Strangest Museums in the United States

Planning your next vacation? Looking for something on the stranger side? The United States has some really strange museums. Here are some of the strangest.

  1. Museum of Bad Art (MoBA)Museum of Bad Art (MoBA) – Not sure how else to describe this museum… the title sums it up pretty well. The Museum of Bad Art describes its mission perfectly – “dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.” Artists that are featured at the MoBA are talented, esteemed artists that have created works that cause fans to say “what was he thinking?”. Founded by Scott Wilson who began the museum with its first masterpiece in 1993, “Lucy in the Field of Flowers”, apparently discovered in a trash pile in Boston. Museum Of Bad Art, Basement of Dedham Communitiy Theatre, 580 High Street, Dedham MA, Telephone: 1-781-444-6757 www.museumofbadart.org
     
     
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  3. Gore Psychiatric MuseumGlore Psychiatric Museum – Housed in the building that was originally called the “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2”, the Glore Psychiatric Museum takes a look at the history of psychiatric institutions and techniques for administering “care” for the mentally disabled. Earliest diagnoses for treatment of the mentally ill started with a sharp stick or perhaps a club. Human progress and compassion through history introduced humiliation, dunking, burnings at the stake and bleeding as “treatment”. Fortunately, modern 20th century medicine has made significant breakthroughs in psychiatric care including icy baths, shock therapy, tranquilizers, and vibrating chairs (just a hint of sarcasm here). The museum has an exhibit entitled “1,446 Objects Swallowed by a Patient” (see picture… includes 453 nails, 409 pins, 63 buttons, 42 screws, 5 thimbles, and 3 salt shaker tops). Other artifacts and exhibits include a tranquilizer chair, a giant “hamster wheel” for energetic patients, electroshock devices, and hydrotherapy devices (ice bath) www.stjosephmuseum.org/glore.php Glore Psychiatric Museum, 3408 Frederick Ave., St. Joseph, MO, Telephone: 1- 816-364-1209

  4. Lizzie BordenFall River Historical Society – If you ever find your way up through the New England countryside and the quaint town of Fall River, be sure to stop in to visit this little museum of history. Amongst its collection of 19th century decorative arts, costumes, steamship history and other mild-mannered-exhibits will you find an exhibit of one of the most horrific murder s of the late 19th century. Lizzie Borden (as in “Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks….”) was charged in 1892 of murdering her mother and father with an axe (and giving them both 40 whacks). Later acquitted, this was considered to be the trial of the century. The Fall River Historical Society boasts the largest collection of memorabilia from the crime and trial including the hatchet used, photographs of the crime scene, pillow cases with blood on them, pictures of Lizzie’s mom and dad skull’s, and other REALLY macomb artifacts. If you haven’t had enough of Lizzie Borden, you can visit the crime scene. In fact you can even stay at the place. The home where the crime was committed is now open as a bed and breakfast. www.lizzieborden.org, Fall River Historical Society, 451 Rock St, Fall River, MA Telephone 1-508-679-1071
     

  5. Liberace Museum Las VegasLiberace Museum – While in Las Vegas be sure to pay your respects to a very famous Vegas showman – Wladziu Valentino Liberace (you may call him Liberace). Famous for his outrageous costumes, incredible piano skills and performances, and a Baldwin piano encrusted in with thousands of rhinestones, Liberace deserves his museum in Sin City. The Liberace Museum has on display (including the Baldwin piano) Liberace’s legendary wardrobes, elaborately ornate cars (check out the Rolls Royce), and his jewelry. www.liberace.org/liberace_museum/ Liberace Museum, 1775 East Tropicana Avenue (at Spencer) Las Vegas, NV Telephone: 1-702-798-5595
     
     

  6. National Museum of Funeral HistoryNational Museum of Funeral History – dedicated to the history of the coffin building industry and the funeral business, the National Museum of Funeral History is located in the reproduction of an early 1900’s coffin factory. Visitors will experience and learn how coffins were constructed over the years and how coffins are made today. Other exhibits include Civil War embalming, fantasy coffins (how about a coffin made in the shape of a fish, or an airplane, or how about a chicken?), and the funeral industry Hall of Fame. www.nmfh.org The National Museum of Funeral History, 415 Barren Springs Drive , Houston, TX Telephone: 1-281-876-3063
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  7. The Mutter MuseumThe Mütter Museum – M, m, m, m…. museum of horrors! The Mutter Museum is a medical museum located at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. It was originally created in 1858 from the collection that was donated by Thomas Dent Mutter. The museum displays medical oddities, instruments, and preserved human specimens. Highlights of the Mutter Museum include the skeleton of the tallest human being in North America, a preserved 5’ long colon, preserved human organs and body parts, President Grover Cleveland’s tumor, the conjoined liver of Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker, a growth removed from Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth, and mummified corpse of the Soap Lady… all here and preserved for your viewing pleasure. www.collphyphil.org/mutter.asp The Mutter Museum , 19 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia, PA, Telephone: 1-215-563-3737
     

  8. Ventriloquist MuseumVent Haven Ventriloquist Museum – Coined as the only museum dedicated to the art ventriloquism, the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum will delight visitors of all ages. The museum showcases over 700 figures and thousands of books, playbills and photographs that are related to ventriloquism. www.venthavenmuseum.net Vent Haven Museum, 33 West Maple Avenue, Fort Mitchell, KY, 1-859-341-0461
     
     


     

  9. microscopes1.jpgNational Museum of Health and Medicine – Haven’t had enough of seeing preserved body parts? Well, you’re in luck! Skip on over to Washington DC for fun filled day of people watching (dead people watching that is). John Wilkes Booth sure does get around! At the National Museum of Health and Medicine you can find even more preserved parts of the assassin. Other exhibits include Civil War skeletons and pictures and illustrations of wounds, Korean War artifacts, live leeche display, and largest collection of microscopes dating to the 1600’s. The National Museum of Health and Medicine claims to have more than 10,000 preserved organs and 5,000 skeletal specimens that explore medical cases of disease and injury. Be sure to visit the “Anatifacts” exhibit featuring the preserved giant tumor, a human hair ball, and body parts of famous Americans – vetebraes of John Wilkes Booth and James Garfield. The National Museum of Health and Medicine also has on display the bullet that killed Lincoln. www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/medtour/nmhm.html National Museum of Health and Medicine, 6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Washington, DC
     

  10. toiletAmerican Sanitary Plumbing Museum Located just outside of Boston in Worcester, MA, you will find the official museum dedicated to the history of the commode. Why shouldn’t there be a museum dedicated to such an important household fixture? The museum tells the history of the toilet and other sanitary fixtures as well provides visitors with a number of “artifacts”. Visitors will learn interesting facts such as how we went from corncobs to toilet paper (ouch!)… now that is something to be grateful for! 39 Piedmont Street, Worcester, MA Telephone: 1-508-754-9453
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  11. Bodies The ExhibitBODIES…The Exhibition – I guess Americans have a fascination (obsession) with seeing dead people preserved. Now if you’ve visited the Muller in Philadelphia and the National museum of Health and Medicine in Washington D.C. and you want more… Bodies… The Exhibition is your next stop. You can find Bodies in a city nearest you as they have exhibitions in New York City, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, Framingham, Columbus, Las Vegas (now that’s a big surprise) and Pittsburgh. Utilizing a patented preservation process, curators of Bodies display real human cadavers in everyday positions (minus skin tissue of course) www.bodiestheexhibition.com
     

  12. New Orleans Voodoo MuseumNew Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum – Believed to be the only museum dedicated to the practice of Voodoo, the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum tells visitors about the traditional practices of the Voodoo religion in New Orleans. The Voodoo Museum houses artifacts of the Great Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. Walking tours are provided daily and during the evening. www.voodoomuseum.com New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, 724 Dumaine Street, New Orleans, LA, Telephone: 1-504-680-0128

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