National Museum of Funeral History

This past weekend, I ventured down to Houston to attend the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty conference. Since a lot of Death Becomes Us is about death row and a man who was executed there, I felt the attendees might be interested in the book. The power of story and all that. Plus, I am totally against the death penalty. So is the Pope.  Speaking of the Pope, guess what I just saw?

Yes, that's right folks, I saw the Popemobile

Since I had most of Friday free to explore a few things, I decided to check out the National Museum of Funeral History. Not only would I get to wander around a museum, which I love, I figured they might be interested in carrying a few copies of my book in their gift shop. Plus, Popemobile!

I had no idea what to expect when I entered the door. I've been to a fair amount of museums, but this one was thoroughly entertaining. My only complaint was that there weren't any staff members around the displays to answer questions, so I had to bug the lady in the gift shop on a few occasions. I was the only person in the museum. Was I scared? Nope.

The first thing to draw my eye when I entered the museum was this giant coffin. I read the accompanying story about two people whose child had died. They were so distraught, they planned a murder/suicide and ordered this three person coffin. Thankfully, they didn't carry out their plan. Curious, I wandered over to the coffin and took a look inside to find the receipt and it blew my mind.

This freaked me out.

Hood Mortuary in Durango, Colorado! If you've read my book, you'd understand why this kind of gave me pause. What were the chances? Out of all the funeral homes in all of the world, why did this casket get delivered to Hood? According to the story, Hood donated it to the museum.

In addition to caskets, this place contains a plethora of hearses from different time periods. This one was my all time favorite. I would love to drive this car. Not only is it flashy, it's got great storage capabilities.

There were also displays about embalming, including its origin in Egypt (that display was a bit cheesy, but sadly I don't have a picture.) but also its introduction in America during the Civil War.

This was an old embalming table. You will notice the bucket at the bottom to catch the fluids. No embalming for me, thanks!

If you are ever in Houston, you should check this place out. There is all kinds of cool stuff. There are cars, presidential memorabilia, wacky caskets, Victorian jewelry made from human hair of the deceased, mourning clothes and this book. I loved this book. I just wanted to iron it and give it a good cleaning.

It's "Signs of Death" and it had an interactive display next to it so that you could read the text inside.

So, what's the most interesting museum you've been to? Have you been to this museum? What did you think?