Friday, October 31, 2008

Movieland Wax Museum- House of Wax

Today's post is a real first for Houses of Wax. It's a post featuring a wax figure of a wax figure! Charles Bronson served as the likeness of William Kemmler, the first man to be electrocuted. He also played Prof. Jarrod's (Vincent Price) evil henchman. The professor added this figure to his wax museum. A museum that featured wax figures so realistic, you'd swear they they were real people. And you would be right!

A close up of the wax figure of Bronson. That guy always looks mad.

A sign showing the figure as Kemmler.

One of the clapboard signs that Movieland was so famous for.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Laclede's Landing Wax Museum- The London Ripper

Today we have another set of photos from Purplepeanut. This time, from the Laclede's Landing Wax Museum. I honestly had never heard of this place until he told me about. it But with great scenes like this one, the museum looks worth visiting.

From the wax museum at Laclede's Landing in St. Louis, Missouri (June 2008), comes a scene guaranteed to freeze your bones. (Heh heh heh ...) In the fall of 1888, "Jack the Ripper" terrorized London, butchering five (possibly six) prostitutes "most 'orribly" in the squalid East End of the city. This scene recreates one of the killer's crimes in the museum's "basement of horrors".

Referred to in this scene as the "London Ripper", he is shown about to wrap his arm around an intended victim. This tableau relies rather heavily on fantasy -- the few descriptions of the Ripper we have are hardly reliable, so who knows what he actually looked like? Here, he vaguely resembles actor John Cusack with a bloodshot eye. His female prey seems to be a generic prostitute, as she resembles none of "Saucy Jack's" actual victims.

The Ripper legend is so deeply carved into our unconscious, however, that the scene is still quite eerie. The Laclede's Landing museum may not be a match for Tussaud's in terms of production values, but the costumes and set are quite appropriate here.

A snapshot of the scene in its regular lighting. Note the pipes above -- another clue that we're in the building's basement (an appropriate place for horror, from a Jungian point of view).

Photos and text courtesy of Purplepeanut

Thanks again Purplepeanut! I enjoy Jack's illusion of motion. They did a good job making him look like he is just about to strangle that poor woman, and not some statue standing awkwardly with it's hand out.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf- Horrifying Atmosphere

I don't know what is more horrifying, the two decapitated heads, the bloody weapons, the iron mask, or the fact that the museum put pictures from Body Worlds in their Chamber of Horrors. Besides that fact, the eerie atmosphere of the chamber was very effective. This picture, of course, was taken with the flash on. It was too dark to get a good picture without it on.

The head hangs on chain, frightening all who enter.

The iron mask.

Visit the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf website here.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Royal London Wax Museum- The Algerian Hook

This ancient form of torture is featured here in the Royal London Wax Museum. The poor victim has his vital organs pierced, and blood drips from the massive wounds. The shear agony, and pain teaches this doomed man a lesson before he dies.

The look on the face is evidence enough of the effectiveness of this device. This poor wax figure never had a chance.

Off to the side is another who felt the sting of the Algerian Hook. Now he lies rotting in the cell.

Visit the Royal London Wax Museum website here.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum- Alfred Hitchcock

Today we have a special spooky treat for everyone. Purplepeanut, a Houses of Wax reader, has graciously provided this blog with some great pictures of some eerie wax museum scenes from across the country. Today's post is of a very familiar face. So lets begin, if you dare. . .

"How do you do, ladies and gentlemen ... " The Master of Suspense welcomes you to the Chamber of Horrors!! These photos are from the Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas (June 2008). Film director Alfred Hitchcock stands at the entrance to this museum's Chamber of Horrors. The likeness isn't exactly spot-on (frankly, he looks a little under-fed), but it certainly serves the purpose.

Though many wax museums have their own special scare section, they typically place it near the end of your visit. The JTWM gives us the goods early on, but there's still a convenient bypass for those with faint hearts.

A picture of Hitchcock in the Chamber's normal lighting -- dark in there, what? Alfred Hitchcock directed fifty-three motion pictures, many of them classics, like Psycho, The Birds, Vertigo, and Rear Window. Only Psycho, however, comes close to being an actual "horror" film, so "Hitch's" appearance here may seem a little odd. Over time, though, his name's become synonymous with "fear" and "suspense" for millions of movie lovers

One last shot before we move on. "Until next time .. good night!"

Photos and text courtesy of Purplepeanut.

Thanks Purplepeanut for the terrific photos. Mr. Hitchcock directed one of my all time favorite movies, Rope. Which is a wonderfully presented tale of murder most foul. I must agree with you on the way he looks malnourished, but with the eerie lighting, the figure looks pretty good.

Visit the Josephine Tussaud website here.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hollywood Wax Museum- The Wolf man

I thought it was unfair that the wolf man had to hide behind Frankenstein on my October 3rd post. So here I have him on his own post from the Hollywood Wax Museum. The figure is just as corny as the other, and that's what I love about it. It's the happiest Wolf man I have ever seen! Although, I doubt that was the look Mr. Singh had in mind when he created it.

Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum's website here.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Turn of the Century Wax Museum- Pearl White

Pearl White was a silent film star known as the stunt Queen. Her serial , The Perils of Pauline is one of the most famous of all time. Here we see her about to be sliced in half in a typical "log in the saw mill" scene that has become cliche'. The only thing macabre about this scene would be if she didn't make it out of this predicament, and ends up as two Paulines. My guess is that she will escape.

A close up. Can't you just see the terror on her face?

View more information on Pearl White here.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Knott's Ghost Town- Boot Hill Undertaker

Every October Knott's Berry Farm turns into Knott's Scary Farm, but even during the regular season, they have a few ghoulish elements. Here in the Ghost Town, we see the transformation of an unfortunate man from a dead body, to a skeleton. Upon looking into the Undertaker's window we see the figure eerily switch.

Unfortunately, the effect was not working the day I visited, and the man we see here never showed up. Only when I tried to take a picture using flash did I see the body. To the naked eye, it went from skeleton to empty coffin, and back again. So this flash picture shows the two occupying the same space. Creepy. . .

This shot shows just the skeleton standing in the coffin, helped by a wire attached to its head.

A close up of the body with the skeleton in view.

The unwelcoming Boot Hill Undertaker's shop. You can also rent a room above the dead people.

A You Tube video which shows the effect when it's working.

Visit the Knott's Berry Farm website here.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Movieland Wax Museum- Grotesque Head

The owners of Movieland Wax Museum took advantage of the auction to sell off many figures and sets that were not part of the existing museum. We see this head that was obviously used as part of the Chamber of Horrors, probably from the San Fransisco. Wax Museum. This head is reason enough why so many people skip the Chamber of Horrors at these places. It is just so gory. This figure fits in with the bloody stumps, and disemboweled bodies of Halloween Haunts everywhere.

The head sold for $275 at the auction.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf- Elvira Mistress of the Dark

Anyone who grew up in the eighties in Los Angeles remembers watching Elvira host Elvira's Movie Macabre. She would introduce the movies, and give corny commentary before and after the commercials. She made the super bad movies bearable. Although, that's where I first saw one of my favorite movies, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. Here we see her welcome people to the San Francisco Wax Museum's Chamber of Horrors. This was probably the same figure (or copy thereof) of the figure that once called Movieland Wax Museum home.

Basically the same shot with flash. One loses the creepy atmosphere with the lights on.

A close up of Elvira. Anyone who thinks that the San Francisco Wax Museum's Chamber of Horrors will be corny has another thing coming, as the place is rather gruesome.

From another angle we see the skeletons on either side of her.

A last shot of the Mistress of the Dark.

Visit Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson's website here.

Visit the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf website here.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Hollywood Wax Museum- Hannibal Lecter

Hello Clarice. . . and hello to anybody else who visits this Hannibal Lecter figure at the world famous Hollywood Wax Museum's chamber of Horrors. No wax figure ever looked so disturbing just standing there. The detail on this figure is amazing, and without gore it terrorizes people who dare stare into its evil eyes.

From a different angle, Hannibal looks just as scary.

A close up of the face of a killer.

Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum's website here.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Tussaud's London Wax Museum- Frankenstein and Wolf Man

Share the same terrifying dungeon in the eerie CHAMBER OF HORRORS. A visit that will excite you (if your nerves are strong) at Josephine Tussaud's famous LONDON WAX MUSEUM.

Halloween is Chamber of Horrors month here at Houses of Wax, and each post will be simply horrifying. Unless there's a new figure coming out this month, we will only see chilling scenes from wax museums past and present. Remember, you don't have to go this way, you can choose to skip the Chamber of Horrors if monsters scare you.

Today we see two of the Granddaddies of horror films, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein. These wax museum regulars at the (Josephine/Louis) Tussaud's London wax Museum in St. Petersburg Florida seem all too pleased to meet unsuspecting guests who wonder into the chamber. Nice detail on Frankenstein's monster, while the Wolf Man captures the mood of the original movies.

A close up of the two figures. It must have been nice not having to sculpt an expression on Frank's face.

Learn more about the London Wax Museum here.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Halloween Countdown

This next month at Houses of Wax is going to feature some gruesome and horrific wax figures. Stay tuned for the first new Halloween post on Friday October 3rd. Due to my work situation, I had to schedule the entire month's posts ahead of time, and they will appear automatically. In the mean time, here's a repost of a Chamber of Horrors scene I posted quite some time ago from the Southwestern Historical Wax Museum.

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