Where do you go to know more about history? Museums. Where do your teachers send you when you’re on a field trip? The museum. We have a love/hate for trips to the museum, but if we’re lucky maybe we learn we have to for the sake of the numbers our parents want to see on our report cards.
But our list of museums are an interesting twist as these institutions take us to a world we missed, someplace we never would have known about, and the past we forgot to dig into. But what if the museum you go to hosts human remains, faces of serial killers, and creepy-looking clowns? Would you still want to go in?
Merriam-Webster says museums are where things that are of everlasting interest are kept, but these bizarre museums undoubtedly go against what’s conventional.
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Lombroso’s Museum of Criminal Anthropology
The Lombroso’s Museum of Criminal Anthropology will give new fear to criminals. The museum is like a huge vault of crime photos, weapons that were used to torture and kill humans, and even the head of the Italian criminologist that the museum was built for—Cesare Lombroso.
Lombroso was a criminologist and physician and was known for founding the Italian school of criminology. The items displayed in the museum are objects from the works of Lombroso. If you are a detective-wannabe or one who simply wants to stare at skulls and other human remains, the doors of Lombroso’s Museum of Criminal Anthropology are always open for you.
Have you ever been to haunted houses? Well the London Dungeon does more than that as well as house a large collection of old but still frightening torture devices from the middle ages.
When it was established in 1974, the London Dungeon was originally designed as a museum depicting a macabre history of violence and brutality. Over the years, it evolved into an actor-led and interactive series of activities. The London Dungeon now has 18 shows performed by 20 actors, with three horrifying rides.
Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horror
Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum is something everyone knows about. With their collection of impressive wax replicas of famous people, tourists flock the museum from around the world. What most people don’t know is that the museum hides a ghastly history.
Madame Tussaud has always been known as an artist who makes the most surreal wax sculptures between the late 1700s and early 1800s. She started making them during the French Revolution. Execution by guillotine was a trend in the past. In many instances, Madame Tussaud would go to see these executions, and after the heads were cut off, she would run up to the machine and make wax figures using the severed heads. The last king of France was one of her subjects.
If you believe you’re brave enough, you can visit Madame Tussaud’s Chamber of Horrors and see the heads for yourself. One of Jack the Ripper‘s victims’ remains are there too.
New Haven Ventriloquist Museum
While Madame Tussaud is busy making wax figures, the owner of our next museum lets his horrible-looking friends do the talking. The New Haven Ventriloquist Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, is a house full of ventriloquist’s dummies. It doesn’t matter which way you look,for in every corner there is at least one dummy staring right at you. Guests have to stand on the stage when they go to the museum, because even the seats are occupied by dummies. If you have autonomatonophobia (fear of humanoid figures) you may want to reconsider this museum. Imagine being surrounded by a thousand Chuckies—yes, that’s how it feels.
The Purgatory Museum
When you pass from this earth its believe you will end up in one of three places: heaven, hell, and purgatory. Of course, your fate is based on how you lived your life. But if you didn’t live a long life or were closed off to society due to disease or paralysis, then you may find purgatory. We know there’s a garden in heaven and a fire in hell, but what do we have expect in purgatory? This museum gives us a sneak peek.
In the Prati district of Rome, there stands the Church of the Sacred Heart, and behind the church’s side altar is the Purgatory Museum. The museum displays evidences of cases of souls revisiting the earth to go after the living. Scorch marks on the table, lines drawn by an otherworldly hand, and clothing with burnt fingertips are just few of what you can see in the museum. Their best display? A book with a print of someone’s hand carved deeply onto the pages, which people believe is from a monk who’s burnt to death for a sin no one knows what.
Catacombs of Palermo
Technically not a museum, but with its display of hundreds of corpses, how else would you want to describe the Catacombs of Palermo but as the “museum of death”? Located in Capuchin Monastery, the establishment houses the bodies of dead monks and local members of the community. From late sixteenth century until the death of Rosalia Lombardo in the 1920s, the last known interment, bodies were placed in the catacombs. Then they were hung on the walls wearing the same clothes they had when they were buried.
The bodies are so well-preserved that some of the corpses look like they are just taking a nap and are ready to wake up anytime to jump at you and some look just horrendous. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Glore Psychiatric Museum
This one begs to differ because as there are some really eclectic items displayed inside like an electroshock treatment and lobotomies. The Glore Psychiatric Museum also has an ancient treatment area where you can see dioramas that will show you the step-by-step process of a psychosurgical operation and the instruments used for bleeding patients in the past.
Museum of Anatomy
Are you a science lover? Let’s see if you still are after visiting inside the Museum of Anatomy in Paris. The items in the museum were collected by Honoré Fragonard, a French anatomist who later on had to stop his practice on the field because he was canned for showing symptoms of unstable mental state. After two decades, Fragonard started stocking dead bodies, which are now displayed in the museum.
The bodies displayed in the Museum of Anatomy were skinned and embalmed by Fragonard himself. He used a secret recipe for it, which has never been revealed to anyone. Remains of animals, criminals, skulls from asylums for patients with mental illness, and children—the museum is one whole array of items whose looks will make you cringe. Entry in the museum is by appointment only.
House on the Rock
What was originally planned to be a den, turned out to be anxiety-inducing as “The House on the Rock” in Deer Shelter Rock, Wisconsin, was first opened to the public in 1959. A recreated twentieth-century American town and a model of a sea monster that stands 200 feet. Nothing scary about that? But what if you’re told that this model of a town was abandoned? Then you’re greeted by a neighborhood of strange-looking mannequins trying to reassemble a set of broken instruments and playing music that sounds like it was recorded in hell? Scared yet?
Mutter Museum is a house of moss, bones, anatomical specimens, a wax replica of a woman with a horn on her forehead, the malignant tumor that grew on Pres. Grover Cleveland, growth taken out of John Wilkes Booth (Pres. Abraham Lincoln‘s assassin), and the conjoined liver of the Siamese twins Eng and Chang Bunker.
If you’re game for more strange, then check out the five-foot-long human colon that carries an estimated weight of 40 pounds of feces. Also lying on a glass cage is the Soap Lady whose body was saponified after she died.
These museums are what nightmares are made of… Once you check in, you may never get out…
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