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Friday, October 8, 2021

It Belongs in a Museum: Meet 10 Haunted Real-Life Artifacts Ahead of “The Haunted Museum” on Discovery+

One of the brand-new original projects coming to discovery+ this Ghostober is a horror anthology series titled The Haunted Museum, a collaboration between Eli Roth and Zak Bagans.

Each episode of the new series features terrifying “mini horror films” that are all based on some of the most cursed artifacts in Bagans’ Haunted Museum in Las Vegas.

“My museum is full of a lot of amazing items and objects and the stories behind them. They’re told on a daily basis by my guides at the museum. But to be able to collaborate with Eli Roth, to now tell the stories in a cinematic way, to experience that in all the ways that he does in his other horror movies that gave us nightmares … I mean, that’s the ultimate,” Bagans said of his new series.

Roth teased more of what to expect, “I’ve never seen an anthology show like this. I’ve never seen a show that tells you a terrifying story, and then you can see the object. If you were a kid and you saw The Monkey’s Paw, or ‘The Crate’ from Creepshow, and then that thing was real, and it’s there, and it actually exists, and there are real people being terrified by it, I’d lose my mind.”

The series is currently streaming on discovery+. With 10 hours of terror on the horizon, here’s a look at 10 of the creepiest, real-life haunted artifacts found in the Haunted Museum.

Bela Lugosi’s mirror

The idea of owning a mirror that once belonged to the iconic actor sounds enticing until you learn about this artifact’s reputation for toying with your mind. Those who gazed into it reported spying a shadowed figure behind them.

The Devil’s rocking chair

This artifact shares ties to Ed and Lorraine Warren and the case file tied to The Conjuring 3: The Devil Made Me Do It. It’s said to be the exorcism site of young David Glatzel, featured in the movie’s opening scene. This item has a gnarly reputation; the exhibit shut down after reported paranormal activity by guests.

Ed Gein’s Cauldron

Those familiar with the serial killer and cannibal Ed Gein, who inspired both Psycho and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, will have no trouble connecting why this particular item is cursed. Said to have been initially purchased in a 1958 estate sale, this antique cauldron might have been the killer’s favorite cooking tool. Now it’s in Bagans’ impressive collection.

Steve McQueen’s wooden statue

To everyone, actor Steve McQueen was known as the King of Cool in the ’60s and ’70s. To horror fans, however, he’s perhaps best known for his role in The Blob. Either way, the star doesn’t exactly have a reputation for owning haunted artifacts, which makes this particular carved wooden statue all the more intriguing. Luckily, we’ll get to know more about it in an upcoming episode of The Haunted Museum.

Charles Manson television

The Haunted Museum hosts an entire room dedicated to Charles Manson memorabilia, but the television set makes one of the more unexpected artifacts. This particular TV came from Manson’s prison cell and bears etchings by the cult leader.

Demon House staircase

It wasn’t enough to film a documentary about the house where the Ammons haunting occurred; Bagans also bought it. It’s even more impressive considering that the home, dubbed Demon House, unnerved the seasoned paranormal expert more than any other. He ultimately bulldozed the place, but not before bringing the staircase back to the Haunted Museum.

John Murrell’s preserved thumb

That’s right, Bagans’ collection also includes body parts. In this case, it’s the pickled thumb of one of the most infamous outlaws, John Murrell. Murrell’s story of buried treasure was immortalized in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but the outlaw stirred up quite a bit of trouble during life. So, you know this artifact comes with a history of mischief.

The Westerfield dollhouse

Dollhouses are inherently creepy, but the background for this artifact enhances the fear tenfold. It’s a replica of a historic San Francisco house in which Satanic rituals were performed by the church of Satan founder Anton LaVey and occultist filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Look for this item to feature in the upcoming series.

Dybbuk Box

The Dybbuk Box has slowly developed a reputation in horror movies, but expect The Haunted Museum to dig into the history behind this particular artifact. The wine cabinet originally sold on eBay is said to house a demon inside and directly inspired The Possession.

Peggy the doll

If there’s one thing that seems to creep Bagans out consistently, it’s dolls. The Haunted Museum holds a vast collection of them, but Peggy stands out as one of the most haunted, thanks to her penchant for causing physical discomfort. Expect this tiny terror to get featured in an episode.

“I’m going to tell you something,” Bagans explained. “I have had a lot of different objects come into my collection, but when Peggy came into my museum, there was a sack over her head. When Jane Harris lifted that sack off of her head, a swarm of black flies started flying all around my head — and this is the first time. We filmed many different episodes with many different haunted first artifacts, but after that swarm of flies started buzzing around my head, I got up and started destroying my own set. I started kicking my own set, and I had to go outside. We had to stop filming. That’s the thing that everybody needs to understand: These items retain a lot of power. A lot.”

Tune in to discovery+ now to see the haunted artifacts come to life in The Haunted Museum.


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