Mysteries at the Museum Travel Guide

Filter: See & Do
See & Do
76 Days Adrift

Documenting nearly 3,000 years of man’s history at sea, the Mariners’ Museum explains how a device sustained amateur sailor, Steve Callahan, through a historic, yet possibly tragic, quest for glory.

Mariners’ Museum
100 Museum Dr
Newport News, VA 23601

 
See & Do
Annie Oakley

The Autry National Center in Los Angeles is the final resting place of the famed Annie Oakley's pistols.

4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA 90027

 
See & Do
Arsenic Anna

A rosary that belonged to a notorious criminal can be found at the Ohio Historical Society, which includes a museum along with its archives, library and preservation office.

Ohio Historical Society
800 E 17th Ave
Columbus, OH 43211

 
See & Do
Atlas Missile

The San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park features more than 120 pieces of aircraft in their collection.

San Diego Air & Space Museum
Gillespie Field Annex
335 Kenney St
El Cajon, CA

 
See & Do
Battle of the Crater

At the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, a mangled sword bears the scars of an unprecedented, earth-shaking trauma. In what explosive military maneuver was this sword wielded, and how did it tip the balance of the Civil War?

428 North Blvd
Richmond, VA 23220

 
See & Do
Bogus Proclamation

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL, displays a letter, signed by the former president himself, that was at the center of a story of deception, treachery and greed.

112 N Sixth St
Springfield, IL 62701

 
See & Do
Boss Tweed

At the Museum of the City of New York sits a small hollow figure of a portly man, a caricature of one of the Big Apple’s most influential -- and crooked -- politicians.

Museum of the City of New York
1220 5th Ave
Manhattan, NY 10029

 
See & Do
Boston Strangler

The Museum of Crime and Punishment contains a simple switchblade which belonged to a man who many believe was one of Boston’s most notorious killers. Spanning decades, the case remains largely unsolved to this very day.

Museum of Crime and Punishment
575 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20004

 
See & Do
Boston Tea Party Museum

At the Boston Tea Party Museum, visitors get a rare glimpse at one of only 2 surviving tea crates from the infamous event and learn of the mysterious circumstances around one of the nation’s most iconic moments.

Boston Tea Party Museum
306 Congress St
Boston, MA 02210

See & Do
Brassiere Brigade

At the St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida, a 1950s-era brassiere played a strange role in one of the most salacious scams the nation has ever seen. So, what unexpected boost did this fashion provide in a titillating scheme of deception?

335 2nd Ave NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

 
See & Do
Bride of Frankenstein

At the Fort East Martello Museum, a cracked funerary plaque that once adorned a beautiful woman’s grave now tells of one man’s grotesque attempt to bring his love back from the dead.

East Mortello Fort & Museum
3501 S Roosevelt Blvd
Key West, FL

 
See & Do
Bugsy Seigel

At the Los Angeles Police Museum, twisted bullet fragments are all that remain of a notorious gangster’s brutal mob-land slaying that shocked tinsel town and remains shrouded in mystery.

LA Police Museum
6045 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

 
See & Do
Carrie Nation

The city of Bardstown is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World and is home to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey. But one of its most intriguing objects is a hatchet that belonged to an activist who fought for temperance.

Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey
114 North Fifth St
Bardstown, KY 40004

 
See & Do
Chemist’s War

A dusty glass bottle on display at the Museum of the American Gangster speaks to a terrifying outbreak that sent shockwaves throughout the city during the Prohibition era.

Museum of the American Gangster
80 St Marks Pl
New York, NY 10003

 
See & Do
Child Warrior

The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, TX, is home to a handmade talisman worn by a courageous young teenager who surmounted a harrowing fate on the American frontier.

2503 Fourth Ave, Canyon, TX 79015

 
See & Do
Chosen Few

At the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia, a number of Tootsie Rolls on-display speak to one of the Marine Corps’ most challenging engagements.

18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Triangle, VA 22172

 
See & Do
Cigar Box Bomb

This seemingly innocuous box can be found at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, which is dedicated to the preservation of the postal service’s history with exhibitions of stamps, machinery and other artifacts.

National Postal Museum
2 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

 
See & Do
Circling the Skies

The Old Capitol Museum in Jackson, Mississippi has in its collection a reel of film that depicts a high-flying stunt.

100 S State St
Jackson, MS 39201

 
See & Do
Civil War Spy Scroll

At the International Spy Museum is a small piece of paper that represents one of the most thrilling espionage sagas of the Civil War.

International Spy Museum
800 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

 
See & Do
The Conch Republic

At Florida’s History Miami, a colorful flag represents a David-and-Goliath battle that rocked a tropical paradise.

101 West Flagler Street, Miami, FL 33130

 
See & Do
Cottingley Fairies

At the Salon de Majie, amidst relics and artifacts from magic’s rich history, a series of fantastical photos tell of 2 young girls who offered evidence of mystical creatures and whose claims sparked a wave of controversy.

Salon de Magie
6600 Smith Rd
Loveland, OH 45140

 
See & Do
Count Lustig’s Counterfeit Money

The Secret Service Museum showcases the hulking frame of an antique printing press which was used by a prolific conman to carry out one of the largest counterfeiting operations in US history.

Secret Service Museum
950 H St NW 912
Washington, DC 20223

 
See & Do
Cowboy’s Revenge

In the collection of the Llano Estacado Museum in Plainview, TX, is a set of mug shots that represents an unlikely hero and a notorious crime ring.

1900 W Seventh St
Plainview, TX 79072

 
See & Do
Dare to Dream

At the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, MN, is a traditional Viking ship that undertook an incredible sea voyage and fulfilled an impossible dream.

202 First Ave N, Moorhead, MN 56560

 
See & Do
Denver Spiderman

Canyon City, Colorado is home to the Museum of Colorado Prisons.

201 1st St, Cañon City, CO 81212

 
See & Do
Diamond Hoax

This museum tells the story behind a collection of false diamonds and the role they played in a glittering tale of discovery, power and greed.

Hardin County History Museum
201 W Dixie Ave
Elizabethtown, KY 42701

 
See & Do
Doc Susie

Located in Fraser, CO, the Cozens Ranch Museum has a worn leather medical bag that’s filled with a doctor’s tools of the trade.

77849 US Hwy 40
Fraser, CO 80442

 
See & Do
Don Bolles' Car

The Newseum showcases the mangled body of a car from the 1970s that tells of an intrepid journalist’s dogged pursuit of truth in the face of grave danger.

Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

 
See & Do
Doyle and Houdini

The Houdini Museum in Scranton, Pennsylvania has a captivating portrait that played a central role in a tale that pitted a master illusionist against a literary lion.

1433 N Main Ave.
Scranton, PA 18508

 
See & Do
Dramatic Defection

At the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, lies a rusting revolver that played an integral role in a high-stakes game of international espionage.

800 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

 
See & Do
Duquesne Spy Ring

At the International Spy Museum in Washington DC, a rudimentary short-wave radio speaks to a damaging game of high-stakes espionage. Who operated this radio? And how did it pose a direct threat to America’s national security?

800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

 
See & Do
Dymaxion Car

The National Automobile Museum in Reno, NV, displays an unconventional vehicle with a daring design that once promised to revolutionize the entire auto industry

10 Lake St
Reno, NV 89501

 
See & Do
East River Blowout

At the New York Transit Museum, a piece of industrial machinery reminds visitors of a catastrophic subterranean disaster and the one man who lived to tell the tale.

New York Transit Museum
Boerum Pl
Brooklyn, NY 11201

 
See & Do
Edison’s Electric Pen

At the Thomas Edison Historical Park is one of the celebrated inventors’ biggest disappointments: the electric pen. Though this device failed to transform the world of business, it went on to make a surprising and lasting impression.

Thomas Edison National Historic Park
211 Main St
West Orange, NJ 07052

 
See & Do
Escape by Sea

The National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, GA, has a small ship model that represents one of the most thrilling tales of bravery to come out of the “War Between the States.”

1002 Victory Dr, Columbus, GA 31901

 
See & Do
Failed Assassination of JFK

The Belmont Public Library in New Hampshire has in its collection a small pin that was awarded for an immense act of heroism.

146 Main St
Belmont, NH 03220

 
See & Do
First Bank Robbery

At the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a sizable oil painting portrays a working man embroiled in an historic heist that sent the fledgling nation’s first capital into the grips of hysteria.

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
128 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

See & Do
Flight for Life

At the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida, an unassuming aircraft speaks to one of the most dramatic operations in military history. So, what role did this plane play in an epic act of human bravery?

1750 Radford Blvd, Pensacola, FL 32506

 
See & Do
Flour Mill Explosion

Located on the Mississippi River, the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, MN, is built into the ruins of the world’s largest flour mill with many of the mill’s original features still in tact.

Mill City Museum
704 S 2nd St
Minneapolis, MN 55401

 
See & Do
Flying Lawn Chair

Among the venerated vessels of flight at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in California is an ordinary lawn chair with milk jugs attached to it with rope and tape.

San Diego Air & Space Museum
2001 Pan American Plaza
San Diego, CA 92101

 
See & Do
Four Corners Outbreak

The University of New Mexico’s Museum of Southwestern Biology is home to a jar of animal specimens that once spread the fear of death over the entire region.

1 University Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131

 
See & Do
Fox Kidnapping

At the Los Angeles Police Museum, a set of handwritten notes and a photo of a young man tell a bone-chilling story of a kidnapping gone wrong.

Los Angeles Police Museum
6045 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

 
See & Do
Fram

The American Yacht Club contains an extensive collection of model ships. And one such model showcases an innovative design that was used by a courageous explorer to battle the elements in his attempt to reach one of Earth’s harshest environments.

American Yacht Club
499 Stuyvesant Ave
Rye, NY 10580

 
See & Do
Franklin’s Arctic Expedition

The Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society in New York City, where this carving is housed, preserves artifacts of nineteenth-century Artic exploration, most significantly, that of Sir John Franklin, whose expedition ended fatally.

Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society
71 W 23rd St
New York, NY 10010

 
See & Do
Funhouse Mummy

Dedicated to preserving the history of Oklahoma, this museum houses a wide array of artifacts from the state’s boom times.

Oklahoma Territorial Museum
406 E Oklahoma Ave
Guthrie, OK 73044

 
See & Do
Furry Fishtail

The Salida Museum in Salida, Colorado is home to a curious aquatic critter that once hooked the public’s imagination. So what exactly is this furry river-dweller, and how did it transform the city of Salida?

406 W Rainbow Blvd
Salida, CO 81201

 
See & Do
Gaynor Assassination

At the Museum of the City of New York, a diminutive blue silk ribbon speaks to an outsize tale of extortion and retribution.

1220 Fifth Ave
New York, NY 10029

 
See & Do
Gentleman Joe

Housed within the Trinity Church Archives in New York City is a journal that chronicles a shockingly unholy series of events.

74 Trinity Pl, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10006

 
See & Do
Glass Armonica

Among the items at the Bakken Museum is a wooden and glass musical instrument, invented by one of America’s founding fathers.

Bakken Museum
3537 Zenith Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55416

See & Do
The Godfather of Cool

The John Gorrie Museum State Park in Apalachicola, FL, is home to a bulky machine that revolutionized modern life.

46 Sixth St, Apalachicola, FL 32320

 
See & Do
Golden Venture

Located in New York City’s bustling Chinatown district, the Museum of Chinese in America documents the trials the Chinese undertook to start over in the United States.

Museum of the Chinese in America
215 Centre St
New York, NY 10013

 
See & Do
Great Imposter

Located in Huntsville, Texas, the Texas Prison Museum displays has a key in its collection which was used by a remarkably shady imposter who pulled off a jaw-dropping feat of trickery.

491 State Highway 75,
Huntsville, TX 77320

 
See & Do
Haunting in Connecticut

The John Zaffis Paranormal Museum is home to a figurine of the Virgin Mary that’s been viciously mutilated by supernatural means.

Stratford, Connecticut, 06615

See & Do
Haunting of the Bell Witch

Located just behind the Bell-Willet Museum in Adams, TN, those with a pension for the paranormal can visit a log cabin that was the site of a series of ghostly encounters.

Adam’s Museum
7617 Hwy 41 N
Adams, TN 37010

 
See & Do
Henry Box Brown

The Virginia Historical Society is home to a work of art that depicts a stunning act of bravery. A tobacco plantation slave named Henry Brown packed himself in a wooden crate and had it shipped North in search of freedom.

Virginia Historical Society
428 N. Blvd
Richmond, VA 23220

 
See & Do
Hodag

Visitors to The Rhinelander Logging Museum are greeted by the snarling and hideous face of a beast that many believed terrorized the people of this peaceful region.

Logging Museum Pioneer Park
E Kemp St
Rhinelander, WI

 
See & Do
Human Crash Test Dummy

The New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM, displays a turbo-powered contraption that was involved in some of the most groundbreaking -- and life threatening -- experiments of the 20th century.

3198 State Route 2001
Alamogordo, NM 88310

 
See & Do
Hunger Strike

The Sewall-Belmont House and Museum in Washington, DC, displays a small pin which symbolizes one woman’s perilous push in the fight for equality.

144 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

See & Do
The Infamous Jersey Devil

At the International Cryptozoology Museum, a nondescript plaster cast of hoof prints tells of a series of hair raising encounters with a mythical beast that was reportedly terrifying the people of New Jersey.

International Cryptozoology Museum
11 Avon St
Portland, ME 04101

 
See & Do
Invention of Halloween

The orange and black frock on display at the Kansas Museum of History is a fitting tribute to a woman who turned Halloween into a celebrated and joyous holiday.

Kansas State Historical Society
6425 SW Sixth Ave
Topeka, KS 66615-1099

 
See & Do
Invention of the Barcode

At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, one commonplace can of corn, branded with a now ubiquitous label, tells of an unlikely story of invention that helped usher in a consumer revolution.

National Museum of American History
1400 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20560

 
See & Do
Invention of the Microwave

At the National Electronics Museum is a piece of technology from the 1940s that was threatened with obsolescence after the end of World War II. How did it find an unlikely second act and jolt kitchens around the world into the modern age?

National Electronics Museum
1745 West Nursery Rd
Linthicum, MD 21090

 
See & Do
Isaac’s Storm

The colorful history of Galveston, Texas is on display at The Galveston County Museum.

123 Rosenberg, Suite 4157
Galveston, TX 77550

 
See & Do
Jane Doe Discovered

The Visitor’s Center at the Boulder County Sherriff’s Office in Boulder Colorado contains in its collection the bust of a beautiful woman that might seem more at home in an art museum.

5600 Flatiron Pkwy
Boulder, CO

 
See & Do
Jewel Heist of the Century

At the Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center in San Clemente, CA, a colorful surfboard speaks to one of history’s most notorious heists.

110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente, CA 92672

 
See & Do
John Brown Pike

The Kansas Historical Society was founded in 1875, and today, the museum sits on 80 acres of land devoted to preserving the state’s great history.

Kansas Historical Society
6425 SW 6th Ave
Topeka, KS 66615

 
See & Do
Judgment in Paris

In Washington, DC, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History has in its collection a wine bottle that represents an underdog tale of an unlikely upstart who revolutionized global tastes.

Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

 
See & Do
Kidnapping of Nell Donnelly

At the Kansas City Museum, a demure dress on display is a poignant reminder of one of the most shocking crimes of the 1930s and of the unlikely heroes who came to the rescue.

Kansas City Museum at Corinthian Hall
3218 Gladstone Blvd
Kansas City, MO 64123

 
See & Do
Kiss that Saved a Million Lives

The International Life Cast Museum in the Allston neighborhood of Boston houses the cast of a woman whose beguiling smile conceals an amazing tale of unlikely celebrity.

119 Braintree St,
Boston, MA 02134

 
See & Do
Lady and the Panda

1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

 
See & Do
Lawnmower Man

The Pocahontas County Historical Society Museum in Laurens, IA has a green and yellow John Deere riding lawnmower that was used for more than just trimming grass.

271 N 3rd St. Laurens, IA
50554

 
See & Do
Liberty Nickel

The Money Museum at the American Numismatic Association houses a number of galleries dedicated to the association’s comprehensive collection of coins and paper money.

Money Museum
818 N Cascade Ave
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

 
See & Do
Limping Lady

The collection at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, includes an identification card used by a cunning agent to avert detection.

800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

 
See & Do
Lizard Man

Inside the South Carolina Cotton Museum in Bishopville is a cryptic cast of what appears to be a footprint. Many are convinced that this mark was left by a half man, half lizard mutant creature that once lurked in the swamps of this community.

SC Cotton Museum
131 West Cedar Ln
Bishopville, SC 29010

 
See & Do
Lorenzo’s Oil

Within the collection of the San Diego Natural History Museum in California is an ordinary plant that holds miraculous powers.

1788 El Prado,
San Diego, CA 92101

 
See & Do
Love Canal

Within the archives of the University at Buffalo’s Capen Hall in upstate New York, lies a property deed that is tied to one woman’s epic fight for justice.

12 Capen Hall, Buffalo, New York 14260

 
See & Do
Mail Missile

Within the collection of the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, is a simple metal container that once embarked on a gravity-defying journey, helping to safeguard the nation.

2 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002

 
See & Do
Manhattan Water Company

Among the documents, artwork, and pristine artifacts at The New York Historical Society in New York City is a crude piece of hollow wood that’s over 200 years old.

170 Central Park West, New York City, NY 10024

 
See & Do
Martian Monkey

In Decatur, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Museum has preserved evidence of a strange being that some believed was evidence of a close encounter.

3121 Panthersville Rd
Decatur, Georgia 30034

 
See & Do
Match of the Century

The World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri is home to a hand-carved chess set that was once used in a crucial match at the height of the 20th century’s most dramatic political standoff.

4652 Maryland Ave
St Louis, MO 63108

 
See & Do
Max Factor

The Hollywood Museum in California displays several items that were designed by a pioneer in the glamorous world of silver-screen beauty, Max Factor.

1660 N Highland Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028

 
See & Do
Meat Rain

At the Monroe Moosnick Museum, a jar containing a strange substance is the only evidence of a freak meteorological event in which mysterious meat inexplicably rained from the sky.

Monroe Moosnick Medical and Science Museum
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY 40508

 
See & Do
Meucci Phone

This museum is the historic home of inventor Antonio Meucci, who is believed to be the true inventor of the telephone. The museum offers exhibitions, lectures and concerts that celebrate Italian history in America.

Garibaldi-Meucci Museum
420 Tompkins Ave
Staten Island, NY 10305

 
See & Do
Michigan Triangle

At the Michigan Maritime Museum, a tattered, old salmon-colored dress shirt is a poignant reminder of a mysterious and otherworldly aviation anomaly that still remains a mystery to this day.

Michigan Maritime Museum
260 Dyckman Ave
South Haven, MI 49090

 
See & Do
Miracle Car

At the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, a uniquely designed car once promised to save a nation in the midst of an unprecedented fuel crisis.

Petersen Automotive Museum
6060 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

 
See & Do
Morgan Depot

Striving to preserve New Jersey’s rich history, the Thomas Warne Historical Museum in Old Bridge, NJ, has an artifact on display that has been scarred by a violent past, telling a tale of unprecedented devastation.

Thomas Warne Historical Museum and Library
4216 Route 516
Matawan, NJ 07747

 
See & Do
Mother of Civil Rights

Within the collection of The San Francisco History Center in California, lie two cookbooks once penned by a woman whose meteoric rise to fame was tragically cut-short.

100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

 
See & Do
Mother of CSI

At Maryland’s Office of the Medial Examiner, visitors can inspect an array of childlike dollhouses whose morbid displays of death played an unexpected role in the history of modern crime scene investigation.

Baltimore Medical Examiner’s Office
900 W Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21223

 
See & Do
Murder at Harvard

At Harvard University’s Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, one peculiar artifact tells a sickening tale of greed and deceit.

10 Shattuck St #3,
Boston, MA 02115

 
See & Do
Murder at the Garden

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a bronze statue of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. This work of art bore witness to a scandalous, turn of the century crime that rocked high society and the nation.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Pwky
Philadelphia, PA 19130

 
See & Do
Myrtles Plantation

Prominently displayed in this lavish mansion, a massive antique mirror has sparked an otherworldly controversy, causing some to believe that the mottled glass is actually a portal to the world beyond the grave.

7747 US 61
St Francisville, LA 70775

 
See & Do
Mysterious Death of President Harding

At the Southeastern Railway Museum, visitors can marvel at the stately train car of President Warren G. Harding and learn of his untimely and mysterious death while traveling on board.

Southeastern Railway Museum
3595 Buford Hwy
Duluth, GA 30096

 
See & Do
Mystery Brass Plate

S Hall Rd, Berkeley, CA 94720

See & Do
Natural Born Killers

The Nebraska History Museum displays a gun that triggered a terrifying series of events that gripped the nation, when 2 teenage lovers went on one of the most horrific and infamous crime sprees in modern history.

15th and P Streets
Lincoln, NE 68508

 
See & Do
Nazi Art Hoax

At the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts in Springfield, MA, one canvas in the collection conceals a stunning mystery.

21 Edwards St Springfield, MA
01103

 
See & Do
Nellie Bly’s Bag

At the Newseum is a worn leather bag that once belonged to a pioneering journalist. Her hard-hitting investigation was as groundbreaking as it was risky, almost making her a casualty of the very dark and sinister practices she was trying to uncover.

Newseum
555 Pennsylvania Ave
NW Washington, DC 20001

 
See & Do
The Night Disco Exploded

The Baseball Reliquary exhibit in Arcadia, CA, displays a set of melted vinyl records that sparked the decline of a cultural phenomenon.

Arcadia, CA

 
See & Do
Noah’s Ark

At the Wyatt Archaeological Museum, visitors can see a giant slab of rock unearthed from the hills of Turkey which some believe is fossilized proof of a biblical vessel.

Wyatt Archaeological Museum
2502 Lynnville Hwy
Cornersville, TN 37047

 
See & Do
Northfield Raid

At the Northfield Historical Society in Northfield, MN, visitors can view a massive iron safe which stopped a robbery and thwarted one of the most ruthless gangs of the Wild West.

Northfield Historical Society
408 Division St
S Northfield, MN

See & Do
Nuclear Accident

The EBR-I Atomic Museum is housed in a former nuclear facility. And one artifact there, an oversized panel with red lights, speaks to one of the worst nuclear accidents in American history.

Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR)-I Atomic Museum
U.S. Highway 20-26
Arco, ID 83213

 
See & Do
Old State Prison Haunting

The Old State Prison Museum in Deer Lodge, MT, has a pair of concrete shoes in its possession that were used to punish a convict placed in solitary confinement for his dastardly and horrific deeds.

1106 Main St
Deer Lodge, MT 59722

 
See & Do
Oneida

The Oneida Community Mansion House contains a set of silverware that represents the dark and sinister secrets of the people who once lived in this sprawling building.

Oneida Community Mansion House
170 Kenwood Ave
Oneida, NY 13421

 
See & Do
Operation Paperclip

At the US Space and Rocket Center in Alabama, a worn-out bicycle speaks to an incredible journey that changed how mankind saw the universe.

One Tranquility Base
Huntsville, AL 35808

 
See & Do
Operation Pastorius

The collection of the National Firearms Museum includes a World War II-era pistol that was found during the hunt for a secret network of spies operating on American soil. What evil plot was discovered along with this gun?

National Firearms Museum
11250 Waples Mill Rd
Fairfax, VA 22030

 
See & Do
Orthodox Smugglers

The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum in Arlington, VA, is home to a set of vibrant pills that was once at the heart of a treacherous scheme.

700 Army Navy Dr
Arlington, VA 22202

 
See & Do
Oscilloclast

The Texarkana Museum of Regional History in Texas is home to a mysterious wooden crate that once held the promise of a medical miracle.

420 Pine St
Texarkana, TX 75501

 
See & Do
Painless Parker

At Temple University’s Historical Dental Museum, curious visitors can marvel at a metal pail filled to the brim with human teeth. The owner of this bizarre bucket was an influential and controversial character in the strange history of dentistry.

Historical Dental Museum
3223 North Broad St Temple University
Philadelphia, PA 19122

 
See & Do
Perpetual Motion Machine

At the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is a small wooden machine that once appeared to propel itself without any external power source.

222 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

 
See & Do
Philly Outbreak

At the David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta, curious visitors can inspect a jug of strange yellow liquid and learn of a terrifying and mysterious newplague which once had the nation in the grips of terror.

CDC Museum
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30329

 
See & Do
Phone Phreakers

At the Computer History Museum, visitors can see a strange, outdated piece of technology that was used to hack one of the largest networks in the world and played a devious part in one of the greatest technological advances of all time.

1401 N Shoreline Blvd
Mountain View, CA 94043

 
See & Do
Playboy’s Gold

The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia not only has exhibits on electricity and space, but it also houses a plane built by the Wright Brothers.

Franklin Institute
222 N 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

 
See & Do
Poison Squad

At the Chemical Heritage Foundation Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a medal represents one man’s controversial experiments and the efforts he undertook to change American dinner tables forever.

315 Chestnut St,
Philadelphia, PA 19106

 
See & Do
Poisonous Tomato

At the Salem Country Historical, one antique wooden desk was owned by a man embroiled in a centuries-old story of culinary daring.

Salem County Historical Society
83 Market St
Salem, NJ 08079

 
See & Do
Prison Experiment

A tattered and time-worn briefcase in this museum’s collection once belonged to an eccentric doctor who performed gruesome and controversial surgeries in an attempt to reverse aging.

Marin History Museum
1125 B St
San Rafael, CA 94901

 
See & Do
Project Alpha

The spoon can be found among the books and artifacts related to the paranormal at the James Randi Educational Foundation in Los Angeles, which is dedicated to exposing paranormal fraud.

James Randi Foundation Collection
1724 North Highland Ave
Hollywood, CA 90028

 
See & Do
Project Chariot

The Museum of the North in Fairbanks, AK, has in its collection a reminder of one of the most disturbing projects ever proposed by the US government, as it reveals a stunning secret about an alarming atomic age experiment.

907 Yukon Dr
Fairbanks, AK 99775

 
See & Do
Psychic Horse

The memo book can be found at the Rhine ESP/Parapsychology Museum in Durham, NC, which is home to various pieces of equipment that document the study of parapsychology over the past 70 years.

Rhine Research Center
2741 Campus Walk Ave
Building 500
Durham, NC 27705

 
See & Do
Pulaski Axe

The Wallace District Mining Museum in Wallace, ID, tells the story behind the Pulaski Axe and how it developed from the exploits of a heroic man, who bravely saved the men in his command from a near-certain death.

Wallace District Mining Museum
509 Bank St
Wallace, ID 83873

 
See & Do
Radioactive Boy Scout

Within the collection of the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History in Albuquerque, N.M. lies a cloth badge that speaks to an overly-ambitious teenager’s explosive experiment.

601 Eubank
Albuquerque, NM 87123

 
See & Do
Rags to Uranium Riches

Dan Laurie’s Museum of Moab.

118 E. Center Street Moab, UT
84532

 
See & Do
Rattlesnake James

The Marin History Museum in San Rafael, CA, is home to a tattered noose that once sealed the dismal fate of a notorious prisoner.

1125 B St, San Rafael
CA 94901

 
See & Do
Real Story Behind Argo

At the International Spy Museum, visitors can see a small plastic makeup compact used in one of the most daring rescues in CIA history.

International Spy Museum
800 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004

 
See & Do
Red Adair

This library and museum at Texas A&M University in College Station houses items that commemorate the country’s 41st president. But a helmet on display honors another famous Texan and is linked to a scorching tale of bravery.

George Bush Presidential Library & Museum
1000 George Bush Dr W
College Station, TX 77845

 
See & Do
Red Pepper Island

At the Bayou Teche Museum lies a gleaming mineral that served as a key ingredient in a spicy story that put this region on the map.

131 E Main St New Iberia, LA 70560

 
See & Do
Robber’s Bride

The Old Sacramento Visitors Center has in its collection an old Concord stagecoach that symbolizes the broken dreams of the Wild West.

Old Sacramento Visitors Center 1002 Second St
Sacramento, CA 95814

 
See & Do
Sally Rand's Fan Dance

A pair of ostrich feather fans stored in the museum’s archives tells of a risqué dancer who scandalized the Chicago World’s Fair and launched the career of an icon.

Chicago History Museum
1601 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

 
See & Do
San Diego Tank Rampage

At the General Patton Memorial Museum a massive tank on view harkens back to the terrifying day when a madman took control of a lethal war machine and laid siege to an American city.

General George S. Patton Memorial Museum
62510 Chiriaco Rd
Indio, CA 92201

 
See & Do
The Seven Sutherland Sisters

On display is a set of murky glass bottles that tell a hair-raising tale. They once contained a product that catapulted 7 impoverished and eccentric sisters to an improbable life of fame and fortune.

Niagara County Historical Society
215 Niagara St
Lockport, NY

 
See & Do
Shackleton Expedition

Located on the campus of Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, the Rauner Special Collections Library has in its collection a frayed journal that survived an awe-inspiring journey in the Antarctic.

6065 Webster Hall
Hanover, NH 03755

 
See & Do
Shakespeare's Lost Plays

The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, has in its collection a bound book full of handwritten annotations.

201 East Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003

 
See & Do
Singing Convict

Within the collection of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland sits a 12-string guitar that speaks to a legendary tale of murder, music and imprisonment.

1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114

 
See & Do
Skull in the Ashes

The Horridge House in Vinton, IA displays a damaged metal identification tag that played a role in a fiery tale of deception

612 1st Ave. Vinton, IA
52349

 
See & Do
Slave Spy

Within the collection of the Valentine Richmond History Center in Virginia is a 19th-century portrait of a man who once faced perilous risk for the nation.

1015 E Clay St
Richmond, VA 23219

 
See & Do
Space Race Finale

The California Science Center in Los Angeles displays a space capsule from a historic mission that held the fate of two embittered international rivals.

700 Exposition Park Dr, Los Angeles, CA
90037

 
See & Do
Spirit Trumpet

At the Skeptiseum, visitors can inspect a simple-looking tin trumpet that was once used in a chilling ritual which many believe proved the existence of life beyond the grave.

The Skeptiseum
1310 Sweet Home Rd
Amherst, NY 14228

 
See & Do
Sports Club Poisoning

The Corning Museum of Glass in New York displays a small blue bottle that was designed to contain a common remedy but was instead used in an incident that was anything but curative.

1 Museum Way, Corning, NY 14830

 
See & Do
Squeaky Fromme

The museum showcases a pistol that was used in an assassination attempt that shocked the world. But behind the sudden act of violence lies a bizarre plot, a notorious cult, and a man whose name has become synonymous with evil.

Gerald Ford Museum
303 Pearl St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

 
See & Do
SS Sultana

The Crittenden County Historical Museum has on display an unassuming rock-like object that played a role in one of the worst maritime disasters to befall the United States.

Crittenden County Museum
1112 Main St
Earle, AR 72331

 
See & Do
Stanley’s Snake Oil

At the Skeptiseum is a vile of clear liquid emblazoned with an antiquated label tells of a fabled miracle cure and the charismatic inventor who elevated the elixir to national prominence.

The Skeptiseum
1310 Sweet Home Rd
Amherst, NY 14228

 
See & Do
Strange Story of Rubber

Connecticut’s Naugatuck Historical Society, located in an old train station, chronicles many of the highpoints in Naugatuck’s history, including Charles Goodyear’s discovery of vulcanization.

Naugatuck Historical Society
195 Water St
Naugatuck, CT 06770

 
See & Do
Survival in the Colonies

At the Historic Jamestown Archaearium in Jamestown, Virginia, a ravaged human skull tells the secret of one of the darkest moments in the settlement of America.

1368 Colonial Pkwy Jamestown, VA 23081

 
See & Do
Tabloid Wars

At the Museum of the City of New York in Manhattan, a small round pin recalls a sensational struggle between two fiercely competitive men.

1220 5th Ave, Manhattan
NY 10029

 
See & Do
Teenage Atomic Spy

Located in New Mexico on the campus of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Bradbury Science Museum has an object in its collection that had an earth-shattering impact on modern history.

1350 Central Ave,
Los Alamos, NM 87544

 
See & Do
Twelve Years a Slave

8100 Hwy 71 South
Alexandria, LA 71302

 
See & Do
Typhoid Mary

Buried in the archives of the New York County Clerk’s Office is a file that tells of an epidemic which sent New York City into the grips of terror. The infamous woman at the center of it all has gone down in history.

City of NY Municipal Archives
31 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007

 
See & Do
UFOs Over Washington

At the National Air Force Museum visitors can marvel at an F-94 Starfire jet, the same model aircraft that was involved in a shocking encounter over the nation’s capital.

US Air Force Museum
1100 Spaatz St
Dayton, OH 45431

 
See & Do
Unlikely Assassin

New York’s Municipal Archives was founded in 1950 and is home to records, census data and directories that help its patrons research their family history.

Municipal Archives
31 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007

 
See & Do
Unusual Murder Defense

The Cripple Creek History Museum is home to a human cranium that provides a grim reminder of a dark chapter in the city’s past. What role did it play in a stunning case of cunning, intrigue, and murder?

5th & Bennett Ave., PO Box 1210
Cripple Creek, CO 80813

 
See & Do
Vanishing Carroll Deering

At the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is the bell from the Carroll Deering, a shipping vessel whose entire crew mysteriously vanished in one of the most confounding cases in seafaring history.

Graveyard of the Atlantic
59200 Museum Dr
Hatteras, NC

 
See & Do
The Walking Dead

Amongst the many strange artifacts at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum, visitors can inspect a simple and crudely-made whip that harkens back to a blood-chilling practice that defies belief.

New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum
724 Dumaine St
New Orleans, LA 70116

 
See & Do
War of Words

The San Mateo County History Museum is home to a firearm that represents the culmination of a vicious conflict between two prominent San Franciscans.

2200 Broadway St.
Redwood City, CA 94063

 
See & Do
Wax Statue of Madame Tussaud

Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum has roots dating back to the Paris of 1770. There, the museum’s namesake learned the art of wax modeling from her mentor, Dr. Philippe Curtius.

Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum
234 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036

 
See & Do
Whydah Galley

At the Whydah Pirate Museum, a small gold coin on display speaks of one man’s discovery of a centuries-old map and his tireless efforts to uncover a pirate’s treasure long thought lost.

Whydah Museum
16 Macmillan Wharf
Provincetown, MA 02657

 
See & Do
Widow Wise

The Peoples Mortuary Museum in Marietta, OH, is home to a 1920s-era hearse that speaks to one of the most confounding crimes in Ohio history.

408 Front St., Marietta, OH 45750

 
See & Do
Winter's tale

At the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida a curious-looking device has had a huge impact on life both in, and out of the water.

249 Windward Passage, Clearwater, FL 33767

 
See & Do
Wrong Way Flight

At the Museum of Flight in Seattle, a bare-bones Curtiss Robin plane tells the incredible tale of a hair-raising stunt.

9404 E Marginal Way S, Seattle, WA 98108

 

More United States Travel Guides

American Grilled: American Grilled Travel Guide

In the first season of the all-new series American Grilled, hardcore grilling enthusiasts go head-to-head ...

Trip Flip: Road Trip to Sturgis Travel Guide

Bert plans the ultimate road trip for 1 lucky Arizona couple to the largest motorcycle rally in the world, ...

Hotel Secrets & Legends: Hotel Secrets & Legends Travel Guide

Visit the hotels that still exist today, as seen on Hotel Secrets & Legends.

More Travel Inspirations

American Outdoor Adventure Sweeps
American Outdoor Adventure Sweeps

Enter for a chance to win an adventure getaway, plus $25k!

Food.com Holiday
Food.com's 50+ Top Holiday Food Gifts

Give them what they really want!

HGTV Dream Home
HGTV Dream Home 2015

Take a tour of the home we’ll be giving away. Look inside HGTV Dream Home 2015 now!