122.4571
Comstock Cemeteries.
Virginia City, Nevada

Comstock Cemeteries

These once-beautiful historic graveyards are set against the barren Virginia City hills.
39.3158, -119.6418
Front of the tomb
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.
37.4365, -122.1699
Palo Alto, California

Arizona Cactus Garden

A hidden world of exotic succulents and cacti.
37.4359, -122.1711
'The Thinker', often seen as a separate sculpture
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.
37.4329, -122.1702
One of the four mummies
San Jose, California

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum

An extensive collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts and mummies.
37.3340, -121.9226
The central fountain in the Rosicrucian garden.
San Jose, California

Rosicrucian Park

The headquarters of a secretive order is also a beautifully-designed park.
37.3340, -121.9226
San Jose, California

Santana Row Chess Plaza

A giant chess set, minus the psychedelic drug trip.
37.3211, -121.9473
San Jose, California

California Trolley and Railroad Corporation

Historical trolley restoration and operation at History San Jose, Kelly Park.
37.3205, -121.8606
The Winchester Mystery House.
San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House

A peculiar mansion built by the troubled heir to the Winchester gun fortune.
37.3189, -121.9506
San Jose, California

Drawbridge

San Francisco Bay's ghost town.
37.4625, -121.9735
The mall's generic appearance today gives little hint of its history.
Milpitas, California

Great Mall of Milpitas

This giant shopping mall still holds signs of its automotive past.
37.4156, -121.8994