Philippi, West Virginia: Mummies of the Insane
Barbour County Historical Museum
The bathroom in the Barbour County Historical Museum holds a treat -- two mummies preserved by a local Dr. Frankenstein. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Museum containing two mummies preserved by Graham Hamrick in 1888. The mummies have survived two floods and a century of curious tourists. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
Visitor Tips and News About Mummies of the Insane
The Mummies of the Insane are at the train museum. You have to pay for admission into the main section and pay an extra dollar to see the mummies. There are two in a tiny room. They are in excellent condition. Very cool.[Marian C, 07/03/2011]
The Mummy Chamber (formerly the bathroom) has been spruced up. A sign notes that Graham Hamrick's secret mummification technique included draining the body, injecting it with saltpeter, sticking it an airtight box and "infusing it with sulphur fumes over a long period of time."
It's hard to believe these mummies are actually stored in the restroom of the train station! Most of the museum is dedicated to Civil War memorabilia, with a little mummy sideshow. I have to admit my goal was to see the mummies, as I went once before and was unable to see them as they were on a Mummy Roadshow trip. It is amazing to be able to see them so closely.
After paying the dollar, the museum hostess, who was amusing and delightful, unlocked the bathroom door and allowed us in. "If you need to, you can turn on the exhaust fan." Hopefully, if you go, you will have an opportunity to chat with the museum hostess who was very knowledgeable and quite entertaining.[Ann T., 10/30/2009]
After confirming we were not members of the press, Olivia Sue (the curator) allowed us to view the mummies. They were a treat. Creepy as expected, but well worth the $1.
Also in the Barber County Historical Museum are several other unique artifacts, including a bio of Lurch from Adams Family, replicas of the one-of-a-kind covered bridge around the corner, and the drum that "ended the Civil War."[Heather and Eric, 04/26/2007]