Are you brave enough?” is the question at the top of the website of the Medieval Torture Museum Chicago. In the background, you’ll find very realistic mannequins that quite convincingly depict tortures that look like they came off the set of an over-the-top “torture porn.” But the truth is pretty sad. Like dozens of other museums of the same genre around the world, this museum presents one of the bleakest and most gruesome sides of human history. Many would say that there are places where this kind of torture still takes place.
In the past, we have reviewed several torture museums, some more successful and some less so. Undoubtedly, the Museum in Chicago is one of the most impressive you will find. Moreover, the experience of visiting it is pretty chilling – and not just for fans of horror movies. The actual evidence is that Medieval Torture Museum Chicago reviews are super positive.
What Can You Find In Chicago Medieval Torture Museum?
The Museum of Medieval Torture in Chicago is part of BenAur’s series of museums on the same theme, with the other two located in Los Angeles and St. Augustine. The Chicago museum is the largest and probably the most successful. Moreover, it holds a very binding title: it is the largest interactive historical Museum in the United States, with an area of over 500 square meters.
Medieval Torture Museum Chicago offers a private collection with more than 100 torture, restraint, and execution facilities and devices. Most exhibits are from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, which were very dark in this respect in world history. However, you can also find devices from earlier (antique) or later periods. Here, for example, we mean the electric chair, which was in use from the 19th century until the beginning of the 21st century, in which it lost its place in favor of poison injections.
Equally important is that this Museum tries to present the emotional aspect of the torture chamber, or as the museum staff defines it: “Our main product is emotion.” The idea to establish a chain of museums came after a visit to the corresponding Museum in the Czech Republic. As we also wrote in the review about the place, the Museum in Prague does not manage to include added value beyond torture facilities – some of which are pretty outdated – which are shown to visitors for impressions only, sometimes behind glass. The founders wanted to create a museum that would provide an authentic look and evoke an emotion, whether of shock, shock, or fear. First of all, they established the Museum in St. Augustine in 2017, while the Museum in Chicago opened its doors in 2021 in the Chicago theater building in the Loop area.
What’s so Unique About Medieval Torture Museum Chicago?
From the review of the Museum in Chicago, it does the job. The first thing the Museum tries to offer is historical accuracy. “We believe that Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it,” states the Museum’s website, which presents an “unprecedented collection of brutality” and a look at the darkest and saddest parts of human history, partly with the aim that visitors can explore for themselves the negative aspects of their psyche.
On the artistic level, the Chicago Medieval Torture Museum exhibits were prepared mainly from wax, with the help of artists and professionals of the first class, which is evident here in every corner. In some cases, the Museum tries to put the visitors in the shoes of people on both sides of the fence, both torturers and tortured: there are cases where you can almost hear the screams of the torturers, at least metaphorically. To create an artistic effect and increase emotion, the exhibitions are presented realistically and authentically for that period: For example, in the level of clothing. Visitors can learn about their stories, why they were tortured, and how it happened.
Some of the exhibits here are based on the visitors’ participation, or at the very least on photography: we mean all those photo booths, which later star on the various social networks. In a way that is not obvious in museums of this type, some exhibits can be “experienced” by touching or moving. For example, you can use a guillotine, weigh yourself on scales that will show if you are too heavy to be defined as a witch (an issue many people are confused about), and more.
The Medieval Times In The Age Of Smartphones
Medieval Torture Museum Chicago offers several innovations that improve the experience of the visit. The first attraction is the “Ghost Haunting Experience,” which you can do with an app. The task here is to use the smartphone to track down the ghosts scattered around the Museum – headed by the ghost of Thomas the Hangman – while learning the chilling stories about the circumstances of their deaths. This experience is part of the admission price.
Please note that, unlike some other similar museums, the wandering is independent and without a guide or an accompanying actor. However, we recommend using the audio guide, recorded and performed by a professional actor. It includes 42 stories about the torture tools and devices you will find throughout the Museum and the people who were tortured or executed with them. Some exhibits have a QR code you can scan to get the voice information, so a helpful recommendation is to equip yourself with headphones.
Unlike other museums that place horror at their center, such as the familier London Bridge Experience or the Berlin Dungeon, there are no scares here. And yet, Medieval Torture Museum Chicago manages to be enjoyable, enriching, and also a little creepy or scary because it describes a reality that was.
All The Information You Need Before You Visit
Who Can Visit The Museum?
The Museum is not recommended for children, although teenagers who connect to the world of horror can find interest here. Please note that up to the age of 18, there is an obligation to be accompanied by an adult.
How Do You Get To The Museum?
The Museum is located in the Chicago Theater. Specifically, the Medieval Torture Museum Chicago address is 177 N State Street, Chicago, IL, 60601.
Medieval Torture Museum Chicago Parking
Finding parking there is a challenge, and we have heard of people paying tens of dollars for the “pleasure.” If you are traveling in Chicago by car, you should go to the Wabash-Randolph Parking Garage. The parking lot, a short walking distance from the Museum, offers a special price of only 8 dollars for museum visitors.
Medieval Torture Museum Chicago Opening Hours
The Museum is open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on weekends (Friday to Sunday) from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. The Museum usually requires 90-120 minutes of visiting, depending on your pace and how much you intend to explore the Museum’s origins.
We always recommend check the spefic opening hours in your visit date. You can do it on the Museum’s official website.
Medieval Torture Museum Chicago Tickets
The cheapest ticket prices we found are around $33. According to the Museum’s official website, reserving a place in advance is unnecessary, but on the prominent ticket websites, you will have to choose a specific date. It is not a problem because we recommend buying a ticket with the possibility of free cancellation up to 24 hours before the visit date.
You can also show the tickets on your mobile phone, so there is no need to bother with printing, searching for tickets everywhere, and so on.
Where Can You Buy Tickets?
You can Buy Chicago Medieval Torture Museum tickets in one of the following international websites:
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