BibleWalk, Ohio’s “largest and only wax museum,” has been delighting believers and non-believers alike since 1983.
Pastor Richard Diamond started the museum in 1983, after being inspired by a visit to another wax museum several years earlier. Realizing that making new wax figures was expensive, Diamond began searching for used figures from museums around the country. Many of his early figures were re-purposed from a defunct Bible wax museum in Pennsylvania.
Over the course of 30 years, the museum has grown from just a few figures and biblical scenes to over 300 figures and five distinct tours: The Life of Christ, Miracles of the Old Testament, Museum of Christian Martyrs, Heart of the Reformation, and Amazing Grace: The Journeys of Paul. All of these scenes were built by the congregants of the Diamond Hill Cathedral, who also run the museum.
The museum has continued its re-purposing of old wax figures, which leads to some bizarre scenes. A visitor may spy a discarded John Travolta as King Solomon or Tom Cruise making an appearance as Jesus. The Last Supper was made by craftsmen who work for Madame Tussauds. The figures were rescued from another museum in Arkansas, and the narration provides a background on each apostle and his significance in the Bible.
In addition to the wax figures, the museum houses a collection of rare Bibles, Christian folk art, and paintings, wood carvings, and a 39-panel Walk of the Parables by Mark Pedro, which was rescued from a museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The museum also has a replica Crown of Thorns. The church itself is known for its parade floats and has a sizable collection of awards and trophies. And for the truly curious, they also have a dinner theater that operates April through June with shows put on by members of the Diamond Hill Cathedral.
Know Before You Go
Just up the road from the Ohio State Reformatory.