Do you think museums are full of just 1800s paintings and artfully censored classical sculptures?
Well, think again.
These five creepy museums are chock full of positively spine-tingling exhibits, from pants made of human skin (yes, you read that right) to hundreds of dead-eyed, demonic dolls.
In honor of Halloween, check out the five creepiest museums in the world with us. If you’re reading at night, you may want to save this article for the bright light of day. We can’t be held responsible if you have nightmares.
#1: Mutter Museum
The Mutter Museum promises you’ll be “Disturbingly Informed” after a visit to their premises, and we have to agree with their assessment.
The Mutter Museum is a museum of medical history, whose goal is to help the public better “understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body.” The Mutter Museum hosts some of the most impressive collections of medical oddities, antique medical equipment, and anatomical and pathological specimens in the world.
It’s also creepy as sh*t.
Among the medical oddities you can view at the Mutter Museum are a jar of pickled human skin (apparently it smells like Romano cheese), slices of human faces, and amputated feet from a patient who suffered from diabetes.
While the Mutter Museum is certainly an apt Halloween destination, it’s also a great place to head if you’re looking to get a jump on your holiday shopping. For a cool $200, you can help the museum clean, restore, and remount a human skull in someone else’s name. They’ll even get a plaque with their name on it after the skull’s displayed!
It’s the perfect gift for your best friend or your mortal enemy.
#2: Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft
Fashion trends come and go, but we sincerely hope the necropants housed at Strandagaldur (the Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft) are permanently on the “don’t” list. Made from the skin of a man from the waist down, the necropants were supposed to bring money and good fortune to the wearer.
We’re not sure if they worked.
Nevertheless, magic has been very much alive throughout Iceland’s history and Strandagaldur chronicles the fear and superstition that’s surrounded Icelandic witchcraft for centuries.
The museum tells the fascinating history of the spells and rituals that regional people used to do like becoming invisible to find more food. There are also a number of artifacts on display throughout the museum, including rune-carved wood and animal skulls.
While the gift shop contains some fascinating spellbooks and unique goodies, there aren’t any necropants on sale, so if you’re looking for a truly terrifying Halloween costume, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
#3: Vent Haven Museum
We think that the creepiest part of the Vent Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, is that its founder, W.S. Berger, didn’t think his collection of hundreds of ventriloquist dummies was creepy at all.
W.S. Berger was the president of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists and spent years collecting dummies, puppets, playbills, and more. When he passed away, he (shockingly) couldn’t find anyone to take his entire collection and set up a charitable foundation so that the collection could remain intact. That collection became the Vent Haven Museum.
Today, the Vent Haven Museum is home to over 900 dummies from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. That means that there are over 1,800 demonic doll eyes watching your every move as you peruse the collection.
Thankfully, Vent Haven is open by appointment only, so you’ll have another human witness to your inevitable possession.
#4: Catacombs of Palermo
Hidden amongst the beautiful sun-kissed buildings of Palermo, Italy, are the truly terrifying Capuchin Catacombs.
The Capuchin monks lived on the outer limits of Palermo beginning in the early sixteenth century and, in the year 1599, discovered a sweet new technique for embalming bodies. Naturally, the monks decided their most logical next step would be to perfect the embalming practice on each other before offering up their services to the wealthy elite of Palermo. They developed quite the reputation and the Catacombs now hold thousands of dead bodies in varying states of decay.
And yes, you read that right – some of the corpses at the Capuchin Catacombs are still decaying, even though they’ve been underground for centuries. The final soul to be interred in the Capuchin Catacombs was a two-year-old girl named Rosalia. She still has all her eyelashes and hair.
#5: Museum of the Occult
The Museum of the Occult, located in Monroe, CT, is the personal collection of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. Like any good paranormal investigators, they store all of their creepy goods in their basement.
That means you have to go downstairs in an old house to view relics like vampire coffins, satanic altars, shrunken heads and, the Annabelle doll. Famous for torturing a young woman in the 1970s, the Annabelle doll has supposedly been exorcised and is kept behind protective glass. We wouldn’t go tapping on that glass, however – Annabelle has a history of escaping her accommodations
Have you visited any of these creepy museums or been somewhere equally bone-chilling? Be sure to share in the comments! And if you enjoyed this, check out our list of seven of the strangest museums from around the world. Happy Haunting!