Anton LaVey; Founded the Church of Satan

<i> From Times staff and wire reports</i>

Anton LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan in 1966 and wrote the “Satanic Bible” as a guide for international followers, has died at the age of 67.

Relatives said LaVey died of pulmonary edema Oct. 29 at St. Mary’s Hospital.

LaVey was cremated Tuesday after a satanic funeral at Woodlawn Memorial Chapel in Colma.

Security concerns led his daughter, Church of Satan High Priestess Karla LaVey, to demand “absolute secrecy from all who knew of LaVey’s death and satanic funeral,” family spokesman Lee Houskeeper said.

LaVey, who frequently described himself as a sorcerer, had a varied career before founding his church. He said he had been an organist, a photographer, a psychic investigator and a circus lion tamer.


His estranged daughter, Zeena Schreck of Los Angeles, told The Times, however, that much of her father’s colorful background was fabricated.

In 1967, neighbors complained about LaVey’s 500-pound pet lion Togare, which Schreck said did exist. The dispute ended when the lion ripped up LaVey’s house and was shipped to a zoo.

LaVey played the devil in the 1968 movie “Rosemary’s Baby” and served as a consultant on other movies.

The last of his five books, “Satan Speaks,” is scheduled for release next spring.

Moore than a million copies of his books have been printed. Each has been translated into nearly every major language, according to Houskeeper.

LaVey, dubbed the “Black Pope” by some, is survived by his two daughters; longtime companion Blanche Barton; a 4-year-old son, Xerxes LaVey; and a grandson.