Dr. Gloom's Crypt of Curiosities - Atlas Obscura

Dr. Gloom's Crypt of Curiosities

First Call Paranormal & Oddities Museum

Fiji mermaids, mummified remains, and recreated cryptids are among the morbid oddities at this Maryland museum. 


The original Crypt of Curiosities was first opened in 1954 in Greencastle, Indiana by Dr. Augustus Gloom. Born in 1917, Gloom was intrigued by the strange and unusual from a very young age. His morbid interest in death customs and bizarre tribal rituals lead his fellow students at Adamson University to refer to him as “Gloomy Gus.” With this morose moniker adopted proudly, Gloom doubled down on his peculiar hobbies and began to amass the most incredible collection of outlandish artifacts in the continental United States

While Dr. Gloom worked toward his PhD in Archeology, his sister Beatrice attended to the daily operations of the museum. It remained in Greencastle until the spring of 1977, when Dr. Gloom was killed in a freak ferris wheel accident while on a sideshow-gaffe-buying expedition. 

Beatrice Gloom sold the entire collection to the public library of Elm Buff, Alabama. The collection stayed in storage for a decade when it was purchased by notable cryptozoology enthusiast, Geena “Mean Geen” Bartolli. She converted her garage into what would become the modern Crypt of Curiosities. For decades, she gave small-group tours to eager visitors from around the world.

In the winter of 2015, Bartolli met the current curator, horror filmmaker Chris LaMartina. Impressed by his motion picture, Call Girl of Cthulhu and his clearly Sicilian surname, she asked if he would be interested in maintaining the museum upon her retirement. LaMartina agreed on the condition that he could relocate the museum to Havre de Grace, Maryland, where the fourth incarnation of the beloved Crypt of Curiosities is in the process of re-locating. The collection will be a part of the First Call Paranormal & Oddities Museum.

Know Before You Go

Dr. Gloom's Crypt of Curiosity is currently in the process of moving its collection to First Call Paranormal & Oddities Museum in Havre de Grace, Maryland.  You can follow them on Instagram at @odditiesmuseum for more information.

Please DO NOT go to the former location on Leadenhall Street, as it has closed.

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