satanism today and tomorrow

Anton LaVey's "Black House" in San Francisco

Mike Cahill


In modern San Francisco, the high price of real estate has left more than a few historic homes destroyed. One of the most interesting of those homes is the "Black House," formerly located at 6114 California Street. Why was it called the Black House and why, if it was considered to be historic, was it demolished? Well, from 1966 until 1997, the house served as headquarters for the Church of Satan.

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The Black House was purchased in the 1960s by infamous Satanist Anton LaVey. In 1966, LaVey became the founding member of the Church of Satan. For the next 30 years, the Black House became the site of various Satanic rituals performed by LaVey and his followers. The most notorious ritual that LaVey performed at the Black House was the Satanic baptism of his daughter in 1967. The ritual was controversial not just because of its Satanic nature, but because LaVey conducted the ceremony while a nude female follower acted as the "Satanic Altar."

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In the mid 1990s, LaVey sold the Black House to a friend to pay off some legal debts. After his death in 1997, the friend's sons took over the home and evicted the rest of LaVey's family.

After the eviction, members of the church tried to raise the money necessary to buy back the home with little success. Finally, after years of disuse, the Black House was demolished in 2001. Today, a duplex stands in its place with a new address.