13 Wonderfully Weird, Creepy Museums To Visit Around The U.S.

Halloween can last all year.

Some museums are for dinosaur bones. Some museums are for Monet's "Water Lilies." And some museums are for showing off a book bound in human skin.

The skin is one of the many curiosities at The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, which attracts more than 130,000 visitors annually to gaze upon its thorough collection of odd bodily paraphernalia (among them John Wilkes Booth's vertebrae and Einstein's brain).

Luckily for educational thrill-seekers, The Mütter isn't the only place to get your creep on around the U.S. Visiting a wacky, weird museum is an especially fun way to get in the spirit during this month where ghostly phantoms and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are at their peak. Plus, these institutions are open year-round, meaning you can pocket this list for whenever otherworldly forces compel you to visit.

Museum of Death | Los Angeles, California
When it comes to its title, the Museum of Death doesn't mince words. And it can't be accused of false advertising: this Hollywood mainstay (with a newer spinoff located in New Orleans) is a veritable smorgasbord of the many skin-crawlingly fascinating ways we can come to our end. Inside, there's art from serial killers, clothing from the dead cult members of the infamous Heaven's Gate and coffins galore, among other things.
Salem Witch Museum | Salem, Massachusetts
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Say "Salem" anywhere in the U.S. and images are conjured of colonial-era woman on trial for alleged misdeeds; perhaps lines from your high school reading of "The Crucible" flash in your mind. While evidence is yet to surface that any accused women in the late 1600s actually did fly, curse others, or conjure invisible spectres, the hysteria and ultimate tragedy of the Salem Witch Trials continues to fascinate. This Salem, Massachusetts, institution allows visitors to see original trial documents and follow the nation's perception of witches from back in Goody Proctor's day up until now.
Indiana Medical History Museum | Indianapolis, Indiana
Fans of "The Knick," take note: visiting this museum may feel like you're getting a behind-the-scenes walk on set. The antique cabinets and equipment give the feel of a turn-of-the-century doctor's office, and the exhibits within will give you the knowledge of one -- however limited, especially when considered against the technologies of today. Visitors will emerge with a deeper understanding of the medical advances made by early doctors, and an appreciation for not having been their guinea-pig patients.
International Cryptozoology Museum | Portland, Maine
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Cryptozoology, other than being just a cool word to say, refers to the study of animals whose existence has yet to be proven (think Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, etc.). The International Cryptozoology Museum aims to be a center for purported evidence and artifacts relating to these "hidden animals," connecting the findings of cryptozoology to other sciences such as biology, paleontology and anthropology. Plus, you'll find hair samples from Abominable Snowmen and Yetis, a rendering of a Tatzelwurm and a "reborn" Sasquatch baby doll, made especially for the museum.
Morbid Anatomy Museum | Brooklyn, New York
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Only in Brooklyn can you order a quality cup of coffee next to some taxidermied creatures, sipping it leisurely before heading upstairs to an exhibit on death masks. But the Morbid Anatomy Museum isn't just where a neighborhood coffee shop meets goth, in the best way -- the organization hosts a rotating variety of events for the community. October's calendar included a screening of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," a Jackalope taxidermy class, and a lecture about Hannibal Lecter.
Glore Psychiatric Museum | St. Joseph, Missouri
Not going to lie: the proliferation of uncannily lifelike-but-not-quite mannequins here would be enough to set the creep-out factor pretty high. But that's not the only alluring component for thrill-seekers. The museum was originally housed in a former "State Lunatic Asylum" in Missouri, which was repurposed in the 1950s as a state prison -- the museum is now located in a building just outside the gates. Visitors can find life-size replicas of antiquated mental health treatment equipment and the archaic methods used to subdue patients -- perhaps the most chilling part is coming to terms with the fact that such horrors were perpetrated by other humans, not fantastical demons or ghosts.
National Museum of Funeral History | Houston, Texas
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Think of this as an IRL supplement to the best-selling mortuary work, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Death happens, and yeah, we don't like to think about it -- but when we do, a fascinating kind of peace can take the place in one's mind where vague dread once lived. Boasting "America's largest collection of authentic, historical funeral service items," this museum explores burial rites throughout the ages.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology | Los Angeles, California
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This one's not so much spooky as delightfully bizarre -- and, no, this museum has nothing to do with this year's Chris Pratt blockbuster. "Jurassic" here refers more to older oddities than any dinosaur bones. Inside, there's duck's breath (an old treatment for thrush) in a test tube, "decaying dice," carved fruit stones and more. To outsiders, it may feel as though exhibits lack rhyme and reason, but that sense of discord has made it a must-visit among LA's many attractions.
Museum of Osteology | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What would a good creep-out museum list be without skeletons? This museum, which boasts about 300 skeletons of humans, primates, reptiles and birds, exists to educate the public about the form and function of the many skeletal systems found in the natural world. It's way better for Halloween vibes than picking up a plastic skeleton from the drugstore.
Mütter Museum | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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"Are you ready to be disturbingly informed?" the Mütter Museum's website asks visitors from the get-go. The infamous center for medical oddities and mysteries proclaims to help "the public appreciate the mysteries and beauty of the human body while understanding the history of diagnosis and the treatment of disease." So it's a little spooky -- but educationally spooky. Don't miss their Hyrtl skull collection, 129 human skulls the organization obtained from a Viennese anatomist, originally collected to study the variety of Caucasian cranial anatomy. If you can't make the trip, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz's Dr. Mütter's Marvels explores the life of the Philadelphian plastic surgeon that bears the same name as the museum.
The Edgar Allen Poe Museum | Richmond, Virginia
Quoth the Raven, the most badass place to learn about this master of scary stories ("The Cask of Amontillado," anyone?") is the museum bearing his name. While no tell-tale hearts thump beneath the floorboards, the institution is a thorough testament to Poe's legacy -- with original letters, manuscripts and minutiae from the writer's life -- and a stark reminder that mere words on a page can leave generations spooked.
New Orleans Pharmacy Museum | New Orleans, Louisiana
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New Orleans is one town that never runs out of odd things to see -- and if you like a little old-fashioned medicine among those odd things, this is your best bet. Meant to preserve the history of pharmaceuticals in Louisiana and beyond, this museum counts exhibits about bloodletting, leeches, opium and surgical instruments among its many curiosities. The immersive environment -- you're inside a creaky, old pharmacy, after all -- definitely adds to the experience.
Vent Haven Museum | Fort Mitchell, Kentucky
Three simple words for you, my friends: Museum. Of. Ventriloquism.

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