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Scariest Tourism: Seattle’s MoPOP


In the bowels of one of the more remarkable structures in the PNW is a little permanent exhibit featuring some of the most remarkable artifacts from horror films.

Back in 2004, the Late philanthropist and uber-geek Paul Allen opened up one of the most identifiable structures in the Northwest, the Experience Music Project, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry. This is one of those love it or hate it structures. From my Architect’s take, it’s not his best work, but I appreciate the craft and whimsy of the shiny metal panels and the flow of the museum… it’s a bit too chaotic for chaos’ sake. And, to be honest, there aren’t many cities that get a Frank Gehry structure to call their own. It does capture the vibrance of the material within.

In 2016, the facility changed its name to be the Museum of Popular Culture and it has remained a huge tourist attraction in Seattle. It has the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. It still has an amazing exhibit of Rock and Roll, including an impressive performance stage that dominates the center of the facility. It currently has a huge Marvel exhibit, with some of the most remarkable original comic pages ever drawn, costumes from the movies, and a lot of great interactive displays. Lots of fun!

And in the basement of the amazing structure… is the Scared to Death exhibit, a celebration of horror films. And it contains some of the greatest props from horror’s history. Mr. Allen was LOADED, and he loved all things genre. On display are some costumes and props from Alien, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jeepers Creepers, Critters, Gremlins, Hellraiser, Halloween, and many other props from major productions. It is without a doubt, a collection worthy of a museum.

You can also rest your feet, and watch the MoPop’s list of 100 Horror Movies you must see, as it spools through a continuous loop. I would have sat to watch all of their list, to compare it with TST’s top 100. It was very cool. They also really understand the power of great selfie locations, and in that way it’s a seriously interactive experience, and very contemporary. There is a fantastic vampire chapel, a scream your lungs out booth, and a display that looks like a bunch of hanging bodies, all really well done.

It is a fairly compact portion of the MoPop, but it is also a permanent exhibit. You get this admission as well as access to the other permanent exhibits for fantasy, science fiction, and rock and roll. (The Marvel exhibit is currently an extra fee.) Book yourself a few hours and take in the whole museum, but by all means, make the trip to the dungeon and check this exhibit out!

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