13 Horror Movie Artifacts That The Proposed 'The Shining' Horror Museum Needs
As the original inspiration for Steven King's The Shining , the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is already pretty spectacular as it is. Throw in the recently announced news that the hotel has proposed a $24 million renovation in order to become a horror museum and educational filmmaking center, and I am giddy as Jack Torrance driving up those steep mountain lanes to get away for some family bonding and writing time."
So far, details are merely in the preliminary stage with a huge stack of that $24 million bill still bidding to be raised (horror aficionados Elijah Wood and Simon Pegg are reportedly amongst the names currently on the funding board), but from the sounds of it, the renovation (which is set to include a 500-seater auditorium, 30,000 square foot interactive museum and a variety of educational spaces for filmmakers) is going to mean great things for horror fans and budding filmmakers, alike.
Obviously, the interactive museum in itself is busting me out like a broken proton pack to a ghost, and I can't help but dream of the sort of horror movie treasures which could fill that space. Here are 13 pieces that I don't think it could do without.
1. Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (The Evil Dead)
Featuring one of the most iconic movie prop designs of all time, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis from The Evil Dead is apparently bound in human flesh, inked in blood, and contains such fun reading material as demonic resurrection incantations and hellish prophecies which bring doom upon anyone silly enough to read them out loud. (Like, isn't the 'written in blood' thing a bit of an obvious alarm bell that you should maybe leave it the hell alone?
2. Blood Soiled Prom Dress (Carrie)
Part of me is being rational here and thinking that there is no archivist in the World who knows how to reasonably store a silk prom dress caked in pigs blood (or, you know, Corn Syrup) without it going rock solid within a few weeks, but I live in hope. To exhibit this dress on a mannequin like a peverse couture exhibit is a horror movie fangirl's dream come true. You could even hang the swinging bucket above it for bonus points.
3. Lemarchand's Box (Hellraiser)
As a nightmarish puzzle box which, when configured correctly, can open a gateway to an eternity of painful suffering at the hands of the truly terrifying Cenobites, the Lemarchand's Box remains one of the scariest horror movie props of all time. It was so chilling a piece of memorabilia to me, in fact, that when I dated a guy who owned the DVD box set in the shape of this front door key to hell, I refused to sleep in his room until he removed it. That's some powerful stuff, people. Keep it behind glass, please.
4. Danny's Tricycle (The Shining)
Never has a children's tricycle been so thoroughly responsible for upping the tense heart rate of a spooked movie viewer. The pounding of Danny's feet against the pedals, the harsh squeak of the mechanism and the deep roar of the wheels against the nausea inducing geometric carpet take our child protagonist round impossible hotel layouts and lead him to witness truly horrifying hauntings. Seeing the tricycle without Danny on it is perhaps an even spookier concept than with him on it.
5. Leatherface's Mask Of Human Skin (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
Am I crazy for wanting to actually try this thing on? I don't care if it smells by now. I need that photo.
6. Cricket Bat (Shaun Of The Dead)
Who would have thought that good old sensible cricket could actually come to some use other than just as background noise for British people trying to enjoy an afternoon nap on a Sunday? Shaun's cricket bat is quintessential Britain, and bloody good at whacking zombies too! Serve Cornetto ice creams from a cart right next to it and our next stop can be for a swift pint of lager down the Winchester Arms.
7. Pop-Up Book (The Babadook)
So, I know that you could actually buy a convincing replica of this book direct from it's creators, but nothing will beat the original. Hand crafted and all the creepier for it, The Babadook pop up book is chilling for it's blend of childhood innocence and adult fears.
8. Jason's Shrine To Mrs Voorhees (Friday the 13th: Part 2)
This one is truly sick but honestly, it's time we paid our due respects to Mama Voorhees who was a vengeful mother driven mad by mourning who just so happened to create one of the greatest slasher villains of all time. Mummified head of decapitated mom? Check! Her favorite snugly sweater? Check! Even though Jason is an unstoppable killing machine and total party killer, this is just about the sweetest we ever see him. Poor boy.
9. Michael Myers Mask (Halloween)
Because there is still nothing funnier to me than the fact that one of the most haunting villain masks of all time is a slightly modified dime store William Shatner mask.
10. Reverse Bear Trap (Saw)
Take the Saw franchise for what it is: ridiculously gory silliness. Personally, I'm a fan. The Reverse Bear Trap is an inspired prop piece existing as it is as a timed puzzle which can tear open the front of some poor sucker's face should they not happen to find the damned key in time. It's such an iconic part of the franchise, in fact, that it makes repeated appearances throughout the films — and also, crucially, rewards the film franchise with it's only final girl (in the form of Amanda Young). Live demonstrations with prop heads please. You could even sell ponchos in the gift shop to save the people on the front row from getting too smothered in fake blood splash back.
11. Freddie Krueger's Claw Glove (A Nightmare On Elm Street)
Obviously! You can't have a party without punch, after all. Krueger's brutalising glove of spindly knives remain to this day one of the most original horror movie inventions around, with our dream stalking killer using them not just against his teenage prey but also to announce his presence by scraping them against the pipes of his hot boiler room haven.
12. Good Guys Doll (Child's Play)
Forget Annabelle, Chucky — before he became a ludicrously wonderful parody — was the real deal when it came to malevolent possessed dolls. Whilst the doll starts out clean and bright and loveable, by the end of the original franchise, it (he, I guess?) becomes burnt up, has a knife for a hand and actually bleeds a little too.
13. Fake Prop Corpses (Various)
Horror movie special effects have come a long way since the days when you could clearly see parts of latex splitting when a body was attacked by whatever ridiculous blade was thrown through it. But good or bad, it should be in this museum. Fake heads, contorted bodies, disembodied limbs and bodies sliced cleanly in half, that is the sort of stuff that is absolutely worthy of a (gory) museum exhibit.
I'm obviously stupidly excited and will be making my merry way to Colorado the second that place gets up and running. Though one thing does concern me, so far there's no mention of a gift shop! And I mean, what good is a museum without a gift shop? Just think of all the horror treats you could be missing out on! Dear Mr. Pegg and Mr. Wood: please rectify this the second you get a moment. Thanks.
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