Camarillo State Mental Hospital - Camarillo State Hospital in Popular Culture

Camarillo State Hospital in Popular Culture

Due to the hospital's proximity to the media center of Los Angeles, it has been referred to in movies, television, and music. Some famous persons suffering from mental illnesses, tuberculosis, or detoxing from drugs or alcohol stayed there to recover in Ventura County's mild climate. Jazzman Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo", written while he was detoxifying after a heroin addiction, is a tribute to the facility. The song "Camarillo" by punk outfit Fear also refers to the hospital. The band Ambrosia released a song called "Ready for Camarillo" on their 1978 Life Beyond L.A. album. "Camarillo Brillo" by Frank Zappa is also a reference to the institution. It has been rumored that the Eagles' 1977 "Hotel California" was a reference to Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

  • Much of the 1948 film The Snake Pit, starring Olivia de Havilland, was filmed here.
  • The opening scene from the Wes Anderson film Bottle Rocket was filmed at the Camarillo State Mental Hospital.
  • 'N Sync's mental hospital-set video for "I Drive Myself Crazy" was filmed at Camarillo.
  • After it closed, Camarillo was a popular destination for ghost hunters alleging that the hospital is haunted.
  • During the dénouement of some television episodes of the Dragnet series, there were references to captured criminals being sentenced to Camarillo State Hospital.
  • Scenes from The Ring and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were filmed at and around the hospital's grounds.
  • Season 4 of the TV show The Biggest Loser was filmed in 2007 when the site was CSU Channel Islands.
  • Jonathan Kellerman's 2012 thriller "Victims" modelled its Ventura State Hospital after Camarillo State Hospital.

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