Obscura Society hopped on down to the Bunny Museum for an afternoon filled with tens of thousands of Leporids in every shape, size, and phase of life.
Holding the Guinness Book World record as the largest bunny collection in the world with over 28,000 bunnies, it stands to reason that to keep that number climbing, bunnies that enter the Bunny Museum must never leave. Judging by the “Garden of Broken Dreams”, where all of the broken bunnies go to rest, and the glass case filled with the freeze dried remains of pets who have passed on into Bunny Heaven, this assessment is sound.
The Bunny Museum was born on Valentine’s Day, 1993 when Steve Lubanski gave his then girlfriend (now wife) Candace Frazee a white plush bunny clutching a heart, an homage to her nickname for him, “Honey Bunny”. It became a “thing” for the couple, and according to Candace, who is also an expert on angels and Swedenborgian theology, they have been giving each other bunny gifts daily ever since. The couple won the Guinness Award in 1999 when they hit over 8,000 and have never looked back, turning their modest Pasadena home into a bunnicopia of collectibles, all painstakingly dusted and organized by theme. They share their bunny palace with 5 live rabbits, the freeze dried remains of pet bunnies past, and some regal looking cats, including a friendly bengal cat named Benji.
Every shelf in the Bunny Museum represents a theme, bunnies with bows, bunnies from different states, ballerina bunnies, angel bunnies, and just about any other kind of bunny you could imagine. Noticeably missing is Warner Bros. Bugs Bunny, which, as Candace hastily explains before one could think to ask, is in storage with a plethora of assorted bunnibilia that just couldn’t fit inside the house. Arguably the most disturbing collection is the Kids Dressed as Bunnies shelf, featuring dolls in bunny costumes looking surprised in their glass prisons.
Bunnies come in, but they never come back out, and why would they? Clearly no one would appreciate them as thoroughly or obsessively as Lubunzee will. (Lub(anski)+bun(nies)+(Fra)zee=Lubunzee) Four of their deceased fuzzy friends have been freeze dried and immortalized forever on display in the museum, a testament to the couple’s devotion to them. Peering through the spotless case, positioned in eternal rest or play, these four watch over the museum. According to signage on the door, also on guard are hidden cameras, as bunnylifters are not welcome.
From the backyard we are able to get some perspective on the sheer numbers of bunnies shoved into the house, as we observe the french doors to one of the more excessively crammed rooms from the outside. We go back inside to double check. Yep. The bunnies are at least two layers deep, as they are face out both inside and outside of the room. We start to wonder, is it possible to see every bunny in one visit? Has anyone fallen victim to a bunny avalanche and been lost forever? Hundreds of rabbit faces peer at us, forever silent.
With Christmas right around the corner, the Bunny Museum was decorated accordingly, and we were enthusiastically prodded into decorating the tree. While most of the museum is a hands-in-your-pockets kind of place, we were encouraged to pick our own ornament from a huge selection and hang it on the tree in the claustrophobic living room a-glow with Christmas lights. Since there were so many choices, we were allowed to place several, each placement dutifully recorded by Candace and her ever-present video camera. After one last hunt for a live bunny to pet, and a few more quick photos of the busted bunny remains in the Garden of Broken Dreams, we hopped on our way for libations and brainstorming, bunny bumping each other deep into the evening. (“Bunny Bumping” is a secret bunny handshake Candace taught us, get your mind out of the gutter. The Bunny Museum is all ages!)
DO IT YOURSELF
The Bunny Museum is open every day by appointment, and open on all holidays, no appointment necessary. Guided and self guided tours are available, and admission is free. Please see the museum’s FAQ page here before phoning for an appointment.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO JOINED US!
The Obscura Society is the real-world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura We seek out secret histories, unusual access, and opportunities for our community to explore strange and overlooked places hidden all around us. Join us on our next adventure!
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