While there’s nothing wrong with your traditional history of art museum, we love dipping our toes into the macabre every once and a while. There are some seriously spooky museums around the country and we’ve narrowed down the top 10 must visit macabre experiences from New England to the South to the West Coast. Take a look at these museums in the gallery below and let us know where you’ll be visiting next in the comments section on social media.
The Mütter Museum—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you have a fascination with the medical world and it’s dark history, the Mütter Museum is a must visit. This museum contains one of the largest collections of 19th century anatomical specimens, models and medical instruments in the world. It started off with a donation from Dr. Thomas Mütter in 1859 and the museum was built around his 1,700 pieces in 1863. Today, the museum has over 25,000 objects and is observed by 130,000 visitors a year.
The Museum of Death—Los Angeles, California
This museum was established in 1995 by J. D. Healy and Catherine Shultz with the purpose to “make people happy to be alive.” It contains a large collection of letters and artwork from notable serial killers, an assortment of materials from the Heaven’s Gate cult suicides and it’s crown jewel is the head of serial killer Henri Landru. Their flagship is located in Los Angeles and in 2014 they added a second location, Musée de Mort Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Salem Witch Museum—Salem, Massachusetts
The Salem Witch Museum is a one stop destination for everything Salem Witch Trials. The museum contains two parts, first an immersive presentation of the 1692 events featuring life-size figures, stages and narration. The second is “Witches: Evolving Perceptions,” which takes you on a tour of the origin and evolution of witchcraft throughout Europe and the United States. It’s an experience unlike any other and perfect for a day trip to Salem.
The Warren’s Occult Museum—Monroe, Connecticut
Ed and Lorraine Warren were two of the world’s most renowned paranormal investigators and their story inspired both the “Amityville Horror” and “The Conjuring” film series. In 1952, the couple founded the New England Society for Psychic Research and they began showcasing their collection of haunting artifacts. Some of their most famous objects include an alleged vampire’s coffin and the Annabelle doll. The museum is currently closed, but may be reopened pending a new location.
The Lizzie Borden House—Fall River, Massachusetts
The Lizzie Borden House is not only a museum, it’s also a fully operative bed and breakfast. This home served as the Borden residence and in 1892 was the site of the unsolved double murder of Lizzie Borden’s father Andrew and stepmother Abby. House tours are offered daily and ghost tours are offered from 7-9pm. You’re also able to book a ghost hunt from 10pm to midnight. You can even book a stay in the room where the murders took place for under $300 a night.
The New Orleans Pharmacy Museum—New Orleans, Louisiana
In addition to hosting the Musée de Mort Orleans, New Orleans also offers visitors the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. This museum was once the apothecary of America’s first pharmacist Louis J. Dufilho Jr. and gives visitors an immersive look at the history of early medicine. It houses a variety of tinctures that you wouldn’t find on the shelves of your neighborhood CVS—many of which are wrapped in superstition and voodoo.
The Poe Museum—Richmond, Virginia
When it comes to macabre, no one does it better than literary legend Edgar Allen Poe. The Poe Museum was established in 1922 and commemorates his time living in Richmond, Virginia. It contains the world’s largest collection of Poe’s original manuscripts, letters, first editions, personal belongings and other memorabilia. It’s truly a must visit for avid readers of Poe’s work.
The National Museum of Funeral History—Houston, Texas
If you’re fascinated by death, there’s nothing more on the nose than a visit to the National Museum of Funeral History. This museum was first opened in 1992 and aims to “educate the public and preserve the heritage of death care.” It contains a wide variety of artifacts and relics from around the world, including Vatican endorsed exhibit “Celebrating the Lives and Deaths of the Popes,” “Historical Hearse” and “The Shroud of Turin,” which will make it’s grand debut in 2023.
The Graveface Museum—Savannah, Georgia
The Graveface Museum is home of the South’s largest collection of oddities and curiosities. Whether you’re fascinated by cults, UFOs, sideshows or roadside America, you’ll find yourself sorely entertained. In addition, they also house the Creature Castle Pinball Pit—which is one of the most impressive collections of horror-themed pinball machines on the planet.
The Satanic Temple—Salem, Massachusetts
While you’re in Salem, you must stop by The Satanic Temple. This location is the international headquarters of the Satanic Temple and includes the famous Salem Art Gallery as well as the renowned 8 1/2 foot bronze baphomet statue. Hail Satan!