This past weekend I was lucky enough to check out Scared to Death, a horror exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington. This installation at MoPop features over 50 props and costumes from horror shows and movies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Walking Dead, The Shining, Pet Sematary, Frankenstein, Hostel, Blair Witch, and many more. I was so incredibly excited to get to see this exhibit, and it didn't disappoint! I got to geek out over the props and costumes from some of my favorite horror films, watch video clips of well-known creators talk about notable horror films, and immerse myself in the delightfully macabre atmosphere of the exhibit.
So, you start the exhibit (which is tucked into the back corners of the Museum of Pop Culture), by descending down a staircase bathed in red, wallpapered with faces of people screaming. You enter into the exhibit and are immediately met with a body-bag maze to your right and a zombie quarantine zone to your left. Around every corner you may come face-to-face with a xenomorph, or Jason, or a bloody severed head, or a nook to sit down and watch short interviews with notable horror creators discussing the influence of specific films. You can enter into a cathedral dripping with blood highlighting vampire lore and props, holler your heart out in the sound-proofed Scream Box (which will take a photo of you as you scream), and of course take advantage of the interactive photo-ops.
Take a virtual walk through of the Scared to Death horror exhibit below:
Staircase to Scared to Death
Zombie quarantine zone
The Governor's zombie aquarium from The Walking Dead
Body bag maze
Why do we love horror?
Scared to Death exhibit
Xenomorph from Alien
Torture chair used in Hostel
Wall about cinematic slashers and serial killers
Special effects switchboard used in Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein
"Listen to them, the children of the night. What sweet music they make"
This cathedral-inspired room was encased in gorgeous stained glass
windows, each inspired by vampire films or mythology.
Stunt stake gun used in the Fright Night remake
Bust of Bram Stoker and more stained glass windows
Your coffin or mine?
Vampire stake wall, featuring some lore about vampires and clips from
films like What We Do In The Shadows
Gill Man mask from Creature From The Black Lagoon
Leatherface bust from the Texas Chainsaw remake
Freddy's sweater and glove from Nightmare on Elm Street as well as
design sketches of Freddy's glove
Close up of Freddy's glove sketch
Werewolf hand from The Howling
The ax used by Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in The Shining
Camcorder used in the Blair Witch Project
Facehugger from Alien
Props used in episodes of the Tales from the Crypt TV show
Evil Dead 2's Necronomicon
Jud bust from Pet Sematary
Machete from Dawn of the Dead
Lament Configuration box from Hellraiser: Inferno
Phantasm II's flying sentinel sphere
Nemesis from Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Video Drone (not Videodrome, that would have been way cooler)
Casual wall decor
Overall, I had a great time at the Scared to Death exhibit. I was glad I was able to see so many horror movie props in the same place and I think any horror movie fan would be delighted to spend some time checking out all these pieces of horror history. I did think it was a bit weird that parents let their little kids into this exhibit, especially since the exhibit featured some gory set pieces (it's rated PG-13). My only other complaint is that the exhibit is pretty small and I wish it showcased more props and/or costumes from horror. I do hope they continue adding pieces so that they can grow this exhibit.
Despite these small issues, I otherwise wholly enjoyed my time at this exhibit! And if you go, you can also check out the museum's many other exhibits, covering music, video games, movies, and more.
For more info, visit the Museum of Pop Culture's website.