Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

Ye Olde Curiosity Shop (Seattle, Washington)

RetroStarlet recommends this local attraction: “I’m recommending Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. It’s on the waterfront (1001 Alaskan Way – Pier 54, Seattle WA) a block or two south of the Seattle Aquarium . They sell the usual tourist junk but they also have lovely exhibits of real shrunken heads and an actual mummy (preserved by the elements). You can even buy fake, yet realistic shrunken heads, if you’d like. The place scared the crap outta me as a kid!” Ah, the folly of youth…

Sarah also recommends this store: “If you want a quickie, there’s always the Ye Olde Curiousity shop. There are two real mummies (I believe you can see the gunshot wound on one of them) and lots of shrunken heads. Also odd things like dead animals and whale bones and such. Best of all, it’s a store, so you don’t have to pay admission to go visit.”

The Ringling Estate

The Ringling Estate (Sarasota, Florida)
Although circuses tend to not emphasize their more morbid aspects, for fear of being seen as un-PC, you still can’t help but avoid the general all-around freakiness of the history of circuses. Sandy wrote me to share an interesting story about this museum:
“I have some info on the Ringling Circus Fire in Hartford you might be interested in. I belong to a paranormal investigations group (also known as ghost hunters to our friends) here in St. Petersburg, Florida called the S.P.I.R.I.T.S. of St. Petersburg and last summer we did an investigation down at the Ringling Musuem in Sarasota. We really hadn’t been picking up any EMF or temperature readings out of the normal… no odd feelings or sensations of any type. We were really starting to feel like we had a bust for the hunt. Until one of our team members came upon Circus Wagon #5. At the rear of the wagon she felt the sensation of heat and had tears flowing down her face. She was so shook up by the sensations she recieved that she had to walk away. After making a sweep of the building we returned and she reported the same feelings of heat and the tears. We talked to a gentleman who is a security there and he said that it had been involved in a fire and afterword had been remodeled/restored to be put back in service. We asked if it was the Hartford and he said yes. We then asked if any one had died or been hurt and he said he couldn’t talk about it, the circus would frown on it. They really don’t like talking about those type of things. We spent days on the Net doing research to try and confirm if this Wagon was actually involved but came up with nothing.”
It’s worth checking out the wagon just in case, as far as I’m concerned!


Palace of Wonders / Red Palace

Palace Of Wonders / Red Palace (Washington, D.C.)
Anna recommends this bar: “Palace of Wonders is a new bar that opened up in DC. The theme is sideshow. I had the wonderful privilege of attending the grand opening last weekend and seeing a man eat a light bulb, sword swallowers and many other sideshow acts. The upstairs is a museum of authentic oddities from the early sideshows. Things in jars, weird animals medical weirdness all amassed by a man named James Taylor. If you’re hungry they actually serve carnival food, popcorn, nachos and corndogs. For anyone ever visiting Washington D.C., I highly recommend this place!”



Playland Not-At-The-Beach (El Cerrito, California)
Recommended by Riley: “If you’re in the Bay Area, don’t miss this new nonprofit attraction. We loved it, and were sorry to leave at closing time. Fortunately I live in the area. It has lots of scary-creepy sideshow monsters and freaks of nature, and a terrific ‘Slayland at the Beach’ model diorama, of about 8 windows, with lights and moving parts. Even better if clowns scare you. Regular admission is $15.00 but you can play pinball and many carnival games for free. There were many games I never heard of, although I’ve been to San Francisco’s Musee Mechanique. One 3-D pinball room is dark, and you appear to float on a many layered floor. There are spider-women and other creepy images, and a mummy in a case. This place has a lot of association with Anton LaVey, as he lived near and loved Playland and the Sutro Baths, as well as working at carnivals that have featured exhibits, such as Sells-Floto. Don’t forget your camera – there are no restrictions on photos.”