The Museum of the Bizarre, located in historic downtown Wilmington, N.C., was one of my favorite stops on our recent Wilmington/Carolina Beach trip. For just a few bucks per person, my son, my boyfriend, and myself were able to spend an enjoyable hour or so perusing the oddities and other attractions that make up the Museum of the Bizarre.
I had first learned about the collection from Jacob the Carpetbagger, one of my all-time favorite YouTubers. Jacob posted a video about his travels to this unique Wilmington museum back in September of 2017...WELL before we decided to visit the area for vacation this summer. However, when my boyfriend announced that he'd found us a great rental house in nearby Carolina Beach, I remembered the video and immediately put a stop at the Museum of the Bizarre on our itinerary!
Because I had enjoyed the video so much and knew this was a location I definitely wanted to check out, I didn't start reading the reviews from other visitors until after we had visited. Don't get me wrong...the reviews aren't BAD, but a lot of people tended to focus on the size of the collection. Admittedly, when we entered the museum, we were under the impression that there was going to be a lot more...so we were disappointed when we realized that the entire collection was just in the big room as you walk in.
And although I would have LOVED to see many more strange and unusual artifacts, I still had an awesome time. The collection of strange and bizarre items housed at the museum is from the personal collection of owner, Justin LaNasa. As the story goes, when LaNasa, a local tattoo artist, was about to get married, his future bride gently suggested that his collection of anatomical specimens, taxidermy animals, horror movie props, etc. should be housed somewhere outside their home. At the suggestion of a friend who owned the former serpentarium next door (which is now unfortunately closed down), the Museum of the Bizarre was born. It opened its doors in April of 2015.
I think when you take into consideration that the items are simply the collection of one enthusiastic collector, the lack of size isn't an issue. Plus, what the collection lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality! Obviously, I'm a weird chick. My boyfriend is a little more mainstream than myself, but he still appreciates unique history and offbeat attractions. My son simply just gets dragged to wherever the rest of us choose to go. Yet, we all found things in the collection that were of interest to us!
|We accidentally caught the cursed clown doll in the Photo Op spot of the stocks!|
I was drawn to the more 'spooky' attractions. Housed in the collection were plaster casts of Yeti and Bigfoot footprints. There was an old Bozo the Clown doll with a sign warning visitors not to look it directly in the eye because it was cursed. We saw a mummified Chupacabra hand and the signal lantern involved in the famous Maco Lights haunting. There was even a Ouija Board owned by Houdini. I also thought the signs posted throughout the museum noting that this was a haunted museum, so don't be surprised if you heard any weird noises, were pretty awesome.
Aaron is a huge fan of Houdini, so he too enjoyed the Ouija Board, as well as the specimen of Alexander Hamiliton's hair. Other notable exhibits included a crystal skull, shrunken heads, a two-headed calf, tons of movie props, a Hand of Glory, a Freemason alter, and a variety of stuff in jars, lol. There was also an extremely large 'Fiji Mermaid,' which allegedly was found at nearby Ft. Fisher.
My son, Luke, for some reason, got pretty freaked out while we were there. Luckily, for an extra couple of dollars, he was able to explore the Hall of Mirrors exhibit (mirror maze) and also play unlimited games on the floor projector. There was comfortable seating to wait in while Luke played, FREE ice pops, and a small gift shop where I picked up a sticker and some postcards. Several of the exhibits were interactive, and even though photography of the collection was largely prohibited, there were a few photo op spots where you could take pictures.
I wish photography of the exhibits was allowed, because there was some really cool stuff in there that I would have loved to share with you all---but check out the video below to get an idea of what's there. Overall, however, this was a really cool little spot in downtown Wilmington, N.C. There is so much to see and do in the Wilmington area, especially if you appreciate things supernatural and/or strange, and a stop to the Museum of the Bizarre makes a great part of any day trip to the city.