The Lost Lizard People of Los Angeles (1934)


Snip from 1934 Los Angeles Times article about lizard people who lived in tunnels under the city 5,000 years ago. This legend is a long-lived chestnut. A hi-rez scan, more at Strange Maps, and: Reptoids! The Flickr uploader, vokoban, has lots of great stuff.


  1. Some dungeon master’s map got time portaled back to 1934. I can see no other explanation for this.

  2. Of course Barbara Bush is the Lizard Queen! Who, pray tell, do you think Doors L.A Woman was about? She hails from the underground.

  3. Going to do overlay and see if access available at 2000 Avenue of the Stars (Creative Artists Agency)

  4. So the story so far:

    Los Angeles is the Lizard City.
    Jim Morrison is the Lizard King.
    Barbara Bush is the Lizard Queen.
    Lizardman is the Lizard Man.

  5. Actually if you read the original article it’s clear that the ‘Lizard People’ aren’t supposed to be reptiles – they’re a tribe of humans who used the lizard as a totem animal. Unless of course the hideous TRUTH about the reptoids was considered too terrifying for the people of the 1930s to comprehend!

  6. My memory may be flawed, but I remember my mother telling my sister and I this story.

    I grew up in Los Angeles, near one of those easily accessible flood drains that seem to drown children each year. The large cement pipe was asking to be explored, but we had the right amount of fear. There are plenty of legends, and I am sure most of them are kept alive by parents as a warning to children, and by children because children tell, keep, and grow good stories. My mother told my sister and I the story of the lizard people, though I think she told it as alligator people. She told us about the deadly Africanclawed frogs, which aren’t deadly, but scary. They were made scarier by seeing them pickled in a museum, along with Pipa pipa, wich are part of the family Pipidae “the tongueless frogs” . A few facts make any legend more believable. In the sewers of L.A. My mother told us about entire stretches inhabited by homeless people and how children die in them each year. The water was far from pure, causing “lock jaw”, blindness and death. Perhaps she was a little over the top, but I can still hear the enormous sound of the storm drain as the creak water entered and disappeared through a maze that not even Theseus could escape from.

    I really think these legends give a city character. While the origin of the stories is not as cautionary tales, likely they become one through time. The clawed frogs and stories of alligators, be them people or not, were not as good at keeping my sister and I out of the drain pipe as the evening news, or the fact that we were well parented. These stories would have driven me to look for the lizard people if I had been older.

  7. The Lost Lizard People of Los Angeles that were reported of 1934, where are they now? I don’t know. But I will tell you this: The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society was founded in 1934. Coincidence? Attend any regular Thursday night meeting of the LASFS, and then YOU decide!

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