Exclusive Video & Photos: Natural History of Horror Exhibit Opens

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This past Thursday, October 10th, an exhibit of rare film props and history from Universal Studios’ “Golden Age” of horror filmmaking opened at Los Angeles’ Natural History Museum, and we were there to document it.

Titled “Natural History of Horror – The Science of Scary,” the exhibit, which will run through April 19th, 2020 at the Natural History Museum (900 W. Exposition Blvd.), is an interactive curation of classic film, filmmaking techniques and screen-used props and curiosities from some of the biggest horror films in the history of cinema. Of the items contained in the exhibit: a vampire bat from Tod Browning’s 1931 classic Dracula,  shackles from James Whale’s 1931 smash Frankenstein (once worn by Boris Karloff), a vase from 1932’s The Mummy, and a copy of the original mask from 1954’s The Creature From the Black Lagoon, as well as a full-sized Gillman, the latter two on loan from the private collection of filmmaker and artist Micheline Pitt, who was on hand for the launch.

Prior to the exhibit’s opening, we were treated to an illuminating discussion on the exhibit itself, with panelists Beth Werling, Art Collection Manager for the History Department and Material Cultural Division, Holly Goline, Universal Pictures film exec, Jeff Pirtle, Director of Archives and Collections at NBC Universal and Su Oh, Vice President of Education and Programs at the Natural History Museum.

You can watch that video at the top of the article and view the image gallery below.

Free with paid museum admission and free for museum members, the “Natural History of Horror” is sure to please both knowledgeable horror fans and laymen alike (and it’s also kid-friendly). What’s more, the Natural History Museum will be hosting a series of screenings throughout the exhibit’s run, with each to include access to the exhibition, a film screening, performance, light snacks, and a cash bar. The screening schedule is below.

For more info, visit the Natural History Museum at www.NHM.ORG/horror.

Highly recommended!


Friday, October 11th, 2011

Bite Into This with Dracula

Friday, February 14th, 2020

Unrequited Love with The Creature From the Black Lagoon

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Monster Fears with Frankenstein

Friday, April 10th, 2020

All Wrapped Up with The Mummy


Writer’s note: our thanks to NHM’s Sally Marquez for arranging our visit.