Weirdest Museums and Collections
An institution known as museum is conserving a collection of artifacts, historical and scientific objects, arts and cultural exhibits that can be temporary or permanent. Ancient museums started as private collections of individuals, families or art institutions of natural, rare, strange or weird objects or archeological artifacts. There are several types of museums and category, such as; Archaeology museums specialize in the archeological artifacts exhibits, art museum also called an art gallery, for the art objects exhibition, or visual arts (paintings, illustrations and sculpture, old master prints and drawings), Encyclopedic museums are commonly exhibits on national institutions that gives information about the local and stories all over the world, history museums the category of history and its relevance to the present and future of any particular countries, historical towns or regions, where some historic museums specialized curatorial aspects or general history or a particular town. The Living history museums reproduce and recreate historical settings of the past time periods, providing visitors with an interpretation of history.The museum that specialized on culture, archeology and maritime history is known as the Maritime museums while the Military museums specialize in military histories.
1) Leila’s Hair Museum
A hair museum is a display of hair arts commonly made of human hairs, especially from a celebrity’s hair. This weirdest museum of hair, dates back to the 19th century. One of the most weirdest, oldest and famous hair museums is Leila’s Hair Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. According to the history of Minnesota magazine, the hair collections originated in European countries from England to France to the United States. The hair museum form of art also exhibits necklaces, bracelets, lockets, rings medallions and paintings, and these items would be enhanced with hair strands from their loved one. The founder, a retired cosmetologist teacher, Leila Cohoon residing in Independence, Missouri, and a Cosmetology Board member, and a friend of former US President Roanld Reagan and Oliver North. Leila Cohoon began collecting hair in 1949 and considered it as a hobby and work, and was fascinated with hair and during her childhood, she believed it is one of the most unique part of the human body. In 1989, Cohoon opened the hair museum in a Cosmetology School room. Leila’s museum displays around 500 wreaths made of hair strands and over 2,000 pieces of jewelry which includes locks of hair from the 19th century and earlier, and the oldest collection exhibit is a 1680’s brooch.
2) Currywurst Museum
On August 15, 2009, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary creation in Berlin, they officially opened the weirdest Deutsches Currywurst Museum. and according to Curator Martin Loewer “No other national German dish inspires so much history and has so many well-known fans”. Currywurst is a German fast food dish consisting of steamed and then fried German (Wurst) pork sausage seasoned with curry ketchup, regular ketchup or tomato paste, blended with curry powder and other spices, then cut into slices. It is commonly served at German ‘Imbissbuden’ and delivered by food trucks. The Currywurst invention belong to Herta Heuwer after she obtained Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers in 1949 in Berlin. Herta Heuwer mixed these three ingredients and added other spices and poured it over grilled pork sausage, and began to sell cheap snack with filling, in the Charlottenburg district, Berlin at a street stand, where it became famous with construction workers rebuilding the devastated city. Then Heuwer patented her sauce in 1951 and it was first named, Chillup. Each year, it was estimated 800 million servings are sold in Germany, and was known later as the Deutsches Currywurst Museum.
3) Spam Museum
The weirdest Spam Museum tells the history of the Hormel company, where the Spam originated and its place in world culture, in Austin, Minnesota,the birthplace of weirdest museum, the Spam Museum. In Austin, the national Spam recipe competition is held and the final judging where competing Spam recipes are collected from winning top forty state fairs submissions in the nation. While in Hawaii, the annual Spam Jam in Waikiki is held during the last week of April. The Shady Cove, a small town of Oregon is home to the annual Spam Parade and Festival, with the city setting apart US$1,500 for it. In Austin, Texas the Spamarama Festival was held annually during April Fool’s Day.
4) Torture Museum
One of the several medieval torture instruments is called the Judas cradle used by the transgender psychopath, The “inmates” victim would presumably be placed in the waist looped support above the pyramid-shaped chair, with the point inserted into their vagina or anus, then very slowly lowered by ropes. The victim is tortured by intense pressure and stretching of the orifice (any opening, mouth, hole or vent, as of a pipe, plate, or a body), eventually giving up to tears in muscle tissue that could turn septic and kill from infection, or simply being pierced with a sharp stake. A similar torture instrument called horse, is sometimes to have been used to discipline soldiers in Prussia. This torturing instruments was designed to cause damage to the genitals and not to break the skin.
The torture form in which the victim’s hands are first tied behind his or her back and suspended in the air by means of a rope attached to wrists, is called the Strappado which most likely dislocates both arms, and every weights that may be added to the body can intensify the effect and increase the pain. The “Reverse hanging” and “Palestinian hanging” is the other terms for Strappado, best known for its torture used during the Medieval Inquisition in the torture chambers.
Another weirdest instrument seen at the Torture museum is called the gibbet, an instrument of public execution that includes the executioner’s block, guillotine, hanging gallows, impalement stake or scaffold, but gibbeting refers to the use of a gallows-type structure where the body of the person is hung on public display to be executed as criminals, to discourage other existing or potential criminals. In ancient times, up to the late 17th century, they performed the live gibbeting , in which the criminals was placed alive in a metal cage and left to die of thirst. The gibbeting practice is also called “hanging in chains”. The prolong display of the dead body of the criminals can be seen after a Public crucifixion as a form of gibbeting.
The pillory instruments made of a wooden or metal framework erected on a post, with holes for securing and locking up the head and hands, formerly used for public humiliation as punishment, and often further physical abuse, sometimes deadly. The pillory is similar to the stocks. which consisted of type of bearing wooden boards forming holes through which the head and limbs were inserted, then the boards were locked together to secure the captive. Pillories were set up to hold criminals with minor offense in other public places or plaza, marketplaces, and crossroads.
A Klauenstand instrument in de:Neuhausen ob Eck, a living history museum in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.
Stocks are instrument used internationally as form of physical punishment during the Renaissance, Colonial American and medieval period to partially immobilized the “criminal” and expose for public humiliation, to be ridiculed and be mocked by public, and passers-by were encouraged to throw mud, rotten eggs, moldy fruit and vegetables, smelly fish, offal, and human and animal’s feces, at those being punished.
5) Museum of Bad Art (MOBA)
The private owned museum of an antique dealer, Scott Wilson, known as the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA), and has three branches in Dedham, Massachusetts, Somerville and in Brookline,Massachusetts, and was founded in 1994. Scott Wilson, showed a painting to his friends, he recovered from the trash, and suggested to start collecting bad arts paintings. The MOBA has permanent weird collections that includes 500 pieces of “art too bad to be ignored“, 25 to 35 of which are on public display at any one time. Within a year, the arts exhibits receptions held in Wilson’s friends’ home were so well-attended that the collection needed its own viewing space. Then the museum moved to the Dedham’s theater’s basement .
6) Museum of Eroticism (French: Musée de l’érotisme)
Museum of Eroticism (French: Musée de l’érotisme) located in Paris, is a weird sex museum devoted to the weirdest erotic art collections of antique dealer Alain Plumey and French teacher Jo Khalifa. The Museum of Eroticism, was founded in 1997, and located in Pigalle district of Paris, at 72 Boulevard de Clichy. The collection ranges from India, Africa and Japan’s ancient religious art right up to erotic focus of contemporary art. There are five floors, including a basement exhibition, where one floor is devoted to maisons closes, the legal brothels of the 19th and early 20th century. The and the short pornographic collections formerly exhibited in the maisons closes, the Polisson et Galipettes film is hown. The upper two floors are the main contemporary artists have revolving exhibitions, and visited by the main character in the Merde Actually novel, the “A Year in the Merde” sequel.
7) Venustempel Museum in Amsterdam
The first and oldest Sex museum in the world, the weirdest museum, “Venustempel” in Amsterdam. A leading museum on the sensual love theme with an extensive weirdest collection of erotic pictures, paintings, objects, recordings, photographs and even attractions. The museum owners, gathered all of the exhibits together personally and can be viewed in their 17th century Damrak’s property.
8) Icelandic Phallological Museum
The weirdest museum of the Icelandic Phallological Museum located in Reykiavik, Iceland, restoring the world’s largest various penises display and penile parts. The 280 collection of penises specimens from 93 species of animals includes 55 penises taken from whales, 36 from seals and 118 from land mammals, allegedly including Icelandic elves called Huldufolk and trolls. In July 2011, The museum weirdest Icelandic Phallological Museum obtained its first human penis, one of four promised by would-be donors. Its detachment from the donor’s body did not go according to plan and it was reduced to a greyish-brown shrunk mass pickled in a formaldehyde jar. The museum continues to search for “a younger and a bigger and better one.”
9) Mütter Museum
The medical museum known as the Mütter Museum located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Center City, where collections of weird medical oddities, anatomical and pathological specimens, wax models and antique medical equipment. The weird medical museum is part of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, where in 1958, Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter, donated these medical equipment collections, and the original purpose was for medical research and education, and for the visitors, the admission fee is $15. The Mütter Museum is best known for the Hyrtl Skull Collection and other anatomical specimens including a woman’s wax model with a horn growing out of her forehead along with several wax molds of untreated conditions of the head, the tallest skeleton displayed currently in North America, a nine-foot-long human colon containing fecal matters over 40 pounds, which originally came from a sideshow act called the human Balloon; and the Soap Lady’s body, whose corpse turned itself into a soapy substance called adipocere or grave wax. The Museum’s exhibits also include, teratological speimens or prserved human feces weirdest collection, all of which were donated to science. The conjoined Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker’s liver, a piece of thorax tissue removed from John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, a slides of brain specimen of Albert Einstein, a brain tissue section of Charles J. Guiteau, U.S. President James A. Garfield’s assassin, and the Foreign Body Collection of Chevalier Jackson and other historical collections.
10) Glore Psychiatric Museum
These specimens of 1,440 items found in the stomach of a patient suffering from pica disorder (is characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive, such as clay, chalk, dirt, or sand) stored for exhibits at the Glore Psychiatric Museum, Saint Joseph, Missouri.
The weirdest Glore Psychiatric Museum is 130 year-old museum, and the former State Lunatic Asylum No.2 (which started in November 1874 with 25 patients admissions), that exhibits collections of replicas, artifacts and documents illustrating the mental illness treatments, and was recognized as one of the strangest Museums in the country. These weird museum was named after the founder, George Glore, who spent almost his 41 year career with his ultimate goal was to reduce the stigma psychiatric related treatment for mental patients, their families and communities. Dr. Glore worked with the Missouri Department of Mental Health, taking care to hos largest collections and best single exhibits on the mental health care evolution explanation in the United States. The eerie and weirdest exhibits includes safety pins, nuts,bolts, earrings, stones, stomach specimens, bed sheets embroidered by a schizophrenic patient, scattered cloths, an old television set full of mysterious letters from a patient asking help, and many strange collections. Some said, these weird museum is haunted.
11) Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
Sulabh International is a social service organization based in India, founded by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak in 1970, which worked through education, to promote human rights, waste management, environmental sanitation, non-conventional sources of energy, and social reforms. These Sulabh International organization counts 50,000 volunteers, and is the largest non-profit organization in India. These new organization include a Sulabh Shauchalaya or scavenging-free two-pit pourflush toilet, safe and hygienic human waste disposal technology on site, a new pay and use public toilets concept of maintenance and construction, popularly known as Sulabh Complexes with bath, laundry and urinal facilities being used by about ten million people every day and generates bio-fertilizer and bio-gas produced from excreta-based plants, low maintenance waste water treatment plants of medium capacity for institutions and industries. The Delhi Sulabh International’s company premises, runs a weird toilet museum dedicated to the toilets and sanitation history.
12) Paris Sewer Museum
Le Musée des Égouts de Paris, or the Paris Sewer Museum, is dedicated to the Paris Sewer System, and the sewage system tours have been popular since the 1800s and are currently conducted at the sewers. The entrance of these weird museum is near the Pont de l’Alma ,where all the visitors are able to walk upon raised walkways directly above the sewage. No other city in the world has a sewer network like the famous Paris Sewer Museum which is found in Paris. These weird sewer museum has 2,100 kilometers of tunnels nowadays.
13) National Museum of Funeral History
The weirdest museum called National Museum of Funeral History provides an interesting look at the customs and burial practices surrounding. Viewing of funeral memorabilia and artifacts that belonged to famous political and celebrity personalities in the famous sections of the Funeral museum. The coffin room displays was intriguing that is filled with extra ordinary coffin designs and themes, that includes giant fish, cars and a full-sized replica of King Tut’s sarcophagus. most prominent items in the Museum are eerie and weird hearses and coffins (which most of these are the largest coffin collection in Ghana, Africa). Little signs constantly restrain the curious visitor, “Do not open caskets“, although the signs are not that important, but quite intriguing for visitors, and on top of the “corpse cooler” and especially the “ventilating coffin” (for decaying corpses). No one needs to lift the lid of the solid glass coffin, made of the same greenish glass used in old Coke bottles. The “casket for three” has been thoughtfully left open; it was made in the 1930s for a couple in Durango, CO, who intended commit suicide after their baby died, but they didn’t; the coffin wound up here.
14) Vent Haven Museum
Vent Haven Museum is the world’s only museum for ventriloquial figures and memorabilia. The Vent Haven museum is located in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, just 5 miles south of Cincinnati, Ohio, and was founded by William Shakespeare Berger, a Cincinnati businessman and amateur ventriloquist. This weird ventriloquist exhibits museum is open seasonally and by appointment only from May 1 through September 30.
The Great Lester (Harry Lester), born Maryan Czajkowski in Poland, was born 1878 and died in 1956, and was a seminal vaudaville ventriloquist. with his puppet Frank Byron, Jr. on his knee, in 1904. Great Lester’s main figure, Frank Byron, Jr., can be found in his “home” at Vent Haven Museum .
15) Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo
The burial catacombs in Palermo, Italy called the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo (also Catacombe dei Cappuccini or Catacombs of the Capuchins), a museum of the dead but was not really intended to be a museum. Nowadays, they provide a somewhat macabre tourist attraction as well as an extraordinary historical record. Palermo’s Capuchin (or Order of Capuchin Friars Minor) monastery, outgrown the original cemetery in the 16th century and the monks started to excavate crypts underground. In 1599 The monks mummified one of their member, recently-dead brother Silvestro of Gubbio, and buried him into the catacombs. The corpses were dehydrated on the ceramic pipes racks in the catacombs and later washed with vinegar. However, some of the bodies were embalmed and others enclosed in sealed glass coffins. The Monks were preserved wearing their everyday clothing and sometimes with ropes they had worn as a penance.
In 1918, an Italian child was born called Rosalia Lombardo in Palermo, Sicily, but died of pneumonia on December 6, 1920. General Lombardo, Rosalia’s father, was grieved upon her death, so he asked a known embalmer, Alfredo Salafia, to preserve Rosalia’s body, and she was one of the last corpses to be admitted to the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo in Sicily, Italy.
16) Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM)
The natural and human history museum known as the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is located in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The MPM was chartered in 1882 and opened to the public in 1884; it is a not for profit organization, operated by the Milwaukee Public Museum, Inc. The MPM has three floors of exhibits and the first venue was the IMAX Theater in Wisconsin. For the residents of Milwaukee County, the admission is free on Mondays and free at all times for the Milwaukee County jurors. The museum’s current president is Jay Williams, and the MPM hosts about one million visitors each year. The Milwaukee Public Museum houses both permanent and traveling exhibits, and one of its first major project was the “Streets of Old Milwaukee“, which opened in January 1965, and considered as one of the most popular exhibits in MPM, and it is estimated that several million people have visited it since its completion.
17) House on the Rock
The weird museum of House on the Rock, originally opened in 1959, is a complex of architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens and shops designed by Alex Jordan, Jr.The museum is located north of Dodgeville City in Iowa County, south of Spring Green, Wisconsin and is a regional tourist attraction. The museum building is atop the Deer Shelter Rock, a column of rock approximately 60 feet tall, 70 feet by 200 feet on the top, which stands in a forest nearby. The museum exhibits the world’s largest indoor carousel, among other attractions. Christmas theme exhibits during the winter, with collections of Santa Claus figures and Christmas decorations and strange objects, including mannequins, flowers, and preserved animals.
18) Wax Museum (Madame Tussauds Hong Kong)
Madame Tussauds Hong Kong wax museum, part of the renowned wax museums chain founded by Marie Tussaud of France, is located at the Hong Kong Island’s Victoria’s Peak Tower. It is the first and the only two permanent Madame Tussaud’s museums in Asia, the other museum branch is located in Shanghai, China, which opened in 2006. The Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Hong Kong branch kept on exhibits nearly 100 wax figures of internationally-known personalities, with Asian figures. A wax museum or waxworks consists of a collection of wax sculptures representing famous people from history and personalities exhibited in lifelike poses. The weird wax museums was often dubbed the chamber of horrors in which the more grisly exhibits are displayed. Wax museums can be credited to Marie Tussaud, who traveled to Europe with wax sculptures in the late 18th century. There are other popular wax museums like theHollywood Wax Museum, is located in the heart of the tourist district of Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA, in Branson, Missouri and in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the Fisherman’s Wharf Wax Museum in San Francisco, USA, has over 270 wax figures, and the largest wax museums in the United States, the Movieland Wax Museum, with over 300 wax figures in 150 sets, located in Buena Park, California.
19) Frog Museum
The weirdest Frog Museum is in Newmünchenstein, a sub-district of Munchenstein of Basel-County canton in Switzerland. The Frog Museum was privately founded in Basel in 1981 to 1982 by Elfi and Rolf Rindlisbacher with about 500 exhibits. In 1992 the museum moved from Basel to Münchenstein with 5000 frog objects and installed a modern and larger museum (100 m2) in the Handwerkstadt building, a commercial center for craft works. The weird frog collection had grown bigger that it was rewarded in Guinness World Records in 1993. In 1994 the museum expanded again (150 m2), and the Frog Museum today has more than 13,600 exhibits of different shapes, sizes, of frog materials.
20) Bangkok Doll Museum
Bangkok Doll Museum is a museum of more than 400 doll collections located in Bangkok, Thailand. The Bangkok Dolls Museum was established in 1957 by Khunying Thongkorn Chanthawimol, who was a renowned doll maker who trained in the Ozawa Doll School, in Tokyo, Japan. In 1978, the Thai handmade dolls and the museum is internationally recognized, being the recipient of the first prize at the International Folklore Dolls Competition in Krakow, Poland. One of the doll collection’s main highlights of the museum is the characters in the Khon dance drama based on the Ramakien, which depict the forces of good and the forces of evil. Miniature Khon masks are also on display and one of the museum’s exhibits.
Julia’s Doll’s Collections
Artist Julia Sherman , a Jewish, and was commissioned originally to make the Mother Mary Magdalene pieces, and started a new Anglican Catholic order in Fort Worth, has changed all that by designing a beautiful nun habits collections, using textile tools of traditional wool, silk and velvets. The collection pieces includes a hooded shift, a beaded collar, and flannel harem pants, and all these Nun Dolls collections can be seen at The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods.
The Doll Museum by Wally and Sally Rogalski (The National Shrine of the Cross in the Woods)
In 1964, Wally and Sally Rogalski donated their 230 doll collections to the Shrine, and become the home for the largest doll collections in habits, traditional religious costumes for men and women in the U.S. Sally Rogalski, started with her hobbies as a young girl in 1945, dressing her dolls in traditional habits, until she got married, which her husband Wally, supported her work and assisting her in different ministries. The couples kept their doll’s collections for many years, in their Saginaw, Michigan home. The Shrine has free admission for the visitors, to see the the “doll museum” , in which the collections of dolls increased to over 525 dolls and 20 mannequins dressed in different traditional habits. In 1995, after Wally’s death, Sally continued to visit the Shrine and add more to her priceless beautiful doll collections.
Lynn Haney’s Santa Claus’ Collections
Lynn Haney officially started his love for collecting variations of Santa Claus dolls in 1987. Haney worked by himself for the first years, with many ideas. Lynn Haney finished his masters degree in Art Education, and began to teach other artists on how to sew the Santa Claus costumes,paint the Santa’s faces and worked the pieces and crafts while waiting for Haney’s final touches. Haney’s business has grown and they have to move four times to a larger shop spaces , where visitors can visit their place. Nowadays, 30 artists handle the “Lynn Haney Santa Production for the year round basis. http://accentsunlimitedinc.com/lynn-haney.html
Bonus: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! MuseumsRobert Ripley was the founder of the famous Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is a franchise, dealing with bizarre events, strange items or unusual things, and for other people they may raise their eyebrows or thinking of make-believe stories. The panel of Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, proved popular and adapted into a wide formats in different ways, that includes television,radio, comic books, a book series and branches of museums. After Ripley’s death in 1950, the St. Augustine, Florida branch was opened and was the first permanent Ripley’s Beleive it or Not! Odditorium. There are 32 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditoriums around the world, as of December 2010. The Ripley’s Beleive it or Not! Odditoriums, are often more than simple museums, with a confused or disordered state or collection with curiosities. The museum’s franchises such in Gatlinburg in Tennessee and in Wisconsin Dells, Winconsin include theaters and arcades, while some constructed the building odd or weird like in Orlando, Florida, built off-level as if the building was sinking or some building looks devastated by an earthquakes.