Season 4, Episode 6: Ripley's Believe It or Not
Believe it or not, Frank visits a museum that might just be one of the oddest collection of art, historical artifacts, and people.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is something that I have grown up with. I’d have to say the majority of Americans have grown up with it in one shape or form. It was first a comic strip for me, then it was books, and finally it was an “odditorium.” But to be honest, I never thought it would be a place that really held on to history and art. I say in the episode that I always just thought it was a place where you can see two headed cats. And while you can, it’s so much more than that.
I decided on reaching out to Ripley’s due to their association with sideshow and Johnny Eck (see the next couple of episodes). I knew that they tended to collect “weird” artifacts and thought it would be fun to include an episode on them. It wasn’t until I showed up and Nora Campbell gave me a tour of the place that I realized just how rich in history and art that place is. I walked around in a daze looking at everything. I mean, sadly, the episode doesn’t come close to doing all the weird, amazing, cultural, and historical pieces are around that museum. And now that I know that all the museums are unique, it is even more incredible to think that the collection is large enough to fill 32 “Odditoriums” across the world.
I now know that when I’m in a town that has a Ripley’s, I’m not going to laugh it off and assume it’s going to be three headed goats, but I’m going to go and see what amazing things they have to offer. I guess that goes to show that you shouldn’t always assume that just because something looks flashy and fun, it can’t be filled with history and culture.