Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Doesn't get weirder than this — Abita Mystery House

You would think that a Weird South writer living in South Louisiana would have put the Abita Mystery House at the top of my list. And you would be right. A museum dedicated to all things odd? Sometimes, those amazingly weird attractions in your own backyard are the ones hardest to visit; I could never find the time or be in the right place to visit.

I finally found an opportunity.

And the heavens sang.

The Abita Mystery House is a rambling collection of buildings, centered around one main house, all filled with thousands of collectibles, found objects, unusual memorabilia, weird taxidermy, animated displays and so much more. It's the brainchild of Abita Springs artist John Preble, who assembled these items into a somewhat coherent fashion:
Shard House bathroom wall
  • Religious postcards and artwork next to a Reed Organ.
  • The Louisiana plantation home display complete with oil and gas industry next door.
  • Taxidermy hybrids such as Buford the Bassigator, a combination gator and bass fish, or Darrell the dogigator.
  • Push a button and the Mardi Gras diorama parade comes to life.
  • The Shard House is literally a house made up of pottery, glass and mirror shards and contains one of the most interesting bathrooms you will ever find. Make sure you hold it until you get there.
  • And then there's the endless number of paint-by-number pieces, yard and street signs and collections of everything from combs to old radios. 
  • Play the Marble Machine to watch marbles fall down a wooden maze created by Preble.
  • An Airstream filled with more craziness.
  • And then there's my favorite, the Hot Sauce House, filled with bottles of — you guessed it — hot sauce.
Oh heck, we'll just show you the photos:

Mardi Gras Diorama

Old postcard collection

Diorama of a trailer park hit by a tornado

Leroy the Large-mouthed bass

More weird taxidermy

Hot Sauce House
Be sure and take in the gift shop as well, featuring a wide collection of funny gift items as well as artwork by Preble.

The Abita Mystery House is located on Hwy. 36 East in Abita Springs, Louisiana, one block from the Abita Springs traffic circle and about an hour outside of New Orleans. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except major holidays. Admission is $3 for those over 3 years old.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a food and travel writer living in South Louisiana who is the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.

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