The next time I'm in Austin, Texas, I'm definitely going to check out the "Museum of the Weird"—which is described on its website as "a strange collection of oddities and a must-see experience." I think it looks very cool! The Darker Side of Austin explains:
The city's most curious and mysterious gift shop. In the back of the shop is what some call Austin's best kept secret…
The Museum of the Weird is Austin's very own dime museum, and one of the few active dime museums remaining in the United States. You'll enjoy all sort of oddities and freaks of nature on display, a sideshow performance, and the Sfanthor wax figure collection.
And Roadside America has a really engaging piece about the museum. Here's an excerpt:
"Keep Austin Weird" is the long-promoted slogan for a community that hardly needs encouragement to hang out in the deep end of the freak pool. Still, the Museum of the Weird does its part by delivering a potent dose of quirk to the curious along Austin's main tourist drag.
The museum, nestled within the Lucky Lizard curio shop, has an eclectic array of monsters and freaky hoo-ha, from a stuffed cyclops pig to a notorious frozen cave man. Owner Steve Busti created the store and collection with his wife Veronica, reflecting his lifelong fascination with the bizarre (Steve also owned Austin's SFanthor wax museum, which closed, and is now part of the Weird museum).
"We opened the Lucky Lizard in 2005," Steve said. "It was a combination of both of our interests. The museum started as the gift store, with weird items displayed but also for sale. We realized people were interested in just looking at the oddities we sold — we also didn't want to part with some of them. We had two pet lizards in the back of the original store, and people would come in to look at them. They'd not buy anything and leave, and return with friends to look, and still not buy anything." . . .
The collection is presented in a series of hallways and small rooms with crowded glass cases. Glaring out from one are heads shrunken by the dreaded Jivaro Indians of the Amazon jungle. There's a 3,000 year old mummy, and a replica skull of a Texan Bigfoot. Nearby is dried fruit from a tree that only produces fruit in the shape of a woman spirit who annoyed a wise man in India.
If you're interested in learning more about the museum, you should go read the rest of the article, because it discusses the museum's various cursed articles (such as a pair of fertility statues, and a box with an accompanying note that says "never, ever, ever open this box"), and recounts stories of the museum's hauntings. Also check out the museum's Facebook page for more info!