Diaries Magazine

Skeletons with a Side of Poe.

Posted on the 09 August 2012 by Hannahr395
The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is pure scientific and medical goodness. Really. I'm not a huge fan of museums, but if you're interested in science, medicine, and weird medical abnormalities, this museum is for you. My boyfriend and I went there a couple of weeks ago after visiting Edgar Allen Poe's house (I'll get to that later). The outside was fairly unassuming, and so was the lobby. The actual museum area was pretty small compared to other museums, which meant that the exhibits were crammed very close to each other. This made for total sensory overload when I actually stepped into the museum area. And then there were the skeletons. Lots and lots and lots of skeletons. If you are not a fan of bones, this is not the museum for you. There was one glass case entirely filled with skulls. Another display discussed the size of Einstein's brain in comparison to the average man's brain. Throughout the museum were a handful of skeletons that were dried to preserve the prominent veins/muscles. The best exhibit, at least in my bias eyes, was an exhibit detailing the steps a forensic anthropologist takes in identifying skeletons; the exhibit included about 5 or 6 full skeletons. As a forensics junkie, I was in heaven. If you're a history buff, there was a big exhibit on John Wilkes Booth that we unfortunately did not get to see because of the massive quantity of stagnant people surrounding it. Oh well. My second favorite exhibit included the skeleton of a 7' 6" (or 7' 8," one of those two) man. Yeah, it was huge. The best part: they put it next to a "regular" man's skeleton to compare. The difference in the sizes of their rib cages was massive. You really need to see it to believe it.
Before our great escapade into the land of skeletons, we visited Edgar Allen Poe's real house in Philly. I love English, and I discovered the wonders (and creepiness) of Poe this year. When we first got to the place, we had to use a knocker to get in. I thought it was a nice touch. The house we went into was built right up against Poe's actual house, and it served as a lobby of sorts. We got to tour Poe's house on our own; the first room we entered was the parlor, shortly followed by the kitchen minus anything actually having to do with cooking. The plaster walls were original, and their age was apparent in the unevenness of the texture and color. Then we used the original staircase to get upstairs. The whole time I was exclaiming that Poe had actually walked up the stairs. Yeah, it was slightly pathetic. When we got upstairs, we went into the different bedrooms. And again, I couldn't help talking about how he probably wrote in the room we were standing in. The best part of the house by far was the cellar--it was entirely cobblestone, musty, chilly, cobwebbed, and incredibly creepy. It has been speculated that the cellar inspired a few of Poe's short horror stories. And I thought my basement was bad. Outside of the house there was an awesome raven statue, which I got a picture in front of:

Skeletons with a side of Poe.

The house on the right is the lobby one. The house with all the windows was Poe's house.

And that completes my account of Poe, skeletons, & Philly. Hannah

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