Henry Ford Museum Dearborn, MI

Macabre And Creepy Finds at The Henry Ford Museum

When was the last time you took a look at what was around you when you were at a museum? Do you look at everything or are you on a mission to see particular items? If you stop and take a look when you are at The Henry Ford Museum, some items may jump out that you never expected to find.

On public display, The Henry Ford Museum has quite a few things that you would never expect. From last breaths, death masks and assassinations – there is history with a darker side. You can find touches of the creepy and macabre throughout the museum and they even have more in their archives that are not open to the public.

While we’re sure there are a lot more throughout the museum, here are a few that are out in the open that you can view any time – and may have a bit of a darker side.

Death Masks and Life Masks Hide Around Corners

Creepy Finds at the Henry Ford Museum
The Death Mask of Nikola Tesla sits proudly on display.

Over by the large motors and wheels you’ll find some items of inventors that helped light the world around us. From Edison to Tesla, a small glass case has a few different items that are significant in the history of both machines and electricity. On the end of the case is actually the death mask of Nikola Tesla, bronzed and put on a pedestal celebrating the genius he was. You can see what he actually looked like, in his last moments as they were preserved for years to come.

Presidential Motorcades – with Tragic Connections

Creepy Finds at the Henry Ford Museum
Among a line of other Presidential vehicles is the car that President Kennedy was assassinated in while riding in a parade in Texas.

The Henry Ford Museum is home to several Presidential vehicles with a placard telling you their story in front of every one. But one of these cars has a darker past – it’s the actual car that John F. Kennedy was killed in. When you first walk up to the car, it may not look like the car you’d expect it to – the reason, it wasn’t retired after his death. Instead, following Presidents had it repaired, updated and kept it in service.

Last Breathes – Contained in a Vial

Henry Ford Museum Dearborn, MI
Thomas Edison’s last breath was captured by his son and given as a gift to Henry Ford.

While it sounds weird, on the other end of the glass case where Tesla’s death mask is – you find Edison‘s last breath. Or at least that’s what they say it is. Gifted to Henry Ford by Edison’s son after his death, this little unassuming vial has the last moments of Edison’s life on display. That’s more than a little creepy in our opinion.

Presidential Last Moments Are on Display

Creepy Finds at the Henry Ford Museum
Encased in glass, the chair President Abraham Lincoln was watching a show in when he was shot is one of the finds guests can find at The Henry Ford Museum.

When you were in school and learning about history, no doubt you heard about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination when he was watching a show at the theater. But did you know that the chair he was sitting in during the assassination is on display in Dearborn? Glassed in on both sides and part of a wall that separates different displays, the infamous chair sits torn and stained. We don’t know the full story of how it made it’s way here to Michigan, but it’s an amazing piece to see on display. Elsewhere in the museum you can actually see a casting of Lincoln’s face – a Life Mask, taken before the shot took his life.

There are other bits of macabre history and the creepy throughout the Henry Ford Museum, and more that hopefully they will release for public viewing later. But it’s a fun way to experience history, even if it’s the dark side of it.

2 thoughts on “Macabre And Creepy Finds at The Henry Ford Museum

  1. Hi Becky,

    Fun article. Just to let you know, the archives at The Henry Ford are open to the public. They’re open 9:30-5 Monday-Friday, while three dimension artifacts do require special appointments to access, most of the archival material can be viewed in the reading room at the Benson Ford Research Center. If you’d like more information or want to make an appointment their email is research.center@thehenryford.org.

    1. Kathy,

      That is great information! Everything I looked up online said the items weren’t available to the public. But I will definitely be reaching out to the research center. Thank you again!

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