This topic is presented for entertainment purposes (mostly mine). It is not intended as scholarly research or as a final authority on the topic. Please enjoy this article for what it is–free information on a topic of interest.
Welcome to Freaky Friday. Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming. Today we’re going to visit some museums–paranormal museums, that is. Raise your freak flags, and lets get moving.
Several months ago, I saw an episode of The Haunted Collector. The premise of the show is fairly simple. John Zaffis and his crew investigate haunted locations with a focus on haunted items. At the end of the episode I saw, John Zaffis took a haunted object back to his museum in Connecticut.
This was the first I’d heard of a museum full of haunted items. The notion fascinated me. A few weeks later, I read a short story by Joe Hill that took place in a museum of dying breaths. The idea of a museum full of offbeat items caught my interest again, and I began looking for one to visit.
I didn’t find a paranormal museum anywhere near my house, but I did find more paranormal museums in existence than I expected. I even found a few online paranormal museums for those like me who are geographically challenged.
Let’s start with the bricks and mortar museums:
International Museum of Spiritual Investigations
231 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA 17325
The museum operates out of a Civil War era house. There are five permanent exhibits. Museum Curator/Web designer, Chris Williams was kind enough to explain the five permanent exhibits to me.
The Residual Room – Is dedicated to the history of spiritual investigations–aka ghost hunting. Beginning 50,000 years ago with the use of Dowsing, this room covers various forms of “ghost hunting.” This room also holds several haunted artifacts donated to the museum–from haunted dolls to an ouija board dated 1919.
The Hall of Afterlife – The hall is dedicated to paranormal investigators who have passed into the spirit realm. Researchers such as Hanz Holzer and Ed Warren are among the investigators honored. Paranormal groups may submit tributes to their deceased member(s) for display on the wall.
The Runkel Room – The Runkel family lived in the house during the Civil War. They hid in the basement of the building for the entire three days of the Battle of Gettysburg. The Runkel Room is a step back in time. It has been restored to reflect the Civil War Era. Artifacts and ghostly photos are on display. Modern day technology recreates the sounds and images of what took place during the battle in Gettysburg.
The Gettysburg Hall – Showcases paranormal evidence obtained in and around the the town of Gettysburg. It includes a giant map of Gettysburg, simple history, and around 40 photographic images believed to be paranormal in nature.
The Gallery – Display of their most dramatic paranormal photos (including full body apparitions, ghostly faces, and shadow figures), EVP evidence (Electronic Voice Phenomena), and a video showing an orb transforming into a human form during an investigation on the Gettysburg Battlefield. This room also holds a few other haunted artifacts.
Watch a short video about the museum:
National Paranormal History Museum
(The Haunted Cottage)
43 Old Taylor Ln.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
This museum is located in the cool (and haunted) town of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. I have never visited the museum, but I’ve visited the town. It is very, very cool.
The museum itself features a chronological history of paranormal investigation starting with the Oracle of Delphi and going all the way to modern day ghost hunting.
Their website reminds readers that before EMF meters investigators used talcum powder to record the footprints of the invisible and bowls of mercury to measure the smallest movements.
They do have an online gallery. Go to their website:
From there, click Gallery.
Watch a short video tour here:
Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore
815 Airport Way S. (Seattle Boulevard South)
This one room museum seems to have a little bit of everything. Their website promises features on
- The legend of D. B. Cooper
- Seattle’s prohibition history
- Maury Island UFO history
- The lost city of Wellington (supposedly haunted)
- Casts of Bigfoot prints
- Ghost museum
- The largest exhibition Bruce Lee and Frances Farmer photos in the state of Washington
Zaffis Paranormal Museum
John Zaffis has been involved in the paranormal investigation field for more than thirty-seven years. He is the nephew of famed demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Mr. Zaffis on Unsolved Mysteries and two Discovery Channel Documentaries on hauntings. He is currently star of the SYFY Channel’s reality series Haunted Collector.
In addition to all that, Mr. Zaffis has this really cool museum full of haunted artifacts. Rightly or wrongly, I think of Friday the 13th the Series every time I peruse the museum online. Right now, the bricks and mortar museum is closed due to the filming schedule of Haunted Collector. The online museum is the only one open. Click the link below to go to the museum’s website.
From there, click Items. Users can read about featured items in the museum.
If that sounds like a stupid idea, watch the video for a short tour:
Now for the online museums:
The Museum of the Macabre
This seems to be an online museum. They do have a traveling exhibition, but I’m sure it doesn’t travel nationwide.
Here’s a quick overview of their online exhibits:
- The photography exhibit shows photographs that might have paranormal images in them.
- The seance room has interactive links that explore the history of seances, how they worked, and even tells about devices used to contact the dead.
- They have an exhibit on Sir Author Conan Doyle and spiritualism.
- A paranormal Philadelphia exhibit is coming soon.
Museum of the Macabre an awesome blog that covers topics like death customs, monsters, and ghost hunting. Click here to visit.
That’s not all, though. This place has a digital Ouija board and a haunted house map.
It’s totally worth the visit.
The Haunted Museum
This online museum focuses on the history of spiritualism. They feature well-written histories of famous spiritualists, spiritual photography, histories of methods used to contact the spirit world, and the history of ghost hunting.
The page is a little busy, but scroll about halfway down. That’s where the links to the articles start. It is one nifty place to spend a few hours doing the ghost thing.