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Museum of the Strange and Unusual

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Please refrain from defacing the sign in the future.

Welcome to Professor Tropington's Museum Of The Strange And Unusual. Within these halls, you will find exhibits dedicated to the mysteries of the world. For example, you will find the UFO displays up the stairs, next to the planetarium. To see the cryptid exhibits, take the hall to your left. To visit the Psychic Powers exhibit, well, you should know where that is. And yes, we prize the eclectic range of our collection over any benefits that might be gained from consistent themes.

May I point out at this moment that the laboratories are strictly off-limits to unauthorized personnel. In addition, emergency exits are in place should anything happen. We also guarantee that none of the exhibits will come to life, drive you insane, or open a portal to another dimension. After you leave, you may want to visit the Bazaar of the Bizarre, the Artifact Collection Agency (or the one-man Collector of the Strange) or the Superhero Trophy Shelf. Now, feel free to peruse our fine museum, but beware... You never know what may happen.


If you were looking for the Museum of Boredom, you'll find them just across the commons. Ours has much better exhibits, though, if I may say so myself...

Sub-trope to a World of Mysteries.

In this exhibit you may find:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • In ×××HOLiC, in the movie, there was the house of the collector... he collected collectors.
    • To specify, each room of his gigantic house was full of a different collection (bird cages, coins, etc), the soul of whose original collector is supernaturally trapped alongside said collection.
  • In Book of Bantorra, despite its name, the Library of Bantorra is better described as a museum since the "books" it deals with are not ordinary paper books written in any alphabet; they are stone tablets spontaneously appearing when someone dies recording the memories of their whole life, that anyone can experience simply touching the tablet. The librarians' job requires having combat training and some kind of super power since monsters prowl the vaults, too. In fact, the only thing that shares with a regular library is that the Library has a Customer Service that borrows the books to the general public (well, most of them).
  • Little Witch Academia (2017): The Last Wednesday Society is a cross between this trope and a cafe. See Real Life below for the actual establishment this is an homage to.

  • In Dell (yes, Dell) Comic's Superheroes published in 1967, a group of teens visited the Dell Hall of Heroes where they discovered an unguarded exhibit of android superheroes. At that exact moment an evil ex-Dell employee experimented on an evil robot elsewhere in the city, creating a power surge that zapped the teen's minds into the superhero androids. (Dell was not known for superhero books, hence the title and loony-even-for-Silver-Age plot.)
  • The British Museum in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Lotsa Dough's museum collection is almost entirely made up of a jaw dropping number of taxidermied reptiles, though she's also got a suit of armor, and life sized mannequins of a Neanderthal and T-Rex.

     Fan Works 
  • The Museum of the Weird (the original iteration of which is covered under 'Theme Parks') makes a sweeping return in The Mansionverse, where it was the life's work of Collector of the Strange Phillidore Gastley.

  • Night at the Museum. At night, an Egyptian artifact brings all the exhibits to life.
  • The Library in The Librarian. Within this building, you have Excalibur, the Shroud of Turin, Poseidon's Trident, Pan's flute, and multiple other legendary artifacts.
  • The Conjuring depicts the Warrens' public collection of cursed items, including the infamous Annabelle, just as in real life.
  • Discussed in a Gallows Humor manner in The Fly (1986). As Seth Brundle's Slow Transformation into a Half-Human Hybrid nears its apotheosis, it's revealed he's decided to keep his molted-away body parts (ears, teeth, etc.) as "relics of a bygone era". Upon an unexpected visit from his lover he tells her "My teeth have begun falling out. The medicine cabinet is now the Brundle Museum of Natural History — you wanna see what else is in it?"
  • In An American Tail, the mice raided one of these to build the Giant Mouse of Minsk.

  • Perhaps the Trope Maker is Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story A Virtuoso's Collection, where the titular collection is shown to be filled with books, animals and artifacts from mythology, religion and folklore... with the kicker being that the collection's proprietor is the Wandering Jew.
  • Tales from the Wyrd Museum, a fantasy novel trilogy, was set in one.
  • Sarah Monette's short story "Draco Campestris" takes place in one of these.
  • Monette must really like this trope, since her Kyle Murchison Booth short stories, collectively labelled The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth, also feature one of these as a major setting.
  • A Walking Tour Of The Shambles, by Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe, includes a brief description of the House of Clocks, of which perhaps all that need be said is that its (actual) website is
  • The theme of the various-authors anthology The Thackery T Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities.
  • In Black Legion, the Hall of Titans aboard Vengeful Spirit houses variety of trophies and curiosities collected by Abaddon during his pilgrimage through the Eye. He even gives Khayon and Lheor a tour of it.
  • The central location of Curiosity House is Dumfrey's Dime Museum, a museum full of bizarre items like skeletons and masks. Many of them are fake, but the freak show is very real.

     Live Action TV 
  • The Framing Device in Night Gallery involved paintings in a museum that represented the various stories in the show.
  • Spellman's Magical Museum of the Circus in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
  • Oddities. Very unusual and pretty strange.
  • Henry Van Statten's personal museum in Doctor Who contains pieces of alien artifacts and, in some cases, pieces of actual aliens. Van Statten is smart enough to try to reverse-engineer and patent any devices he finds, or even some things that shouldn't be patentable, like a Time Lord's dual cardio-vascular system.
  • In the Black Mirror Season 4 finale "Black Museum", a tourist decides to burn time at the eponymous Black Museum—a collection of dangerous technology associated with high-profile crimes, some of which have actually been featured in previous episodes.

  • Fortean Times is pretty much the printed-word version of this trope. But it's visited and reported on quite a few real-life locations around the world.

  • Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9: First Impression Parts 1 and 2" depicts modern life as a funhouse museum of the strange and grotesque.

     Professional Wrestling 

  • The Cromer Palace of Curios in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe audio drama Hornets' Nest: The Dead Shoes, which comprises a mish-mash of stuffed animals, mummified human remains and Creepy Dolls. All of which are possessed by the hornets, as is the curator.

  • The Onu-Metru Archives in BIONICLE, home to many dangerous living "exhibits".
  • Navigating the unnamed museum in the board game Elder Sign may result in insanity, death, the End of the World, or all three.

    Theme Parks 

     Video Games 
  • The first Shivers takes place entirely in one, and is the trope namer.
    • Similarly, Ib.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Morrowind's Tribunal expansion adds the Museum of Artifacts in Mournhold. Naturally, you can help fill it with items and be payed handsomely for your trouble.
    • Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion has the Museum of Oddities within the eponymous Shivering Isles. Exhibits include a tomato-shaped soul gem, a ring that strips the wearer and a coin with two heads, among other things. You can also help it by recovering a stolen item in one quest.
    • Skyrim has Calixto's House of Curiosities in Windhelm. It's a retired adventurer's collection of semi-valuable herbs and alchemy reagents, with a handful of interesting artifacts.
    • Numerous Game Mods for each game add these for the Player Character, crossing over with Super Hero Trophy Shelf. One can store and display virtually anything you want, from books to legendary artifacts and everything in between.
  • The Freak Show in CarnEvil has the "Museum of the Slightly Curious", a small alcove full of oddities. Some of these include a "Thing in a Bottle", a mummy sarcophagus, an Ancient Mystery Skull of Time, and even the World's Biggest Shoe.
  • The Death Museum in The Halloween Hack. It features models of Paula, Jeff, Poo, and Dr. Andonuts' wife. Most creepily, it has a pedestal perfectly fit for Varik. The upon reading the label on the blank pedestal, it proceeds to get confused about Varik. A mental image of Dr. Andonuts in said museum claims he is proud of killing the Chosen Four.
  • Sierra Petrovita's house in Fallout 3 is a museum of all things Nuka-Cola.
  • Arcanum Space Station in Star Wars: The Old Republic is a space station in very remote space, heavy security with mostly droids. It's also a first-rate collection of Sith artifacts and history the Empire has deemed Too Awesome to Use or so vile even they want to lock it away.
  • In Rama, One of the locations on the cylindrical alien ship is a museum containing holographic exhibits on staple items of human civilization, and that of the two alien species living on the ship. It also contains puzzles meant to teach visitors both human and alien numerals.
  • Obsidian has an art gallery in the third dream realm, with pictures that reflect on it and the previous two realms, and what the nanobot-controlling AI, Ceres, learned from them. At the end of it is an art studio, with a puzzle in which you're supposed to make a blank canvas for Ceres to apply that knowledge.
  • The Tarmalon Museum in Legacy Of The Ancients has a treasure room, a rare tree with near-miraculous fruit that enables Healing Potions, portals to towns and several nasty dungeons, functional weaponry, even a Pegasus under glass...oh, and that Compendium of Magic that the museum's personnel believed was just harmless local superstition.
  • Tales from the Borderlands has the World of Curiosities, a dilapidated and macabre museum filled with the preserved corpses of both animals and humans.
  • The aptly-named The Museum Of Anything Goes, an early CD-ROM multimedia... thing. Barely more interactive than a late '90s website with gimmicky navigation (it does have a functional puzzle or two), it's a collection of whatever the creators felt like throwing in, mostly slide shows and videos. It is this trope in software form on a level that will probably never be equaled and has to be seen to be believed.
  • The British Museum of the Occult in The Secret World. A department of the British Museum that's barred to everyone except Secret Worlders, it's been cloistered away in Eldwick, London's supernatural district; every single wing of the museum examines a different aspect of the Secret World, from the undead to the Filth. However, the place needs benefactors, which is where the players come in: through Mnemonic Pedestals and ability points, you get to create the exhibits from your memories of the creatures you've encountered so far.

     Web Comics 

     Western Animation 
  • The Mystery Shack in Gravity Falls. It's explicitly stated to be a tourist trap (where the real mystery is why people keep coming) run by Dipper and Mabel's Great-Uncle Stan, but it's been hinted in more than one episode that there's some secret about the building itself. It's eventually revealed that the Shack used to belong to Stan's twin brother Stanford, which he used for his paranormal investigations; some the exhibits are what remains of Stanford's inventions and specimens - the rest being fakes cooked up by Stan in the years since then.

     Real Life 


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