BIG LIST: Horror Shows
Museums can be bastions of cultural integrity and historical knowledge. Or they can actually be interesting. Take any of the following, for example.
Tuesday 24 April 2012, 04:37PM
The mummy returns: El Museo De Las Momias is effectively a house of mummies. But to leave it at that simply wouldn’t do justice to the Brendan Fraser-esque horror that lies within.
The Mummies of Guanajuato are naturally preserved bodies from a cholera outbreak that hit the city way back in 1833. Since this is basically just a huge open grave with floodlights, its legality and moral status continues to be the subject of much discussion everywhere – except in Mexico.
Crazy town: The Glore Psychiatric Museum, formally known as Missouri’s State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, is basically the Michael Jackson of art galleries. The museum takes its name from one George Glore, who in the 1960s put his patients (inmates?) to work building full-size replicas of some of the most horrific psychiatric practices from the last few centuries.
The museum’s prized piece is a magnificent mosaic constructed entirely from the stomach contents of a woman who was a compulsive swallower, made even creepier by the fact that the woman died in surgery, leaving someone else to make art from her guts.
Rags to riches: The fact that this museum is in some random dude’s basement may be a turnoff for some. For others, the idea of a menstruation museum might be a little too much to swallow. But while there genuinely is a long history to menstruation’s imprint on culture (or so we’re told), the Museum of Menstruation and Women’s Health is really just the story of one man with a dream: that man is Harry Finley. Since 1995, this humble, middle-aged American has devoted his life to making his private collection of feminine hygiene products available to the public, because that’s just the generous guy he is.
Among the museum’s collections are a dress made out of tampons. But don’t just rock up expecting to be able to view Harry’s tampon trophies at the drop of a hat – all visits to his menstruation mansion are done by appointment and in private.
Dummy spit: Everyone is scared of ventriloquist dummies. Like clowns, and Furbies, they’re the result of a serious miscalculation of what children find entertaining. Most people wouldn’t want to be alone in a room with one. Go to the Vent Haven Museum in Kentucky, though, and you can be alone in a room with 750 of them.
The collection was started by a guy named, no joke, William Shakespeare Berger – an amateur ventriloquist and wealthy tycoon, who wound up blowing his vast fortune acquiring these monsters. Whether Berger was controlling the dolls or vice-versa is a matter for debate, and/or several B-grade horror movie plot-lines.
Well endowed: Okay gents, raise your hands if you think your penis belongs in a museum so the whole world can be in awe of its magnificence? Well, you may be in luck, for the Icelandic Phallological Museum offers you such an opportunity. The lovechild of self-proclaimed “phallologist” Sigurdur Hjartarson, the museum includes the penises of more than 100 mammals. But then there are the optional accessories, like lamps made out of balls, penile paintings, penis phones and plenty of other trinkets suitable for even the wildest bachelorette party.
But those who enter this exhibition of erection be warned – its sadistic curator has gone to lengths comparable only to horror movies to expand his vast collection. Let’s just say if a whale washes up on Iceland’s coast, you can bet your balls (so to speak) that Hjartarson will be there with his axe.