Museum of Historic Torture Devices

Guten Morgen, schöne Menschen!

Random fact of the day: all nouns in German are capitalized.

The Wisconsin Dells, water park capital of the world. Indeed, in this less than eight mile square city, there are several water parks and water park resorts. Naturally, because of this, the town has a high tourism trade and offers plenty of colorful things to do while walking down the main street, namely Broadway.


Amidst the t-shirt shops, old time photography studios, restaurants, and amusements is a darker activity. It is so dark that it’s been shoved into a small cove off of the main street, making it challenging for a Polish girl to find it.


She did, indeed, find it, though. These signs on the strip mall building helped.


You already know what I am talking about, there have been several blatant hints and the least of them being the title of this post, I am referring to the MUSEUM OF HISTORIC TORTURE DEVICES- 305 Broadway (all the way in the back), Wisconsin Dells, WI.

So glad I made sure to print that online special $5.99 coupon when the price is right there on the door…

The museum is small, takes maybe 45 minutes to go through (when thoroughly reading everything), but is delightful to those with macabre interests.


I must admit, though there is not really anything particularly gruesome in the museum (save a video called “Faces of Death Theatre” that promises to have some gore; I did not stop to watch it for any length of time, though, and saw nothing terribly gross from what I did see), I would not recommend the museum for the slightly squeamish. As I stated before, I have more-than-average knowledge of unsolved crimes and serial killers from history, but there were times where I was even wincing.

Though I am MOSTLY over my fear of clowns, I swear I heard this guy breathing a couple of times.
I love the use of the phrase “unequivocal indignation.” Such a civilized emotion for having just been beheaded.


Yes, you read that right in the picture. The cheery, colorful painting of Disney’s seven dwarves on the top shelf was created by notorious serial clown killer, John Wayne Gacy*. Next to this display is a whole wall of crime scene photos taken on the day Gacy was arrested, including some pictures of his collections such as his “torture toys” and library. These pictures have black covers on them are are labeled “for adults only.” Let’s just say he liked his hard core porn and leave it at that. This wall was probably the creepiest.

*By “serial clown killer,” that means he dressed up as a clown and killed people; this is not to imply that he killed clowns, an act that would exalt him to the level of vigilante saint in many of our eyes.

Take some time off the main strip and creep into the dark, Wisconsin Dells alley to ponder a harsher side of ancient (and sometimes current!) history.

Until next time, dahlings…

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