The Museum Of The Weird was to have been a Madame Tussaud's-like attraction inside The Haunted Mansion's entrance. It would have been themed around being a museum of paranormal oddities in a fantastical setting.
Such oddities included a melting candle man, Romani and Voodoo artifacts, a chair that stood up and talked with guests, a appearing and disappearing organist, among other trinkets and items.
Exhibits would include:
- A Melting Candle man who would melt in-front of guests' eyes.
- A Mistress of All Evil who would fly overtop of guests while on fire and cackling.
- A skeletal player who would fade in and out of sight while playing an organ.
- Chairs which had faces and would speak to guests.
- An aquarium filled with skeleton fish that would transform into living fish and back.
- Man-eating plants.
- A crystal ball with a Romani character known as Madame Z. Marble busts would stare at guests in this scene. She would also have her own vardo.
- A grandfather coffin clock.
- Anthropomorphic mushrooms gathered by a fireplace.
- Taxidermy creatures like a bird and a Mothman.
- Furniture inspired by Jean Cocteau's 1946 film La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) composed of what would appear to be human limbs.
The Museum of the Weird was conceptualized by imagineer and artist Rolly Crump.
In 1965, Rolly Crump appeared alongside a diorama of the Museum in the Disneyland 10th Anniversary episode of Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Here we see Walt Disney and, "Disneyland ambassador" Julie Reihm being shown the museum with some of the would-be attraction's effects.
Ultimately the attraction would stop being developed.
Though the attraction was ultimately scrapped in the end, when the Haunted Mansion became a ride-thru, many of the concepts and illusions made it into the final attraction. This includes:
- The organist who fades in and out of existence, resembling the disappearing skeleton organ-player.
- The design of the chair by the Corridor of Doors is reminiscent of the faced furniture in Crump's art. Said chair can also be seen in the Ballroom and the Library.
- The séance chamber is reminiscent of Crump's plans for Romani features.
- The staring busts would be repurposed for the final attraction.
- Rolly's design for the enchanted Romani wagon was later reworked for what is now Madame Leota's Cart.
- The Beauty and the Beast inspired arm candelabras are featured in the Exit Crypt.
- In Walt Disney World, the Haunted Mansion has an organist's crypt decorated with musical instruments inspired by Rolly Crump's Museum of the Weird art.
There are also similarities between the Museum and 2013 attraction Mystic Manor, in that they both feature strange and unusual artifacts from around the world that come to life. This includes featuring a man-eating plant.
- The original Ghost Relations Department placed outside of the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland mentioned the Mansion having a, "Museum of the Supernatural" located within it.
- The ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad features an easter-egg connecting to the Museum of the Weird. In a letter found in the ride's Magic Kingdom queue, S.E.A. leader Jason Chandler mentions consulting with the Museum for a supernatural occurrence within Big Thunder Mountain. He also mentions the museum being run by one Madame Zarkov.
- There is an easter-egg on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland pertaining to Rolly Crump which references the Museum of the Weird. The location is themed around being a fortune-teller's business with the window reading, "Fargo's Palm Parlour; Predictions that will haunt you; Bazaar, whimsical & Weird. Designs to die for Roland F. Crump assistant to the Palm Reader". On the window, concept-art made by Crump appears including the Coffin Clock, a tower from It's a Small World in Fantasyland, and Maui from the Enchanted Tiki Room.
In Other Media
In 2010, a Museum of the Weird movie was put into development, but ultimately never materialized.
In 2013, Disney comics and the recently purchased Marvel Comics began developing a comic known as Seekers Of The Weird which would be part of their Disney Kingdoms line of comics based off of Disney Parks.
In this series, The Museum of the Wyrd is a secret facility in New Orleans which is controlled by an organization known as, The Wardens. The museum is used to seal away supernatural threats from the rest of the world. It is depicted as being a floating island with mystic plant-life and vast architecture on it.
In the story, the Mistress of Evil from the attraction is the leader of a group known as the Shadow Society which breaks into the museum to release an entity known as the Reaper King from the coffin clock. They would succeed, only to be stripped of their immortality by the Reaper King who himself was resealed by the story's protagonists.
- Rolly Crump
- Mistress of Evil
- Grandfather Coffin Clock
- Face Armchair
- Mushroom People
- Beast Man
- Ghost Fish Tank
- Seekers of the Weird