A TRIP TO WEREWOLF COUNTRY: Vampires at Ripley’s
I just got back home from an excursion to Wisconsin, where I attempted to track down the legendary Beast of Bray Road. (Read all about my exploits in the land of cheese and werewolves over at out sister site werewolves.com!) While in Wisconsin I stayed at a charming little motel called the Indian Trails Inn, an older venue with a true retro motel feel to it, in the tourist hotspot of Wisconsin Dells. I knew I wanted to see the Dells—a series of unique geologic formations found nowhere else on the planet, while I was there, and Wisconsin Dells the town was conveniently centrally located to all the major sites I planned to visit: Bray Road, the grave of Ed Gein, the home of the Hodag, and the House on the Rock. I *did* see the Dells, taking a ride in an aquatic “duckboat” vehicle. But I almost—almost—skipped the local RIPLEY’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT attraction, as I’ve been to several Ripley’s museums before, most notably the original one in St. Augustine, Florida. I am SO glad I didn’t miss the one in Wisconsin Dells. It was ahh-may-zing! AND it had an entire section of the museum devoted to VAMPIRES! Who knew?!
Here is the “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory in all her glory.
And here is the king of the vampires himself, Vlad Dracula of Wallachia!
They even had a recreation of his castle.
This Ripley’s, which is also the most interactive and visually unique Ripley’s I’ve ever been to, even has the real, authentic severed and bisected head of the “Vampire of Dusseldorf” Peter Kurten on display!
You have to slip under a fireplace and climb a winding staircase to see it—this is how they separate the more “adult” artifacts so that little kids won’t see them—which makes it all the more delicious, makes it seem forbidden and thus alluring.
By all means, if you are ever in Wisconsin for any reason, make it a point to see this place!
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!