Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: John Brown Wax Museum

RoadsideAmerica.com Team Field Report

Address:
168 High St., Harpers Ferry, WV
Directions:
Take US 340 to town. Turn north onto Shenandoah St. just west of the river. Drive into town, past High St., and turn left onto Potomac St. Park in the lot to the right, then walk up the hillside staircase to High St. Museum is on left.
Hours:
Daily 9 am - 5 pm; closed during winter (Call to verify)
Phone:
304-535-6342
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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John Brown Wax Museum. John Brown Wax Museum
Vintage wax displays, some animated, take you through the life and death of America's bloodiest 19th century abolitionist. Roadsideamerica.com Report... [11/29/2009]

Visitor Tips and News About John Brown Wax Museum

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Wax diorama. John Brown Wax Museum

We stopped by to check it out and enjoyed the show. I had never been and my wife was last there as a child in '67. It was a Monday and we were the only ones in the building. It was later in the day, and when we exited, there was no one on the streets. We thought the apocalypse had occurred while we were in the building!

[Richard Deenis, 07/26/2012]
John Brown Wax Museum

About 10 wax scenes of John Brown's life "from the cradle to the gallows" as the brochure says. Lighting is a little unfortunate -- all the scenes are enclosed in glass... and there's some glare, which makes it kinda hard to see.

Creepiest scene award goes to the final display... the animation caught me by extra surprise because I got distracted by all the brochures that had been dropped by previous viewers (it's the only scene that isn't enclosed) I won't ruin the surprise. The second creepiest is the dying guy who is in a state of perpetual final gasps... "wooo! hooo!" air pumps. The corniest has to be the "fight" scene, where the narrator explains that it was decided to take John Brown's men "by FORCE" -- the lighting and fighting sound fx are so realistic.

Highly recommend breezing through the plain old free John Brown museum first so that you have some idea of what happened before you go in to the wax museum...

Today (11/8/01) they were putting up facades for a movie set (gods and generals? angels and generals? some famous civil war book that they are making into a movie).

[Puck, 11/11/2001]
John Brown Wax Museum

I recommend the John Brown museum in Harpers Ferry. It's a very twisted wax museum portrayal of the John Brown slave uprising. The narrator's voice is downright eerie, and the tone seems rather pleased that the uprising failed. I haven't been there in a while, so my report is rather limited...

[Aaron Golub, 09/12/1999]

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