Wacky Freaks and Treats in St. Augustine Ripleys

5/23/2010 01:30:00 PM ·

Robert Ripley was an eccentric man and an avid traveler. He took the world by storm visiting far off lands and unblemished territories and cultures. Places like India and the Orient were unconventional areas for the American traveler during the 19th century, however Ripley's obsession drove him to these areas to study the local customs and speak with people in the area.

The Human Unicorn

Wang the Human Unicorn

In 1931, Wang, The Human Unicorn, had a 13" horn growing out of the back of his head.


The Lighthouse Man




A tour guide of Chungking, once guided American dignitaries through the streets of Chungking by the light of a candle on his head. Inspected by Dr. J Kaveney of the US Navy, it was found that "His scalp had been cut through and an opening to hold the inserted candle had been made through the external plate of the skull and the candle was held in place by melted wax".

The Longest Nose


Thomas Wedders, a circus freakshow act from Yorkshire, England in the 1700's, had a nose 7 1/2" long.

The Mummified Floor Lamp


On his death bed, Chang T'ung, a Chinese monk in the TempleP'u-to-Shan, requested that his body be mummified, and then somehow used to serve the temple after his death. An odd request indeed. T'ung was dressed in tattered clothing and appeared to be holding a tin candlestick. His body was used as a floor lamp for the temple's hallway for over 300 years.

Painted Pringles Potato Chips


These pringle chips were painted by artist Linda Lee Curtis from Phoenix Arizona. I'm not positive how old they are, but they were in the same casing as native necklaces. Interesting just the same.

Psychedelic Spinning tunnels



It makes complete sense to end your bizarre tour of Ripleys with a smooth trip through a trippy, moving tunnel. There are even emergency exits placed right at the doorways, just in case you require a smoother transition into the gift shop.

The Soda Can Manatee

Burn Victim From the 1944 Fire at Ripleys


In April 1944, a fire completely destroyed the third and fourth floors of the Ripley building in St. Augustine, and two women died. Neither woman was burned, however they died from smoke inhalation. Oddly, both the women had wrapped themselves in wet towels to ward of any further damage to themselves. When residents speak of the St. Augustine Ripleys, they often mention Betty Richeson and Mrs. Ruth Pickering (both found dead in their bathtubs) roaming the halls.

Photos are taken by the Author.

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