In 1991 the Red Hot Chili Peppers wanted to record their next album in an unconventional setting, believing it would enhance their creative output. Rick Rubin suggested this mansion at 2451 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Los Angeles, California that magician Harry Houdini once lived in (Rubin later bought the mansion). A crew was hired to set up a recording studio and other equipment required for production in the house. The band decided that they would remain inside the mansion for the duration of recording, though Chad Smith, convinced the location was haunted, refused to stay. He would, instead, come each day by motorcycle. John Frusciante agreed with Smith, and said “There are definitely ghosts in the house,” but unlike Smith, Frusciante felt they were “very friendly. We have nothing but warm vibes and happiness everywhere we go in this house.”
The Blood Sugar Sex Magic album art also features a photograph of a strange orb or face captured during a group photograph, which the band suggests might have been a spirit at the mansion.