NJ’s weirdest museums
At the Academy Awards Sunday night Tom Hanks briefly mentioned there was a place called the Museum of Selfies in Los Angeles. I thought perhaps he was joking because of the self-centered nature of Hollywood. So I looked it up. It’s a real place.
Then that had me wondering if New Jersey had any weird museums. Here are five that I found.
Snowmobile Barn Museum
This is in Fredon, NJ and it’s exactly what it sounds like. A huge barn with a massive collection of all kinds of snowmobiles. Over 400. Believe it or not people come from all over the world to see this.
Death Mask Collection
It’s known as the Laurence Hutton Death Mask Collection and it’s housed in a small part of the Princeton University Library. It’s a collection of casts, three dimensional, taken to forever capture the faces of the famous dead such as Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin, etc. It’s one of the biggest death mask collections in the world and it’s creepy as hell.
This is New Jersey’s bug museum, because, you know, we need one of those. It’s in Toms River and it’s a big hit with a lot of kids. You can check out a live ant nest, touch a tarantula and see insects from around the globe.
The Stone Museum is in Monroe, NJ and it’s a little hard to explain. It’s rocks. Lots of rocks. But it’s more than that. There’s a room with fluorescent minerals (very cool if you never saw something like this), a dinosaur statue twenty feet tall and made all from recyclables, a real dinosaur egg from China and many other surprises.
This is a small and extremely creepy museum that sits within the Paranormal Books & Curiosities Shop in Asbury Park. It’s said to have artifacts that are spiritually attached and a possessed doll. Fun fact: I once spent the night alone in this building that is purported to be haunted. This was before the museum opened but many of its artifacts were already there and kept me company all night. I never saw anything, but I did hear footsteps from upstairs in the dead of night when no one was there.