Oddballs and Oddities at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in NYC

Oh, the bromance! Can you feel the love?

Yes, I’ll admit I am a cheeseball at heart. Even as a dyed in the wool New Yorker I’m not all that sophisticated, and certainly not above having fun in absurdly touristy type places such as Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in NYC.

I love anything on the “weird”, “macabre”, and “strange” side, so having the luck to receive complimentary tickets not too long ago was a terrific opportunity to check out this oddities museum in Times Square. Yes, I know it is “tourist central” and I felt dirty just being in this part of town, but we braved it for this and had a decent little time. Go ahead and shoot me. We all act like tourists now and then on the down-low.

The staff here are very friendly and helpful. Had no problem getting our tickets at the front counter and went inside. There are so many things to see, read about, touch, and learn that are housed in here. Just walking into the entrance you are greeted by artifacts and statues from movies, and other objects and curiosities.

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Yes, this is an “authentic” vampire slaying kit. I swear if they re-make “The Lost Boys” I will use this on the movie producers.

The place is actually quite large and you would not know it from the outside. There are multiple rooms to explore with hidden doors that open when you get near them. Mr. Ripley was an avid explorer and collector of artifacts. Or so the story goes. They are everywhere here along with pictures and information on each posted close by. Many are supposed to be real, but most are props and duplicates, along with some fakery here, but that is part of the kitsch. Just check your common sense at the door and go along for the goofy ride.

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Can you image this thing coming at you back in the day?

My favorite room was the “Medieval Torture Devices” room. Man, people back then had some sick, twisted, and kinky ways of punishment! As a metalhead I was happy to see the “Iron Maiden” ( rock on Bevis! ) but sure would not want to be locked up in one. There are other rooms featuring strange animal oddities, shrunken heads, sports items, Egyptian artifacts, African masks, human oddities, dinosaur bones, gross things, funny things, space mission stuff, and so much more. You can really spend a lot of time here. When we first arrived around 6:30pm it was pretty empty and had a lot of it to ourselves for a while before filling up a bit with more victims, um, tourists.

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I have a feeling medicine and dentistry was not first-rate way back then.

Walking through the “Black Hole” tunnel to get the to next room was a trip! As you walk through this spinning dark tunnel your mind is tricked into thinking you are falling sideways and have to grab the handrails for support. Had to do that a few times as it was so messed up. I kind of wish I was drunk doing this. Maybe not, as the thought of puking in a public spot like this is pure amateur hour. There was also a laser exhibit where you got to go in and act all Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible. Don’t get hit by the laser beams. More fun for the kids actually.

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I have no words for this one. Hello sexy!

Of course, as you leave you have to go through the obligatory souvenir shop like at Disney World. This place was worth it for the free tickets, but can be a bit pricey normally at $30 a ticket on-site, or $24 through their website in advance. Open 365 days a year. Now, there’s a good idea for a Valentine’s date! I am sure many people would think this joint is a waste of money, but we had a good time here. For others it might be “meh”. There are always discounted tickets on the internet, and coupons being handed out so if you can snag a few of those it’s an interesting way to kill a few hours.

Just can’t help myself. As a kid at heart I love all this strange and schlocky stuff!

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I think I lost my head here. Just hanging around. Call me Abbey Normal.


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I’m all for a little kinky stuff, but – OUCH!





Ripley’s Believe It Or Not – http://www.ripleysnewyork.com/







20 thoughts on “Oddballs and Oddities at Ripley’s Believe It Or Not in NYC”

  1. Looks like a crazy, fun place! I love stuff like this, too. Is this where you saw that weird creature you posted on Facebook yesterday?

  2. Ohmigosh, that last photo…ewww. I would have to pass on the spinning tunnel, given my tendency toward motion sickness. Was there a way to go around it?

    That would be an interesting place to visit, if I ever have the opportunity, but I think it would be even more fun after a glass of wine. Without the spinning tunnel.

  3. I love places like that. I don’t care if it’s touristy as long as it’s entertaining and Ripley’s definitely seems like a fun and scary place. I’ve passed it many times, but I’ve never really known what it was. Maybe next time I’ll venture inside. Wonder if those vampire slayer kits are available for purchase? 🙂

    1. Hey Mitzie!

      If you like goofball and low-brow this is your kind of place. You go in and make it fun. It’s so touristy and cheesy. Love it!

  4. Hi Phil! Great to see your post, I missed ya buddy! Ripley’s Believe it or Not. While in Baltimore over 4th of July weekend last summer, they were giving away discount coupons, we decided to take my grandson when it rained thinking he would enjoy it. Turns out the four adults enjoyed it every bit at much as the kid! We had such a good time. I also really loved some of the food tidbits and old, interesting, cooking utensils. Ripley’s is a fun place to visit no matter where the location.

    1. Hey Peggy!

      That is so cool that you also did Ripley’s. Yes, scoring those discount tickets are key. Paying full price I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. There are a lot of tidbits and trinkets to see in there. I’m just a big kid myself!

  5. Iv’e always wanted to go in but it seems that whenever we are in NY we have limited time and it’s never on the top of our list. I’ll have to reconsider next time though your pictures tell quite the story. 🙂

    1. Hey Brickhouse!

      It’s a fun spot but be sure to get a coupon or internet discount. Never pay full price. Yeah, you should put aside a few hours to goof off in here. Give it a shot on a rainy day.

  6. Well don’t let it ever be said that Phil does not know how to have a good time. I visited the Ripley’s in San Francisco a couple of times. Weird stuff for sure. The torture rooms are by far the strangest, I think.

    Please keep us all abreast of your new bromance. Is he doing the undie run with you?

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  7. Just like our poetry book states, mine and Mathair’s mind is one one dark and twisted place. We’ve always wanted to visit Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. It sounds amazing. Great post, Phil.

  8. Kick ass! I love places like this. Never been to the one in Times Square, but a couple of years ago when wandering the boardwalk in Atlantic City, I went to the one there. Definitely was a fun little time. Some crazy stuff!

    1. Hey PJ!

      I have walked by that one in AC dozens of times. They are all the same. Cheesy and goofy but fun. Maybe one day I’ll try that one when I’m not gambling away my cash.

Feel free to comment! We all have opinions!