Jim Morrison fans will have to find another place to pay tribute to the ’60s rock legend. Corral Canyon Cave, a tourist site in California’s Malibu State Park, has been closed off by the California Parks and Recreation Department. The cave will get a hefty spring cleaning after Jim Morrison and Doors’ fans defaced it with graffiti and drew attention to their masterpieces via social media. According to the Los Angeles Times, the costly cave cleanup will cost thousands of dollars and it’s all due to an urban legend that the late Doors frontman used to hang out in the cave and write music and poetry.
Rumors about the mythical Jim Morrison cave have been rampant over the past year, fueled by the power of social media and its inclusion on California tourist and hiking websites. Despite the attention, there has never been any confirmation that Jim Morrison ever visited the cave during his lifetime.
The Times reports that the cost to clean the Jim Morrison cave will be upwards of $40,000 and the lengthy process will require blasting the spray paint with walnut shells so that the rocks can be preserved.
There is no set date for if or even when the cave will re-open, but for now the entire site is closed off to the public. And Jim Morrison fans wielding spray paint cans should beware, as anyone caught entering the cave will receive $400, and if they vandalize the site the fine will be even greater and the trespasser could face felony charges.
According to Billboard, Jim Morrison fans have been frequenting the cave and posting social media tags about it, which has drawn even more people to the site over the past year. As many as 30 to 40 new posts have been popping up online a daily basis, and photos show that there are Doors lyrics and declarations to “try LSD” and other niceties interspersed amid the psychedelic swirls and artwork. Park rangers have said that when they walk into the cave they are greeted by the sound of shaking paint cans.
Jim Morrison was found dead in 1971 at age 27 in a bath tub in France, and for decades fans have flocked to the late rock legend’s gravesite in Paris where they have been known to leave graffiti tributes. According to Time, Morrison’s grave is located in the Pére-Lachaise cemetery in Paris and is known as one of the top, most-visited celebrity gravesites in the world. The site previously featured a bust of Jim Morrison before vandals took it. Nearly 45 years after Morrison’s death there is still a steady stream of visitors to the site. USA Today reported that on the 40th anniversary of Morrison’s death in 2011, more than 4,000 fans visited the grave site.
In addition to flowers, notes, and candles, graffiti greetings and chewing gum are also left near Morrison’s grave, leaving cemetery staff with a constant cleanup job. A few years ago, there was even talk of moving Jim Morrison’s grave to the United States, but that idea was quickly shut down. Still, the California Jim Morrison cave ultimately turned into a de facto tribute site for U.S. fans of the late music icon, and now that it is gone it will be interesting to see how fans decide to pay tribute to Morrison next.
Take a look at the video below for a tour of the now-closed Jim Morrison cave.
[Photo by Central Press/Getty Images]