Luke Pappaspanos, Staff Writer
Halloween is just a few weeks away. What can a college student do for fun? There are local hayrides, Fright Fest at Six Flags, some venues hold costume contests promising big prizes, or watching a creepy feature at the movie theater are just a few ways to celebrate Halloween. There is another choice to consider… the Wax Museum on the Riverfront. The Laclede’s Landing Wax Museum has several floors and each floor has a different theme of wax figures. Walking creaky stairs from floor to floor sets an ominous mood for sightseers.
For sports lovers seeing many famous athletes in person is a thrill. Now seeing them in wax at the museum can be almost like seeing the familiar face in person. Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Mark McGuire are just a few fan favorites. Science lovers can check out a few scientists and inventors for example, Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, George Washington Carver and Alexander Graham Bell. Missouri’s greats round out the list including the one and only Mark Twain, Charles Lindberg and outlaw Jesse James. Many renowned leaders are also present, such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Napoleon, Pope John Paul, Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin and Henry the Eighth including his wives.
Classic movie and music lovers will be happy to lay eyes on many famous faces from the past. W.C. Fields, Humphrey Bogart, Steve McQueen, Bing Crosby, John Lennon, Elvis, Louie
Armstrong, and Michael Jackson can be photographed by visitors. Mark Hamill and other Star Wars favorites are featured as well as Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner from Star Trek.
Being close to presidents is a dream for some history buffs and the museum features George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Theodore Roosevelt and Richard Nixon. Customers can snap a photo with President Donald Trump and former president Barack Obama.
Folks of faith will be delighted to see the exhibit depicting the life of Christ, from his birth to the Resurrection. Stories from the Bible are displayed as well as the wax figures of Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, King Herod and Pontius Pilate.
The museum is set up where there are themes from television shows, movies, Disney characters and a moment in history, for example, the moon landing. Those strong, fearless crime fighters like Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk wait for fans to visit and dress up like them for Halloween.
To delight those who thirst for gruesome thrills, the Chamber of Horrors holds a Halloween delight. Of course, it is located down in the basement. Creepy sounds, spooky moans usher victims, oops, patrons along the hallways. The darkness is so thick it is difficult to see walking through the haunting corridors. Gory decomposing bodies and body parts hang from the ceiling and in the dark it can be difficult to maneuver around these appendages. Aliens, Dracula, eerie zombies, skeleton pirates, Hitler and other hideous villains peer back at viewers through their glass cages. There are creepy clowns holding weapons of choice waiting patiently for an unsuspecting victim to “carve up.”
Looking upward, sinister figures wearing black cloaks glare back down upon jumpy visitors who shuffle in the darkness along the corridors.
An older couple, Mark Douglas and his wife Lynn Douglas spoke in the darkness. Mark Douglas remarked, “We are both a bit squeamish about blood and guts and dead people hanging from ceilings.”
“The giant eyeballs freak me out,” Lynn Douglas said.
Other patrons especially those with small children skittishly creep around grisly figures and dreadful displays showing blood-saturated bodies being chopped up, tied up, electrocuted or stabbed. These are just a part of the gruesome pageant of vicious and violent wax thrills in the Chamber of Horrors. For Halloween goers who are into horror and repulsive exhibits, this is a paradise.
The Wax Museum on Laclede’s Landing is a self-guided tour. There are no brochures or signs to explain the exhibits or any information at all. The fee is $10 to enter for adults. The Wax Museum changes displays around, adds or subtracts statues and roughly has 250 wax figures to view. Just beware doors at the end of hallways do not open. There are no windows, the walls are brick, visitors may feel like a mouse trapped in a maze. After a visit to the Wax Museum, walking away and tripping over the cobblestones, beware there is a figure on the rooftop watching.