Typically, we would tell you a story about a historic haunted location with decades of history and stories chilling enough to make your hair stand on end. The history of places can make their haunting legends that much more interesting. Today, however, we are covering something a little different. Rather than a haunted location, we want to introduce you to the world of haunted artifacts. Items that seem to bring the haunts with them wherever they go. There’s a small museum in Nebraska that holds them all safely for the general public to enjoy. Let’s take a look at the Museum of Shadows in Omaha, NE and see what kinds of ghostly activity we can uncover.
The museum is rather unassuming, a typical historic building with bleeding letters on a window proclaiming it as the Museum of Shadows. If bringing a haunted item into your home increases the paranormal activity, imagine what happens when they’re 2000 different haunted items in one location. This museum has it all; haunted portraits, dolls, boxes, and so much more. The employees and proprietors say that the activity within the two-story museum in a four-story building is unparalleled, with some of the haunting activity bleeding over into other tenants of the building.
Thousands of haunted items have been sent to the museum because their energy caused the previous owner some kind of unease, and each item is placed in quarantine before being added to the museum. Some items are there because they caused bad luck, a divorce, financial losses, and more. Others are there because the things that happen around them are too frightening for the owner to handle. Interestingly, there are even some haunted items that the museum has to send back because they’re too powerful for the museum proprietors to contain safely.
Reminiscent of the infamous Annabelle doll, some items in the museum are contained in glass cases to protect the patrons of the museum, rather than protecting the item from harm. The most famous of their artifacts is a doll named Ayda, who the owners say people come from near and far to experience. She was voted the creepiest doll in the world by multiple polls and the activity surrounding her is hard to refute. The doll moves within her glass case, rarely being in the same position from one hour to another. Her head and arms have moved, she has leaned forward and rested her head on the glass of the case, only to be back in her sitting position the next time someone checks on her.
Another terrifying doll housed here is known as Claire, with the owners saying that her energy is the darkest in the house and she’s kept in the basement. Before her glass enclosure, several visitors would take a cutting of her hair home with them as a spooky souvenir, only to send it back to the museum desperately asking for Claire’s forgiveness as their life had jumped the rails as soon as they got home with their small clump of hair. Now, no one is allowed to touch the haunted items for their own safety. Claire has also been reported to have a lot to say, with voices coming from her case frightening employees and guests as she asks to be let out in a small, soft voice. This is one of the places in the museum where guests can have a “sit in challenge,” one of their most popular tests of willpower in the haunted building.
Could you stand 10 minutes sitting in complete darkness in this museum? Many patrons have tried and failed, feeling taps on their shoulder when the cameras show no one else in the room, whispered voices in the dark, and even items flying across the room with an unseen hand guiding them. The proprietors invite those visiting the museum to test their bravery and make it out of the museum alive. The museum also hosts ghost hunts with local paranormal investigators, capturing evidence of strange sounds and movements in the museum, with the ability for visitors to come along and experience the museum in a new, more haunting way.
Whether you’re looking to see a ghost, or just to see a creepy doll move on their own, the Museum of Shadows in Omaha is sure to satiate any of those spooky desires. They claim to be the most haunted museum in the world, but you might have to check it out yourself to believe it. Don’t anger the spirits and maybe they’ll decide not to come home with you. The proprietors do not promise that dark energy attached to these objects won’t hitch a ride back home with you, but they do all they can to protect patrons from the worst of it. Just make sure not to touch any of the haunted dolls.
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Born in Death Valley and raised on the prairie, Deborah is a Wyoming-based paranormal researcher and a senior at the University of Wyoming, studying Communication. Her interests lie in folklore, history, rhetorical analysis and research. With an obvious love for ghost stories, frequently those interests combine with her work on Ghostlandia.