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Open from 10 am to midnight, seven days a week, is the Museum of the Weird. Where else are you going to find seance tickets?
The "cabinet of curiosities" was a concept popularized in the 18th and 19th centuries and centered on well-traveled people keeping strange souvenirs in a special cabinet they'd happily open up for curious visitors. Artifacts from newly-extinct tribes. Paws and horns from animals never seen in the Western world. Instruments no one could figure out how to play. What it usually amounted to was "look at this weird thing your uncle found in Guam."
This museum, which includes a cyclopean pig, is run by Austin artist Steve Busti and is among the last of its kind. It features props from famous movies, casts made from Bigfoot’s footprints, and a whole section on Austin’s haunted history. So maybe check it out before you put the security deposit down on that apartment.
Ok, the shrunken heads and mummy signs may or may not draw you in, but did you know that the very first museum of oddities was opened by PT Barnum?
Barnum opened the first cataloged, professionally curated museum of curiosities for one primary goal: to start conversations, stimulate curiosity, and convince museum-goers that if they don't believe all the weird stuff the world has to offer, maybe they should buy a plane ticket and go find out for themselves.
Remember to bring your friends -- half of the fun is guessing where the items came from, if they were faked, and if so, how it was done. You might end up in a long extended argument over the existence of Bigfoot or the best use of a two-headed chicken.
Tickets run $12 and include a live performance: a freak show that many call “hilarious.” Afterward, you gain access to the gift shop, where loads of strange items can be found.
Cover photo credit brandiibishop via Instagram.