Universal Monster Army

Collecting Monsters => Memorable Memorabilia => Topic started by: Monsters For Sale on May 29, 2015, 12:19:25 AM

Title: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on May 29, 2015, 12:19:25 AM
Niagara Falls is famous for water, but if I am more interested their wax.

They have, or have had, wax museums for Louis Tussaud, Hollywood Wax Museum, Wax Museum of History, Famous Criminals Wax Museum, Rock Legends Wax Museum, Haunted Wax Museum, House of Frankenstein Wax museum, etc.

And for a while in the 1970's they had a "Boris Karloff Wax Museum".  Here a few examples of brochures and pennants from the attraction.


Brochure 1 - Folded:

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8761/17944436568_b11e713be7_c.jpg)


Brochure 1 - Interior:

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8803/18128821762_5823c73f74_c.jpg)


Brochure 1 - Exterior:

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8855/17944560130_4ed6214b8c_c.jpg)



Brochure 2 - Folded:

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8770/18105757906_0d1f02bb96_c.jpg)


Brochure 2 - Interior:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7739/17946013679_b2f27c9126_c.jpg)



Brochure 3 - Folded:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7760/18105754666_ede2b17042_c.jpg)


Brochure 3 - Interior:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7798/17946008409_d6c6bb45a6_c.jpg)


Brochure 3 - Exterior:

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8794/18132227355_9d0bb14d86_c.jpg)



Pennant 1:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7714/17945081390_1d20d6fc28_c.jpg)


Pennant 2:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7713/18132791765_cb4ee2839e_c.jpg)


Pennant 3:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7791/17944912638_acc41f9ac0_b.jpg)
This pennant is the only dated item.  There is a 1977 copyright date on Kong's shoulder.


Any members ever go there?  Do you have memories or pictures to share?  Know what years it was open?

(I was unable to locate an Oakes Drive & Buchanan Avenue on Google Maps.  Maybe Oakes was renamed.)


Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Joseph_Baeza on May 29, 2015, 02:19:41 AM
Outstanding post, MFS!  I never knew this existed.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Count_Zirock on May 29, 2015, 02:29:15 AM
I was in Niagara Falls in the early '70s, too. Would have been right around the time this was in operation, but I'd never seen or heard of it until now.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Haunted hearse on May 29, 2015, 02:27:12 PM
Never knew this existed.  I had know idea that Karloff had allowed his name to be associated with this.  I would have wanted to see it, if I had known it existed.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Gossamer on May 31, 2015, 10:37:19 PM
I was really young for the one trip to Niagra Falls and it may have been the Karloff Wax Museum.  I vaguely remember the Dracula display shown in the pamphlet.  What I do recall was the merchandise in the gift shop.  This lucky monster kid got a mego Wolfman and a remco Dracula.  Sadly just the wolfmans head remains in my collection.

On my grade eight field trip me and a buddy made it into the wax museum on the main stip.  it was I believe the Haunted Wax Museum.  Quite small and had some of the monsters I particularly remember a Frankie display and a Historical Rasputin display.  My memory is poor for both the Niagra Falls trips.  Sorry I can't be more help.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: ChrisW on June 03, 2015, 11:37:58 AM
Very interesting post. I wonder if he had ever visited it or just allowed his name and likeness to be used.
And once again, Bama's Frankenstein is used as the basis for another product illustration.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on June 03, 2015, 12:11:13 PM

Seems funny (and a little sad) that it used the great man's name and lasted long enough to issue 3 different brochures and 3 different pennants over time, but it is so poorly remembered.

Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: typhooforme on June 03, 2015, 01:10:15 PM
Karloff, well-educated and well-spoken, would have cringed at the misspellings in the brochures.  I doubt any of the family had anything to do with this museum.  I always wonder WHERE do the figures and displays end up when one of these short-lived museums closes.  The stuff probably goes into auctions and ends up on OTHER museums, but---how cool would it be to find that the contents might be found in a warehouse or storage unit somewhere!
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Haunted hearse on June 03, 2015, 03:06:41 PM
Karloff, well-educated and well-spoken, would have cringed at the misspellings in the brochures.  I doubt any of the family had anything to do with this museum.  I always wonder WHERE do the figures and displays end up when one of these short-lived museums closes.  The stuff probably goes into auctions and ends up on OTHER museums, but---how cool would it be to find that the contents might be found in a warehouse or storage unit somewhere!
Some years ago I bought a wax figure of opera great Maria Callas at a gun show.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Gossamer on June 03, 2015, 08:56:06 PM
Seems funny (and a little sad) that it used the great man's name and lasted long enough to issue 3 different brochures and 3 different pennants over time, but it is so poorly remembered.

I don't know about poorly remembered as it may seem.  I was most likely five or six when I had visited the one museum but getting the mego Wolfman out of the gift store is one of my cherished childhood memories.  My memories of the museum on the strip to me was the total highlight of that school trip.  Kinda sad I don't remember the displays as well but I do recall how excited I was when we drove passed it to go to our hotel.  Wax museums were abit of a mainstay in Niagra Falls  quite a few years and have had discussions about them when I discover someone had been to Niagra Falls in that era.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: ChrisW on June 05, 2015, 10:59:06 AM
  I always wonder WHERE do the figures and displays end up when one of these short-lived museums closes.  The stuff probably goes into auctions and ends up on OTHER museums, but---how cool would it be to find that the contents might be found in a warehouse or storage unit somewhere!

A friend of mine drove from Maryland to Niagara Falls to pick up a "life-size" martian he bought from a tourist attraction on Ebay. Great figure about 3 feet tall, with full costume and weapon.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on June 05, 2015, 11:30:03 AM
A friend of mine drove from Maryland to Niagara Falls to pick up a "life-size" martian he bought from a tourist attraction on Ebay. Great figure about 3 feet tall, with full costume and weapon.

My one "Life-Sized" Sideshow figure:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/329/18493841785_caab478e98_z.jpg)

An Invader from The Twilight Zone.  He is 12" tall.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: ChrisW on June 09, 2015, 12:02:25 PM
At the time he bought the Martian from a defunct horror museum he inquired about any other items that might be up for sale. There were other figures that were either too large or too expensive, but the guy did have one item that my friend bought... half of an actual human brain floating in formaldehyde encased in a Plexiglas capsule.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Dr. Creature Feature on June 09, 2015, 12:14:28 PM
I wish places like this still existed. We always have to tear down great things. Those Pennants are amazing, very jealous :)
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on September 07, 2015, 12:51:22 PM
Scored another brochure from this museum.  It is 9" X 8" - or 9" X 4" folded.  No year on the darned thing.  But it does give a tiny glimpse of the interior.


Brochure - Style 4 - Folded:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/738/21212093182_cb8c74e201_b.jpg)


Interior:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/680/20599794944_d27fdeffd6_b.jpg)


Exterior:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5814/20601363363_59e08ab4eb_b.jpg)

Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Mike Scott on September 07, 2015, 01:56:43 PM
As to whether the Karloff family knew of the museums existence, Here is an old Heritage catalog listing of a lot of condolence telegrams to Mrs. Karloff, from Feb. 1969. One is from R. F. Dunham, manager of the Boris Karloff Museum in Niagara Falls.

(http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/800x600q90/538/kb8zY3.jpg)
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on September 07, 2015, 02:27:50 PM

So at least the family was aware of its existence - whether or not they approved or had any involvement is still uncertain.

Anyone here in correspondence with Sara Karloff?  Maybe she could shed some light on this place.

 
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Mike Scott on September 07, 2015, 03:58:30 PM
So at least the family was aware of its existence - whether or not they approved or had any involvement is still uncertain.

I'm thinking I wouldn't have sent the telegram, if they didn't approve.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monster Bob on September 07, 2015, 04:27:16 PM


The place was totally over the table with Karloff. There is no mystery here.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Mike Scott on September 07, 2015, 04:57:52 PM

The place was totally over the table with Karloff.

That makes sense.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: williamlitzler on March 17, 2016, 12:51:30 PM
My parents took me to Niagara Falls around 1970.  After a lot of begging, my parents dropped me off at the Wax Museum.  As I recall, it was attached to a hotel.

I bought my ticket in the lobby and looked at entry to the museum.  I was all blinged out in cobwebs, skeletons, and other scary s**t.

Well, I was to afraid to enter.  I stood in the lobby for an hour and waited for my ride. 

When my parents showed up, I made up a complete description of the museum. 

I still have the brochure, somewhere.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Mike Scott on March 17, 2016, 02:38:43 PM
When my parents showed up, I made up a complete description of the museum. 

Welcome to the UMA, William!

Great story! I hope you were able to see it at a later time.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Pat on March 17, 2016, 07:23:10 PM
Went to Niagra Falls a few times as a kid in the 70s and i loved the wax museums. Also remember a Houdini museum.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: horrorhunter on March 17, 2016, 09:36:12 PM
I would have loved to visit the Boris Karloff Wax Museum, but never got up there.

We had the World Of The Unexplained (previously Dr. Gardner's Museum Of Witchcraft And Magic) in Gatlinburg, Tn. My dad and I went to Gatlinburg every month or two back in the late '70s/early '80s, and I always had to go to the World Of The Unexplained for at least an hour every time. Loved the place.

(http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HA2hotsmfAQ/Ttn_KtCCI0I/AAAAAAAAHn0/YdV8QeFZCHE/s1600/world+of+the+Unexplained+front+and+back+unfolded.JPG)

http://legendtrippersofamerica.blogspot.com/2013/11/ripleys-world-of-unexplained-1972-1985.html (http://legendtrippersofamerica.blogspot.com/2013/11/ripleys-world-of-unexplained-1972-1985.html)

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Z4ydQcmdips/UoD-qkwa_0I/AAAAAAAAArw/oEexcdOFWew/s320/Museum+of+Witchcraft+and+Magic+postcard.jpg)
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Lazarus on April 09, 2016, 02:13:37 AM
I seem to remember an ad for something with the Karloff branding on it from my trip up the east coast of the US around 2000.  I want to say it in a brochure we got in Salem, MA?  I wish I'd kept that stuff.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on August 22, 2017, 07:06:01 PM

...

Brochure 2 - Folded:

(https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8770/18105757906_0d1f02bb96_c.jpg)


Brochure 2 - Interior:

(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7739/17946013679_b2f27c9126_c.jpg)
 ...

Picked up one of these folders.  Here are better images:

Exterior

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4388/36745305015_ab064121c1_b.jpg)

Interior

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4438/36575601072_d93ce16393_b.jpg)
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on October 13, 2020, 09:10:26 PM
Here's another Brochure:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50474345353_e54ecde717_o.jpg)
Boris Karloff Wax Museum - Oakes Drive Motel - Buchanan Ave. - Niagara Falls, Canada - Brochure - Style 5 - A - Exterior (Folded)


(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50475192572_959ed00ed6_o.jpg)
Exterior (Open)


(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50475044026_05bcb44235_o.jpg)
Interior


Sorry about the poor images - Best I have found, so far.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Buzzybean on October 13, 2020, 11:17:28 PM
My family went to Niagara Falls on the Canada side a couple of times during the early 1980s. I remember a Frankenstein museum, a Dracula museum and a Houdini museum. I toured the Houdini museum one visit but not the other two. I wonder now if the Karloff museum is what I remember as the Frankenstein museum. Weird, because I don't remember there being any emphasis on Karloff. I remember figure and diorama style exhibits in glass displays along the street to entice the tourists to enter. They looked pretty scary. Even the Houdini museum gave off a scary vibe. The prices seemed expensive at the time to all of these places. No one in my family was ever interested in going through any of these but me. I thought they were so cool and always regretted not experiencing them. The whole Niagara Fall experience was great and leaving the Falls and walking toward this strip and discovering these places was so cool. I think they also had a Ripleys museum across the street. I wish my memory was better.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on October 13, 2020, 11:52:52 PM
The House of Frankenstein Wax Museum has a Lake George, New York address and looks like this:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50475495063_c57b0794e7_o.jpg)
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: marsattacks666 on December 23, 2020, 06:00:41 AM
Scored another brochure from this museum.  It is 9" X 8" - or 9" X 4" folded.  No year on the darned thing.  But it does give a tiny glimpse of the interior.


Brochure - Style 4 - Folded:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/738/21212093182_cb8c74e201_b.jpg)


Interior:

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/680/20599794944_d27fdeffd6_b.jpg)


Exterior:

(https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5814/20601363363_59e08ab4eb_b.jpg)

Really cool.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: James Burrell on December 24, 2020, 12:21:03 AM
I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. So, I'm just around a 90 minute or so drive away from Niagara Falls.

My parents, aunt and uncle used to occasionally go to Niagara Falls back in the 1970s. I have vivid memories of seeing the exhibits at the "Castle Dracula" wax museum - which was later renamed "Dracula's Haunted Castle." While I don't specifically remember visiting the Boris Karloff attraction, I definitely recall seeing a wax figure of Medusa sitting on a throne in one of the museums. It made a big impression on me, since I've always been a fan of the Hammer film, THE GORGON, which featured Medusa's sister, Megaera. The brochure from "Castle Dracula," which featured a stunning illustration of a snarling Count on the front mentioned exhibits for then recent films like ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE EXORCIST.

When I was a teenager in the mid to late '80s, I would travel on the bus myself and take in the sights of Niagara Falls, including several of the horror-themed attraction on Clifton Hill. By this point, another museum named "The House of Frankenstein" was also in operation, as was a place called "The Museum of Villains," I believe it was called, which included wax figures of Freddy Krueger, Jason, Michael Myers and Leatherface.

I still travel to Niagara Falls occasionally, and was just there last December to see the elaborate Christmas lights display they put on. Both the Dracula and Frankenstein attractions are still in operation, as are two or three other horror-themed ones. I had planned to go there again this month, but my province of Ontario is currently under lockdown with the second COVID wave. Hopefully, I'll be able to go again next summer or fall.

https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/play/attractions/house-of-frankenstein/ (https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/play/attractions/house-of-frankenstein/)

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154998-d4328158-Reviews-Dracula_s_Haunted_Castle-Niagara_Falls_Ontario.html#photos;aggregationId=101&albumid=101&filter=7&ff=73039073 (https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154998-d4328158-Reviews-Dracula_s_Haunted_Castle-Niagara_Falls_Ontario.html#photos;aggregationId=101&albumid=101&filter=7&ff=73039073)
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on December 24, 2020, 02:07:42 AM
I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. So, I'm just around a 90 minute or so drive away from Niagara Falls...   

Something wrong with the pictures you tried to post.  Maybe Mike can fix them.

When you go to the House of Frankenstein, could you take a couple pictures of the souvenir stand?  I like to see what they have for sale.   I wrote to them once and asked what items they had and if I could buy them through the mail - but they never answered.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Mike Scott on December 24, 2020, 03:07:04 AM
Maybe Mike can fix them.

Looks more like he wanted links, so I changed the code.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Monsters For Sale on December 24, 2020, 03:47:08 AM
Looks more like he wanted links, so I changed the code. 

Thanks, Mike.
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: James Burrell on December 25, 2020, 08:17:43 PM
Something wrong with the pictures you tried to post.  Maybe Mike can fix them.

When you go to the House of Frankenstein, could you take a couple pictures of the souvenir stand?  I like to see what they have for sale.   I wrote to them once and asked what items they had and if I could buy them through the mail - but they never answered.

Sure, no problem at all. I'd be happy to take some photos. I don't recall there being very much available to purchase, unfortunately.

Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: James Burrell on December 25, 2020, 08:22:50 PM
Looks more like he wanted links, so I changed the code.

Thanks , Mike, for fixing the links.

I actually have some photos of the figures, exhibits, and brochures posted on Facebook and had tried to post them here, but was having trouble doing that. So, I thought I'd try to upload some images from those websites you posted links for, but I couldn't get them posted, either. So, thanks for fixing them.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone here!
Title: Re: BORIS KARLOFF WAX MUSEUM - Niagara Falls
Post by: Buzzybean on January 13, 2021, 03:17:54 AM
So my memory of a Frankenstein museum without Karloff's name attached to it in the early 1980s was solid...cool.