Spahn Ranch is a suitable getaway spot. This idyllic retreat once served as a Western movie set. However, it is best known for playing host to Charles Manson and his followers. The Manson family clan gained notoriety for plotting the murder of the Hollywood actress Sharon Tate and others in 1969.
The mention of Spahn Movie Ranch sends shivers to the spines of most Americans. It is associated with one of the most notorious real-life crimes ever committed in the history of the country. The destination has an old Western-themed set, boulder-strewn scenery, and mountainous terrain. This makes it a suitable site for filming Western movies and TV series.
Spahn Ranch owner
George Spahn owned the infamous ranch. He was born in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, on the 11th of February, 1889. He purchased the property in 1953 and changed it to bear his last name. George Spahn was married to Martha Greenholts, and they had 11 children together.
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Spahn Ranch location
The Spahn Ranch address is 12000 Santa Susana Pass Road, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California. The place is now Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, California. Looking at the Spahn Ranch map shows that the isolated and run-down property was 55-acres in size. Furthermore, the movies ranch became a breeding ground for many stragglers, including the Manson family cult, between 1968 and 1969.
What movies were filmed at the Spahn Ranch?
At some point, filmmakers were renting the property as it was perfect for filming old Western movies. Many of the television shows in the early 50s, 60s, and 70s were shot there. Below are some of Spahn Ranch movies filmed in this notorious location:
- Linda and Abilene (1969)
- The Lone Ranger (1949–1957)
- The Secrets of Isis (1975–1976)
- One More Train to Rob (1971)
- The Female Bunch (1971)
- 6 Guns (2010 video)
- Bonanza (1959–1973)
- Manson (1973)
- Top of the Brine (2011 video)
- The Talisman (1966)
- Frankie in Blunderland (2011)
- The Fabulous Bastard from Chicago (1969)
- Diamond Stud (1970)
- The Ramrodder (1969)
- Manson Family Movies (1984 video)
- Hell's Bloody Devils (1970)
- The Other Side of Madness (1971)
- The Creeping Terror (1964 TV movie)
Spahn Ranch Manson family
The Manson family was a close-knitted clan and cult founded in 1960 by Charles Manson. They were active in the State of California in the late 60s and early 70s. The Manson clan was made of about 50 persons who were followers of Charles.
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The family was known to live an unconventional lifestyle with the constant use of drugs like LSD. So, where was the Manson ranch? The family set their headquarters at the Spahn Ranch in the late 1960s.
How did Manson get Spahn Ranch?
Before the Manson family found shelter in the Spahn Ranch, they lived in Dennis Wilson's cabin of the Beach Boys fame. The convicted murderer and cult leader alongside his followers were evicted from the property in August 1968. Nevertheless, the Manson clan relocated to the Los Angeles County ranch after some members of the family made an acquaintance with the property owner, George Spahn.
When the Mansons arrived at the ranch in 1968, George Spahn was nearly 80 years old. He was lonely and almost a blind man who needed companionship. Spahn allowed the Mansons to live on his ranch in return for companionship and labour.
Spahn Ranch tour
The property has become a tourist centre that many people want to visit today because of what it stands for. Over the years, several people have taken a tour through the place. To reach the place, take 118 west and exit the Santa Susanna Pass. Once you get to the exit, cross the bridge and then turn left. Afterwards, drive down the road around until you see the church located at the Rocky Peak on top of the hill on the left. A few of the comments from people who visited the place are these:
I wonder how many people drive by this spot every day and have no idea what they are passing. It's just weird how Spahn Ranch went from Ground Zero to some of California's most infamous murder cases to an overgrown patch of weeds a few decades later. - Kim D.
Cool place still there. Lots of rumors fire dept blew it up and locals hate you and keep you out all this nonsense. ill spill the beans its on Kheuner and 118 there is a bike shop and a old bar at the end of the street the hill behind the bike shop is the cave. its easy to get to super trippy place. - Colby G.
Spahn Ranch now pictures
Apart from the fact that the property is known as the primary residence of Charles Manson, notable movies that were shot in the location are also part of the reasons why the place is famous. However, since the fire encounter, it is no longer the same again. These are some of the pictures of what the place looks like today.
Desolate and empty
Most of the things that are found in the ranch today are old and dilapidated buildings. Besides, it is filled with lots of rubbles and overgrown bushes. It is almost hard to believe that the once deadly zone is now a place anyone can visit.
Even though the venue is no longer what it used to be, there are lots of notable locations on the property that are worth seeing.
Frequently asked questions
There are lots of interesting questions that have been raised over time concerning the activities on the property and its owner. Here are some of those questions and the best answers to them so far.
What happened at Spahn Ranch?
This is where the Manson clan lived when they murdered Sharon Tate and six others in 1969. That aside, Charles Manson and his followers equally lived on Barker Ranch, which is in the northern Mojave Desert.
Does the Spahn Ranch still exist?
No. A mysterious wildfire destroyed the ranch film sets and buildings on the 26th of September, 1970. There were plans to set up a “European Tourist Center” on the property, but it did not materialise. Presently, most of the overgrown land is owned by the state.
What happened to the owner of the Spahn Ranch?
After the property burnt down, the Spahn Ranch owner returned to North Hollywood, where he lived with his wife. Then, on the 22nd of September, 1974, he died at Sherwood Convalescent Hospital in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California. His death was due to natural causes. He was 85 years old.
Spahn Ranch is now part of California's Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park. However, it is usually remembered for being the primary residence of Charles Manson, the convicted leader of the infamous Manson cult.
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