The 'Witches' House': Castaneda's 25-Year Residence

The following exterior views are of the Westwood compound (a duplex, interior courtyard and apt. over the garage) where Castaneda lived from 1973 until his death in 1998. The Pandora gate picture shows the entrance into Castaneda's side of the duplex. From the entrance on Eastborne, one could turn right into Taisha's rooms, or left into a large living room. That side also contained the main kitchen and Florinda's bedroom. Joanie Barker, whom Castaneda first met in 1960 (and whom he described as "don Juan's first, and smartest, student"), lived in the small apartment above the garage until late1997 or early 1998.

Immediately inside the large hedge that hides most of the compound from view are a variety of fruit trees, which Castaneda's cohorts claimed had been replanted from "the Witches house in Sonora." In the back of the compound was a large patio that Castaneda tiled to resemble the tiling around the "inverse fountain" on the UCLA campus. Also adjoining the back of the garage is a large laundry area. Next to that is a large garage-type structure that was apparently sometimes used as a studio.

Corner at 1672 Pandora Ave., showing compound's massive hedge

Pandora gate (to Castaneda's apt.)

Pandora side (including gate)

Eastborne side (Joanie's apt. on right)

Eastborne entrance (to Florinda and Taisha's apt.)

Joanie Barker's former apt. above the garage
Eastborne side (view looking West)
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