20 Weird and Possibly Creepy Museums
If you're like me (and really everyone should be), then the first thing you do when you land in a new city is look for the weird things to do. The weirder the better and thankfully there are like-minded folks all around the world who enjoy cataloguing and preserving that special cultural spark called weird.
What follows is a list, albeit not a comprehensive one, of museums that are slightly off kilter. Many of these I've visited and all of them I hope to. Got a wacky museum I left off the list? Hit a girl up.
Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA
Medical museum to end all medical museums. There's a reason it tops my list. Walls of skulls, jars of diseased organs, and the world's largest intestine. And you can get married there if you want. What more could you want? Definitely worth the trip to Philly which has a surprising number of fantastic restaurants...and cheesesteaks.
Perfume Museum, Paris, France
Learn the history of perfume from Fragonard, the oldest parfumerie still in existence. You can sniff, read, and buy some of their latest creations. I bought too many things. It's like I suddenly wanted to smell different immediately upon stepping in the door.
Vent Haven Museum, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
This is creepy, even by my standards. I haven't been but I will for sure be visiting it in my nightmares. I'm not saying I won't go, I'm just saying I have reservations about it.
This one is a must. Not only is it inside a perfectly preserved turn of the century pharmacy, they actually had a jar of live leeches on the counter when I was there. Another fine institution you can get married in. The upstairs houses old medical instruments and more images of disease and rot than is socially acceptable. Go!
The International Cryptozoology Museum, Portland, Maine.
Bigfoot is real guys and he lives in Portland, Maine. He keeps company with a Fiji Mermaid, the Jersey Devil and Nessie. This small museum is pretty fun and a bit hidden. We went with a friend who lives in Portland and she had never heard of it. Don't forget to take a photo with Bigfoot like Mr. Havisham did here.
Dog Collar Museum, Kent, England
Inside Leeds Castle is nestled a small but impressive collection of dog collars. These are no ordinary collars, friends. These collars are big, engraved, heavy, and quite frankly, terrifying. I'd like to see a runway show of these collars. They don't look comfy, I can tell you that.
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum, Gatlinburg, TN
Yes. All of it. Yes. I have done my best to limit my own personal collection to animals for the most part, but I might have to expand now. Vegetables with faces? Presidential themed? Just the seashell and glitter covered section alone has me dizzy.
Museum of Toilets, Delhi India.
"Sanitation is more important than independence." -Gandhi
It's hard to argue that toilets are terrific and underrated. Try going in the woods, I dare you. You can't, at least not easily. We're conditioned now NOT to go anywhere but the toilet. Not that I have thought about it...at all...
Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia
Darlings, I could fill the Louvre with past loves destroyed. All the artifacts in this museum are anonymously donated. It should also be noted that Croatia is filled with beautiful people so go, take your broken heart and make a donation. You might come back with a new someone. They're opening one here in LA and it is currently accepting donations. Time to let go, dears.
Salem Witch Trials Museum, Salem, Massachusetts
This one is a little hokey but still fun. Between the pre-recorded audio and the animatronic or wax? figures, I giggled through the whole thing. I am told Salem gets pretty crazy around Halloween when witchy devotees descend upon the town so perhaps schedule your visit then.
Leila's Hair Museum, Independence, Missouri
Leila Cohoon is a former hairdresser turned collector of hair art. I've mentioned this museum before in my post on mourning. She's adorable. Sign me up for the full tour, please. Also, Leila if you do not yet have an heir apparent, allow me to introduce myself. Let's merge our collections, girl.
The Hobo Museum, Britt, Iowa
Leave it to the midwest to pay homage to a word the rest of America no longer uses. Alas, this museum purports to celebrate the "vagabond lifestyle." They apparently also have "Hobo Days" in Britt, Iowa and from the website it seems folks like to dress up like hobos on these days. I wonder what their actual homeless population numbers look like and what their feelings are on "Hobo Days." I feel a followup article coming on.
Spam Museum, Austin, Minnesota
I don't know why we need a Spam Museum but one exists and I would go. I've eaten Spam, I admit it. We could pair the Spam Museum with the Hobo Museum and solve some problems in the world, guys.
The National Museum of Funeral History, Houston, TX
I can get behind this, sure. Besides tracing the history of funerals and burial rituals, they also offer obituary and eulogy writing resources. And? The museum is available for weddings. Guys, come on...Miss Havisham's Weddings could be a thing.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, CA
I've been to this museum probably seven times and I still don't really know how to describe it. It's a collection of exhibits without much of a connection to each other. There are cookies and tea, Russian space dogs, a rooftop patio, and a revolving set of exhibits that you have to see to believe. I particularly liked the exhibit on superstition. Did I mention they have a gift shop and the inside of the museum is super dark and moody. Just go.
Otaru Music Box Museum, Hokkaido, Japan
More than 3000 music boxes from around the world. Wacky. How many have ballerinas in them, that's the question.
Velveteria, Los Angeles
This museum is one of my favorite on the list. You have to check out the black light room. The folks who run this museum are the nicest and really and truly love velvet paintings. They can even tell you where to get one commissioned (Spoiler: Mexico). Love you, Velveteria.
Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Another favorite not just because Brooklyn will always have my heart, but also because these ladies are fantastic. And yes, you can rent it out for your creepy wedding, Jesus. Go support their events, go to their flea markets, and buy Creative Director, Joanna Eberstein's book because it has photos like this one:
The Condom Museum, Nonthamburi, Thailand
No website for this one so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's a hoot. Two rooms in the local Ministry of Health dedicated to promoting condom use and safe sex. This is a popular topic in Thailand. While we were there we ate at a condom restaurant where the proceeds went to sex education and the menus had cartoon condom characters on them.
Museum of Death, Los Angeles, CA
Last but not least, this one isn't for the faint of heart. It's pretty graphic. The walls are covered floor to ceiling in articles, drawing and photos of violent crimes, cult activities and just general depravity. I love it but not everyone will. I just found out there's one in New Orleans too? They do have original John Wayne Gacy art and a Heaven's Gate bunker.
Ok, I'm off to start my offshoot offbeat wedding brand. Note to self, write a wedding article.