Hollywood’s Museum of Death is celebrating its twentieth anniversary by opening another location in New Orleans. It’s a great fit. The museum’s stated goal is to “fill the void of death education” and Louisiana, which is notorious for offering little to no education about how life starts, happens to be one of a very few states that do have an actual “Death Education” curriculum.
Erek Michael, the manager at the Hollywood branch of the museum, explained that death is embraced as a part of life in the rest of the world, whereas in the US, it is seen as taboo— even though, paradoxically, “we do have the uniquely American phenomenon of serial killers and mass murders who are…put on a pedestal.”
The New Orleans branch is currently displaying, among other macabre oddities, letters by Jeffrey Dahmer, Tibetan Kapala skulls, crime scene photographs, death masks of famous people like Napolean and Hitchcock, the underwear Aileen Wuornos wore on death row, The Heaven’s Gate Cult recruitment video, and the Thanatron. One Yelp reviewer had the following death mask hot take: “Alfred Hitchcock looked super squishy.”
Keeping with the spirit of education, the museum has no age limit “because we all die.” Fair enough.