Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Abita Mystery House: Abita Springs, LA

My company conference always brings a little dread with it.  It is a long week of training and speakers and events where I am required to be present and "on" all day and most evenings.  This year, I left earlier than usual due to the venue.  Our event is in New Orleans this year and my cousin Dawn lives a short 3 hour drive away in Pensacola.  Last year when we were together in Florida, we decided that we needed to do a better job of seeing each other and this is our first attempt to make good on that promise.

I arrived at our hotel in the Garden District of New Orleans a couple of hours before Dawn.  This turned out to be a good thing as she got lost and I was able to direct her via a map on my iPad.  By the time she arrived it was getting near supper time so we walked to a nearby restaurant and called it a night.  The next morning, we made the drive across Lake Pontchartrain to Abita Springs and the Abita Mystery House.

This is not remotely similar to the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA.  This is more of an eclectic collection of items loosely organized to be a sort of strange and at time, macabre museum.  You can see anything and everything here.  There is one large building that contains most of the collection and then a few smaller buildings.  Even the buildings themselves are covered on the outside with signs, paint can lids, old curling irons...whatever was handy when that part was being done I suspect.

I think I will let the pictures (which are allowed) do the talking:

I need this sign.  I may have to make a copy.  Or crop this photo and frame it.

There were a huge number of these paint-by-number paintings everywhere, on the walls, ceilings...everywhere.

The sign above this diorama reads:  God bless our forefathers who fought in the Civil War so we could play Goofy Golf in peace.

This was one of our favorite dioramas.  I like the miniature Madonna in front of the trailer, Dawn likes the dead armadillo by the front of the truck.  This probably says a lot about our personalities.

The misnamed Macaroni Marble Machine.  It is made from wooden sticks, not macaroni.  Several of these had a button that activated the display.

Dawn and I took turns playing and cranking the two person organ.

The Shard House

Darrel the Dogigator

The 32 ft Alligator

This building was completely filled with various hot sauce bottles.

The Amazing Bassigator.  Half Bass (fish) half Gator.  All freaky.

You enter and exit the building through the gift shop.  Even in here there are a lot of unusual things to see.

Almost the entire ceiling is covered in computer components.

This should have been my first clue there would be even more strange creatures outside.  She wasn't for sale.  I checked.

This was really tempting.  I could have worn one each day of our conference.

I am really not sure why I didn't already own this and I know it will be one of those things I will be sorry I didn't buy.  Anyone looking for Christmas/Birthday ideas for me...take note.

Another contender.  I really should have bought this for my niece Ashley.  We had a whole thing with Chicken gifts going for a while.  I did find one thing I couldn't pass up on:

I initially bought this to send to my son.  However, the more I look at it, the more I think I might have to keep it and offer some to the person next to me at the airport.

I also had my fortune told.  This would be the first of three fortune telling events of the week. 

I wonder if the bike it is referring to is the one with the alligator seat.  I might be inclined to ride that one if I owned it but currently, I don't have a bike so this fortune is already sketchy.  I do like the idea about the crayons.  If I actually knew 64 people, I would be really tempted to do it.  Maybe I can scale it back to the box of 8 or 16.

This is quite likely the strangest "museum" I have been to thus far.  I did enjoy this place and at $3 the price was totally fair for the experience.  It was also nice that we were the only 2 people in the museum though there was a woman who tried to run me over with her car when we arrived.  She was in a big hurry and not happy that this place didn't open promptly at 10 am.  

I am fascinated by these kinds of places and how they get started.  Later, when Dawn and I were at a little antique store, I told her that going to places like the Mystery House makes me want to start something like that. I kept seeing things that could be the first item in my collection - like a creepy doll or a strange painting.  It could happen.  I just haven't found the exact right thing to start with yet.  I will definitely keep looking.

I was absolutely one of the changed.


  1. I love this article! It made me laugh s couple of times. I will definately visit the Abita Mystery House.