American Dime Museum Closes – Part II

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 11th, 2007

Please see Part I for more details on the closing and upcoming auction of the American Dime Museum; please click here.

Now come enter the museum, via photographs from the American Dime Museum, Barbara Matteson, and Brian at You are walking up to the brick building, come inside, meet your host, and begin to look at the wonders. The images are given uncaptioned to recreate the feel of the tour, in which the attendees were required to do more research, scratch their heads, and walk away pondering. In the end, remember, for our purposes, these are all gaffs, creations to mimic – perhaps – some items rumored but not caught. However, most were more mythical and sideshow-linked than actually cryptozoological.

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

American Dime Museum

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman

Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct).

Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015.

Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

8 Responses to “American Dime Museum Closes – Part II”

  1. Selrach responds:


    As a former Baltimoron, I’m so sad to see this place go by the way.

    Auctioned off, eh? I wonder if I can get my hands on a fiji mermaid?


  2. fredfacker responds:

    I don’t know what type of fish that alien-looking animal in the frame is, but I saw an article just last week about some Russian fisherman who caught one and reported it as an extraterrestrial. They said it was squeaking and making noises when they caught it, so they took pictures — then they ate it.

  3. Doug Higley responds:

    Sure you can get your hands on a mermaid. Just ask me. 🙂

    Having gone through the closing of my own 5,000 sq ft Dime Museum in 1994, I can certainly feel for what Dick is going through right now. Lots of trauma.

    If I were to advise anyone (and I do almost daily in my gaff business) on how to avoid this devastating situation when dealing with the public and museum stuff it would be this and take from it what you will…

    My own museum had many anomalies and sideshow exhibits but they were all in ONE room of the Museum (True Wonders Old Time Museum, Lake Tahoe 1993-94). The rest of the collection consisted of legit stuff…Actual Presidential exhibits, a massive collection of fabulous Tin Toys and wind ups, 60 fully restored Pedal Cars, Robby The Robot and Movie Stunt vehicles and props. Celebrity collections of costuming from Sammy Davis Jr., Liberace and Bing Crosby an entire room of rare Toy Trucks, many Old arcade machines still a nickel or a penny. There was a lot to see besides the 9 ft 3 inch mummy of Olaf The Giant and the other bizarre gaffs and critters. Bottom line is…there were few who cared. Would you have paid $3?. Probably, considering the folks who visit this blog. But the general perception was the Museum was a repository for Freaks and the Grotesque. How many times did I hear, “I don’t want to see that stuff…yuk”

    But you know those that took the time to listen when I told them what was really in there went in (not many) and wouldn’t you know it, MOST of them wound up hanging around in the big Sideshow room engrossed in the things they professed a desire NOT to see.

    If I were to do it again (in a heart beat) I would make sure there was lot to see for everyone, as before but would play down the grotesque…word of mouth would take care of that advertising on the sly.

    To be successful the Museum has to be inviting for EVERYBODY, not just those who appreciate a good Mummified Giant.

    Sorry Baltimore. Your great loss. Everybody’s loss when a fine and rare collection is broken up.

  4. scottc responds:

    I, too, saw the report from Russia last week about the “alien” sea creature captured and eaten by a group of sailors. And I also noticed the similarity to the creature in one of the museums exhibits. To me, it looked like the flip side of some other real sea beast, that just happened to look like a face on the other side. So, I was wondering, as well.

  5. Mnynames responds:

    I’m assuming the creature being talked about here is the Jenny Hanniver (fifth pic down), which is simply a strategically cut, folded and dried Skate or Stingray. A very popular gaff for its time, commonly sold by sailors to unsuspecting marks as some exotic monster from some distant land. Lately seems to be gaining new life as a creature from lands a little more distant than the East Indies…

  6. Doug Higley responds:

    The Jenny’ is a sliced up Guitar Fish…a type of Skate as mnynames says.

    Outside of Ensinada near La Bufador (blowhole) there is a guy who makes these by the ton for the touristas. Tiny to huge. Some look pretty good. Problem with them all is they stink to high heaven.

    This guy also has numerous strange Bio Specimens that he sells in jars filled with dangerous strong Formaldihide solutions. I tried explaining the issues but he shrugged. Tequilla or plain alchohol would work just as well without the cell destruction should you pour some on your self by accident. Guess there are no lawyers in Encinada. (No I didn’t buy one. I don’t deal in animal tissue.)

  7. scottc responds:

    Many thanks to Doug Higley and Mnynames for clearning that up. I knew it was a gaff — there was something familiar to the look of it — but I had forgotten the exact way it was created.

  8. lagauchere responds:

    I too, saw that silly Russian news story – thanks for clearing it up!

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