When travelling to a new country, amongst the many other tourist activities, visiting museums is commonly on our to-do list. While of course, we all aspire to visit classic places like the Louvre and the Met and see world-famous works of art, there are many more unconventional museums that we might not all know about. Some of these unconventional museums showcase some spooky things, like haunted artefacts, or gross things like collections of hairs! While they’re cool to know about, we’d certainly never step foot in one of these eerie places. While some museums have really innovative exhibits, there are also some about the most mundane topics that make us wonder who even visits them...?
While some weird museums are definitely not for your average joe, there are also some totally quirky, family-friendly museums that make for an amazing day! Think of colourful exhibits centred around food, snacks, and vintage toys! These places make for an interesting stop that you might not have known about otherwise. Read on to see what strange items people have collected and displayed over the years!
25 Never set foot in: Barbed Wire Museum
The Barbed Wire Museum is located in Kansas in the United States, which according to Wikipedia, is the world’s barbed wire capital! As a result of the significant role barbed wire plays in Kansas, it opened a museum showcasing all the different types, as well as informs visitors about its history. The museum opened its doors for the first time in 1970, but due to its enormous success and growing collection, it moved to a bigger location in 1990! While I’m sure barbed wire plays an important role in the history of the United States, I’m not quite sure it’s necessary to spend an afternoon staring at pieces of wire!
24 Never set foot in: Avanos Hair Museum
Have you ever had the feeling that there was hair in your mouth, but you were unable to get it out? Try multiplying that by 16 000, the exact number of hair samples which are on display at Avanos Hair museum (Wikipedia)! This museum was created in 1979 and displays locks of hairs from female visitors…. How eerie! It is actually in the Guinness book of world records due to the sheer amount of hair samples that it holds. To make the matter even creepier, the museum is located in a cave! We'd rather skip this stop.
23 gladly go: Instant Ramen Museum
The Instant Ramen Museum is located in Osaka in Japan and was founded by the inventor of instant noodles, Momofuku Ando. Momofuku Ando was the founder of Cup Noodles and Top Ramen and there are displays that explain the noodles' colourful history in the museum! While this concept is very odd, its quirky design and playful colours make for an undeniably entertaining afternoon. Even better? Admission is totally free! You can even attend an instant ramen workshop and build your own cup of noodles.... YES PLEASE!
22 never set foot in: UFO Museum
Sometimes, innocence really is bliss. The UFO Museum doubles as a research centre for all things alien. It is located in New Mexico in the United States and studies UFO sightings and incidents that occurred in the United States. It was founded in the ’90s and is located in what was a movie theatre in the 1930s. While the possibility of aliens existing is very real, having extensive exhibits about encounters is just too scary to think about. We’d rather not open this can of worms.
21 never set foot in: Paris Sewer Museum
Ever have the desire to hop into a sewer and just look around? Me neither. If this desire ever presents itself, head over to the Paris Sewer Museum. This museum consists of organized tours of the sewers on boat or wagon, in which you can learn about the development and history of Paris’ sewers. These tours originated in 1889, but according to Wikipedia, are currently closed to visitors. While learning about the construction of the sewers might be interesting to some, I highly doubt you need to be in an actual sewer to know more.
20 gladly go: Museum of Ice Cream
If there’s a place that I would describe as “social media-worthy” it would be this one. The Museum of Ice Cream is located in Manhattan and is actually an interactive exhibit! Each room is painted in vibrant colours and there are fun activities like a rock-candy cave and a swimming pool filled with RAINBOW SPRINKLES. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s just a carefree place where you can channel your inner child and have fun. There is, of course, plenty of taste testing throughout the museum so you won’t leave hungry. If you love ice cream, this is certainly the place for you.
19 never set foot in: Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets
Toilets are useful, I get that much, but do you really want to stare at different kinds of toilets all day? Unsure. The Sulabh International Museum Of Toilets is located in New Delhi, India and was founded in 1993 by social activist Dr Bindeshwar Pathak who intended to raise issues of sanitation in his country. While his objective in founding this museum was great, spending an afternoon learning about how the planet goes number 1 and number 2 is a bit much. There are definitely other things on our to-do list.
18 never set foot in: Meguro Parasitological Museum
The Meguro Parasitological Museum is a medical museum in Tokyo, Japan that opened its doors in 1953. This exhibit is spread out over two stories and puts various, creepy specimen on display! The museum is focused on showing the lifecycle of parasites and their effects on humans. You’re sure to leave this place feeling a little icky. Unless tapeworms are your thing, this museum might not be for you. If you do choose to go, before you head out, don’t miss the gift shop where you can purchase items that are embedded with actual parasites…. fun?
17 gladly go: Cancun Underwater Museum
Seeing an innovative underwater exhibit and helping support a healthy coral reef all in one? Sounds like a perfect way to spend the day. To see this exhibit you must go diving or snorkelling and below the waves, you will find over 470 life-sized status (aquaworld)! The concept behind these statues was to build an artificial coral reef on which algae can grow, essentially benefiting the coral reefs of Cancun and the lives of the fish in the area. What an amazing thing to do while in Cancun!
16 never set foot in: Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic
We’ve all been freaked out in our childhood by the concept of curses and black magic, either by films or from folktales. Well, this museum takes those ancient fears and makes them a reality by presenting a collection of items related to magic and witches. The museum opened its doors in 1951 and was initially called the Folklore Centre of Superstition and Witchcraft. This museum is located in Cornwall in the United Kingdom and is very popular with tourists. The museum has artefacts once owned by historical figures known for magic, like magician Aleister Crowley and Wiccan Alex Sanders. Spooky!
15 never set foot in: International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center
Clowns have made waves in the media recently and have certainly creeped out a large percent of people. A museum focused on clown arts, advancements and achievements is just slightly disturbing for some irrational reason. In the museum, you will find an archive filled with artefacts from clown history, as well as daily live performances. The museum is located in Wisconsin in the United States in 1987 and has inducted over 60 clowns into its hall of fame since it’s opening. Business is definitely booming, but it’s certainly not for us.
14 gladly go: Museum of PEZ Memorabilia
Pez is an Austrian candy that was created in 1927. In 1955, as a way to boost sales, heads were placed on the dispensers making them incredibly popular. Some Pez enthusiasts ended up collecting dispensers over the years, like Gary and Nancy Doss, who actually founded this museum! This museum also has other fun exhibits, like the banned toy exhibit and the classic toys exhibit, so you won't just be looking at candy dispensers all day. If you love vintage things and collector's items, or maybe you loved pez as a kid, this museum will be so much fun!
13 never set foot in: British Lawnmower Museum
Ok, this is definitely the type of place your dad would drag you to on a family vacation. No one aside from a stereotypical dad would enjoy an afternoon at the British Lawnmower Museum, looking at over 300 different garden machines. The museum’s collections include lawnmowers from over 200 years ago and have the lawnmowers owned by members of the royal family, like Prince Charles and Princess Diana. I’m very sceptical that the prince and princess actually mowed their own lawns, but if you love the Royal family and lawnmowers, head on over here.
12 never set foot in: Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures
This one was described by theculturetrip as Paris’ creepiest museum. The Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures’ location is already pretty spooky considering its entrance is in a dark alleyway in France. It’s definitely not located anywhere near the typical touristy spots. The owner, Jacques Sirgent, is a vampirologist who has hoarded the creepiest of objects over the years. These objects include antique books, artworks and an “anti-vampire” kit made in the 19th century. Attached to the museum is a creepy gothic garden that resembles a cemetery, eeeep! This place is far too spooky for us.
11 gladly go: Neon Museum
The Neon Museum is where old neon signs go to get a second life. It is located in Las Vegas, Nevada and is an outdoor exhibit where the old neon signs from casinos and hotels are displayed. It was founded in 1996 by both the Allied Arts Council of Southern Nevada and the administrators of the city, as these signs are thought to be both culturally and artistically important to Las Vegas and its inhabitants. This museum is definitely a fun pitstop to make while in Las Vegas. These impressive signs definitely fit the vibe of Vegas and will make your camera roll loads of fun.
10 never set foot in: Museum of Bread Culture
Ok, I love bread as much as the next person, but a whole museum devoted to it? I’m not sure I get the hype. This museum is devoted to the 6000-year-old history of bread.. who knew bread was so old? It was founded in 1960 and is still opened today! It actually welcomed its millionth visitor in 2004. Atlasobscura states that the museum holds 16,000 bread-related artefacts, however, there is, unfortunately, no actual bread in this museum, so I advise you to not go hungry.
9 gladly go: Fries Museum
You can honestly never go wrong with potatoes and that’s why I’m not surprised that there’s a whole museum devoted to French fries. Founded in Bruges, Belgium in 2008, Frietmuseum is devoted to the history behind potatoes and the popular Belgian fry. This museum is the only one of its kind and is located in one of the oldest buildings in the world, built in 1399! Inside you’ll find endless potato-related things, like historical potato peelers, art and machinery used to make this food. This museum is spread out over 3 floors and includes a café where I’m certain you can enjoy a nice fry.
8 never set foot in: Museum of Shadows
The museum of shadows’ website claims that this museum was recently voted the most haunted museum in the world! While this might entice some people to go, it definitely scares us away. On display in this three-story attraction are thousands of certified haunted items donated from various countries throughout the world. People who have visited this place have said that they have felt a presence, laughing children and echoes of voices while they were there. We’re running in the opposite direction, too scary!!
7 never set foot in: International Cryptozoology Museum
The International Cryptozoology Museum is devoted to proving that animals like Bigfoot, the Yeti and the Loch Ness Monster exist. The museum was created in 2003 by Loren Coleman, a researcher and cryptozoologist who wanted to display his collection of artefacts. On display, there is a range of things from bigfoot statues, to alien statues, to civil war pterodactyl dummies and more weird things! The idea of these things existing is just too baffling to wrap our head around and we'd rather not step inside this one.
6 never set foot in: Salem Witch Museum
The Salem Witch Museum brings up a dark part of history that is confusing and difficult to understand from our modern perspective. The museum showcases trial documents from the witch trials of 1692 and dives in depth into the evolving perceptions of witchcraft today. While it sounds extremely educational, this is definitely the kind of museum that will leave you feeling spooked and sad. While it is Salem’s most popular museum, we’d rather not step foot into this one and learn about the hysteria of this era.
5 never set foot in: Jack The Ripper Museum
This is an extremely controversial museum focused on the unsolved Jack the Ripper crimes that occurred in the late 19th century. It opened its doors in 2015 and its ethics have highly been criticized since its opening, as many don’t agree with the concept. Some artefacts are presented, as well as recreations of crime scenes from the era… way too scary! While it's easy to feel disconnected when hearing about these vicious crimes, being confronted with re-imagined crime scenes is just too frightening.
4 Gladly go: International Spy Museum
Ok, we’ve all grown up watching Spy Kids, Inspector Gadget and James Bond, right? Most of us at some point in our lives wanted to grow up and be a spy or at least played spy with our friends. Well, the international spy museum will reawaken your childhood fascination with espionage. The museum opened its doors in 2002 in Washington, D.C. and will actually be moved this year to a newer, bigger location! There are over 750 artefacts held in this museum, including pictures and videos, that trace the history of spies all the way back to the Greek and Roman empires (Wikipedia)!
3 Gladly go: Teddy Bear Museum
The Teddy Bear Museum is an enchanting place to visit in Dorchester! Inside you will find endless amounts of teddy bears in all different shapes and sizes! Some of these teddy bears were featured on famous TV shows, while others are antiques. It will definitely be a walk down memory lane, as you think back to all the teddy bears you’ve owned, see some stuffed animals that you’ve seen on TV and laugh away at goofy ones you’ve never seen before. The online downside is you’ll probably leave wanting to buy the entire gift shop and we certainly don’t blame you.
2 gladly go: Museum of Miniature Books
Why are things so much cuter when they’re mini-sized? The Museum of Miniature Books contains over 6500 books gathered from over 60 different countries (Wikipedia)! The founder, Zarifa Salahova, spent 30 years building this collection in hopes of increasing the literacy rate of children. The museum is located in Baku, Azerbaijan, but exhibitions have occurred throughout the world in Shanghai, Pairs and Sydney. Any literature geek will adore viewing this array of fairy-sized books that measure as small as 6mm x 9mm! Too cute!
1 gladly go: The Lunchbox Museum
Lunch boxes bring about a certain nostalgia in our lives, as for most of us, they were an important part of our elementary school experience. The metal lunchbox was invented in the ’20s and then companies like Disney started printing them with cartoons. Picking out your lunchbox as a child was a huge part of who you were and who you were going to be, depending on if you pick the hot wheels one or the Belle one. The lunchbox museum is located in Georgia and displays about 3500 lunch boxes and thermoses! Time to reminisce!