George the Giant’s Strange Museum of Oddities and Wonder—Year 2

Oct 18, 2019 | 2019 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Terrance V. Mc Arthur

by Terrance Mc Arthur

George Mc Arthur does strange things: fire-eating, sword swallowing, pounding large nails up his nostrils—but when you stand 7’3” and are known as George the Giant, you can get away with things like that. The strangest thing he ever did was open a pop-up museum of unusual things, in October of 2018.

Behold George “The Giant” Mc Arthur and the amazing Card Shark! See them at the Museum of Oddities and Wonders in Bakersfield.

Guess what? He’s doing it again.

George the Giant’s Strange Museum of Oddities and Wonder has returned to Bakersfield’s Fox Theater building, running Fridays and Saturdays until October 26.

Last year’s museum
–Many of the popular exhibits from last year make encore appearances, but close to a quarter of the things you can see are new to the venue.

Returning Attractions—Sasquatch evidence, the Feejee Mermaid (Is this the one that belonged to P. T. Barnum?), a broken doll transformed into kinetic art, a two-headed calf, pictures of the Giant with celebrities like Jay Leno and Elvira, paintings made with human blood, and a two-headed duck.

But wait! There’s more!

You have another chance to see mementos from the Tim Burton-directed film Big Fish (George played a fire-blasting circus giant), a ventriloquist’s figure “adopted” by a childless couple (never say the D-word), a Chupacabra, and a taxidermist’s sword-swallowing rat.

art

George meets George– George the Giant with a portrait of him done in dryer lint.


New Attractions

• Dryer Lint Art—Not dyed, it’s what came out of the lint trap. The color of your laundry determines the color of your lint. See tributes to American Presidents…and a large portrait of George the Giant!
• The Card Shark—Five-and-a-half feet long! Eight decks used in the making! (Was it caught in Las Vegas?)
• Carved Matchsticks—When you’re doing time, little things mean a lot. Prisoners carve anything they can find.
• Bats—Preserved bats become unusual art in the hands of a man whose work is shown at Disney parks.
• Haunted Dolls—People send George strange things they say are haunted. Some show up in his post office box. One was delivered to his unlisted address! (One of the few times the Giant has been scared!)
• Soap—Soap? What’s strange and unusual about soap? It is strange and unusual if it’s made out of…Nahhh! I’m not going to tell you. It would spoil the surprise!
• True Crime—This is a special section, only shown during special, limited VIP tours. On loan from a collector, Ryan Almighty, George has letters, artifacts, and artwork from infamous killers, from John Wayne Gacey (The Killer Clown) to cult leader Charles Manson. For this reason, the tours are not recommended for children.

George the Giant’s Strange Museum of Oddities and Wonder is designed to be family-friendly. George says, “It’s not a maze or haunted house. Nothing will jump out at you.” The low price ($5/person) makes it an affordable outing for the whole family.

George the Giant poses with a controversial painting of Charles Manson during one of his museum’s VIP tours.

Although the museum is in the same location as last year’s, new shelving gives more room for visitors, even though there are many more items on display. The special tours are $25 per person, and participants get a 10% discount at the museum’s gift shop. A number of items are up for a drawing on the last night of the run, including a regulation body bag and the chance to get your own stuffed two-headed duck!

George the Giant’s Strange Museum of Oddities and Wonder, 2007 H Street in Bakersfield, continues its limited run on Saturday, October 19 from 2 to 10 p.m., Friday, October 25 from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, October 26 from 2 to 10 p.m. VIP tours are at 11 p. m. Tickets are $5 for ages 3 and up. For more information on the museum and the VIP tours, check the attraction’s Facebook page.

Check out more local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He is a librarian with Fresno County Public Library.

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