Haunted Museums

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Anonymous

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This is a question I have kicked around in the back of my mind, especially when it comes to something like the British Museum.
Does anyone have a story about a ghostly something inhabiting a museum?

In Chicago, the Field Museum of Natural History has, on display, the stuffed skins of the lions who were known as The Ghost and The Darkness. (They were rogue lions who killed a significant number of workers who were building the railroad in Tsavo.
They were in two separate glass cases when I saw them, but I believe now they are in one large glass display case. Anyway, I have read that some security guards at the museum tell stories about the glass case(s) being found empty in the middle of the night, then, when another guard is summonded, everybody is right back in their display where they are supposed to be.
Naturally I can't remember the name of the book, :rolleyes: but I know where it is at home and will edit it into this post tomorrow if anyone is interested.
*edit*Looked this up in the book and naturally, it's not there. I remember now that I found it while surfing aimlessly on the web. Tried to google this subject and found eleventy jillion sites about the movie, but nothing else yet. Still searching....:rolleyes:
 
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Anonymous

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There's the story of the Egyptian mummy case which does nasty things to people taking photos of it. Can't remember the specific details, other than it's the British Museum and it's the sarcophagus of a temple dancer/musician (I think). I think it was in FT a few months back.
 
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Anonymous

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Oh but it has a good amount of creepfactor because of the trails in the dust.
Yes, TVGeek posted his thread at the same time I posted mine. Great minds. :)
I don't know if the mods want to combine them, since the subject matter is close?
 

CygnusRex

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Just got this from a 'Museum Security Guard' forum (such a thing does exist)

Haunted Museums
This may be among the strangest requests for information ever, but here goes . .

. In my years of consulting I have done projects in four museums that were reportedly haunted. Guards in one museum who were assigned to the midnight shift sat in a stairwell rather than in the security control room so they could see and hear anything on both floors and could sit with their backs to the wall! Who knows if they ever actually did the various patrols they were paid to do. In another historic house museum, the Director would lock up each night personally, being careful to lock doors and turn off lights. In the morning, the lights would be on in the attic and the attic door would be unlocked and standing open. She changed the burglar alarm code without telling staff, to be sure no one was playing a prank on her. No one but she could enter the house without setting off an alarm yet the ghostly activity continued. An electrician confirmed there was no problem with the lights. in another museum a reported ghost would lower the very large and very heavy chandelier lights in the lobby, a process that takes about an hour using a cranking mechanizm with a very slow gear ratio. No alarms in the area were ever received, verifying that this was no prank by guards. On another occasion someone turned a valve on a water pipe causing a major water flow into the galleries from a mechanical area. A few nights later a guard encountered a ghostly figure dressed in the period of the early days of the building. He walked through--yes, directly through-- some exhibits into the area where the water valve was located and when the guard followed him at a distance, the "man" pointed to the hatch housing the water valve. Many others reported similar experiences in that museum including "sounds in their heads but not their ears", "coldness", and the sound of footsteps. Several guards refused to work in the building and were transferred by their contractor who went to great lengths to keep the knowledge of a possible ghost a secret so as not to scare new guards. They all seemed to learn of the ghost on their own! I assume that I have not lost any of you and that you are still reading this post. It is certainly not your usual MSN posting, is it. My question is this: Whether or not there is a ghost is irrelevant. Something is happening that potentially effects security. We as security professionals sometimes have to deal with this type of problem. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has a similar situation in their museum. This could be ghostly activity or just a reputation of ghostly activity. What has happened in your museum that might "spook" the guards or staff? How do you deal with it? Please feel free to post your answer or reply to me in confidence by email at {I have edited out the address} if posting a reply might in some way compromise your museum's security. If your haunting is public knowledge, I'm sure others would like to hear about it but if it is not and you want it to remain confidential, i will, of course, keep it confidential. By the way, I put 64 CCTV cameras in the museum where the guards sit on the staircase, and built them a highly secure security control room. We have yet to capture anything ghostly on video. I stayed in the museum over night on several nights and saw or felt nothing, but the Director of Security slept there one night and had a very scary experience that even I, as a skeptic, have trouble questioning. My mind remains open.

Steve Keller
Museum Security Consultant
 

Alexius4

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The National Gallery in London has it's fair share of spookiness...I seem to recall hearing that security guards are particularly frightened of the room containing 17th century Spanish work.

The story of the Lions of Tsavo is rather eerie, and was made into quite a good film some years back.
 

bugmum

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I used to go to Peterborough Museum when I was a little buglet. My sister and I were always vey fond of the things carved out of bone by French prisoners - was one of them a guillotine? This was 40 years ago...
 

Spookdaddy

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I mentioned briefly on the Haunted Digs thread a vaguely remembered story of a haunted artefact at my local museum:

...The basic memory is very clear, but the details vague - if that makes sense at all.

It was way back in my primary school days. I can recall looking at the object in an old display case, and that object was very old - neolithic, I think. That's why the basic memory has stayed around - because the thing involved was much older than I would normally associate with ghost stories. There are an awful lot of tumuli in the area and I think this probably came from one. I also think animal bones were involved in some way. Oh, and it was a member of the museum staff who told us the story associated with it...
Much to my shame, but not my surprise, I've never followed this up, as I promised myself I would*. Given that my work diary is now devoid of any content but spider's web, and likely to remain that way until the end of the summer, I have no excuse, and this is now on the post lockdown to-do list.

*Although I have actually talked to a couple of contemporaries from my old schooldays about this, and - unless I've been exercising the Mandela effect - it does seem to stir a common memory, if not much detail.
 

Lord Lucan

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An article that was just sent to me in an email (from the future it seems too). This is a good read...

Are ghosts haunting the British Museum?
In the late evening, after the last members of the public have been ushered out of the building and the outer gates have been bolted shut, a swift and palpable change comes over the British Museum.

The museum is the most popular tourist attraction in Britain, ahead of Tate Modern and the National Gallery: more than 6.2m people visited in 2019, over 17,000 every day. Without these visitors, the relentless thrum of activity beneath the glass-and-steel lattice roof of the Great Court fades to a whisper. A thick silence fills the cavernous galleries that surround it, each one loaded with artefacts that encompass the arc of human history.

By the time the night shift begins, most of the lights in the museum have been extinguished. The security staff, who patrol the length and breadth of the 14-acre complex until early morning, carry out many of their duties by torchlight. Scouring the premises for anomalies – water leaks, the smell of gas, an employee trapped in a remote corridor – they cast their beams into dark corners, the shadows melting back to reveal a war-like Roman bust or an Aztec mask with shining eyes and teeth. They may even confront a real human being, like the body of an Ancient Egyptian, 5,500 years dead, huddled inside a reconstruction of his sandy grave.
https://www.1843magazine.com/features/ghosts-at-the-museum
 

IbisNibs

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"To complete a full circuit of the museum more than 3,000 doors need to be opened and closed." Holy $h1#!!!!
"Some of these [3,000 doors], particularly ones that seal off the major galleries, are cumbersome to shut. But when bolted, they won’t open again without a tussle. Except when they do." :eek: "Take the Sutton Hoo gallery, which houses treasures from an Anglo-Saxon ship, among them a ferocious-looking helmet believed to have been worn by Raedwald, king of the East Angles, in the seventh century. On one occasion a guard bolted the double doors and moved on to the next room, only to be informed by a CCTV operator that the doors stood wide open again. Video footage of the gallery showed them moving spontaneously. . . . " :ghunt:
Night guard at the British Museum will be Escargot's next job.
 

LordRsmacker

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I think night guards in all sorts of places have some weird tales to tell.
Either that or they wander round in total denial that they've seen anything out of the ordinary during their long overnight shifts. I think that would be the only way I could do that job, or I'd be too busy crapping myself and hiding at every creak and bang to do any real guarding.
 
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