I wasn’t sure what to expect as I walked down Avon Street to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. The only one of its kind, the museum showcases a bizarre, extraordinary, and diligent collection of mythical and unusual creatures from around the world.
In other words, if you’re looking for the Jersey Devil or Bigfoot, this is your best bet at finding them among the oddities and rare zoological specimens. The museum was founded in 2003 as a family-friendly museum and preserves native art and contemporary souvenirs as part of its scientific and education mission.
My Visit to the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine
At first, I wasn’t sold. I was not totally impressed with the museum itself, the artifacts were crammed together like some sort of man-cave den, it looked more like a collection of souvenirs acquired by founder and director Loren Coleman. However, I wasn’t so quick to give up either…so I began to browse.
From leprechauns and gnomes to the Loch Ness Monster, this place really had it all. A Yeti, Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, and a mermaid… given the time, you could learn a great deal about these legendary and otherwise mythical creatures here.
Irish folklore states that if you catch a leprechaun, a solitary fairy usually depicted as a little bearded man with a coat and hat, he may reveal his hidden pot of gold. If you ever see one, don’t glance away or he will disappear!
As easily as humans walk on land, gnomes are said to be able to move freely through the earth and if the sun’s rays hit his body, he will turn to stone. They are said to be guardians of precious stones and treasures hidden underground.
I was actually learning a lot at the International Cryptozoology Museum, and most appreciatively, a lot about what The Fairytale Traveler writes about. Where else was I going to see a collection like this?
The museum was really proving to be quite a resource showcasing things like molds of Bigfoot’s tracks, and a hair sample of a Yeti. Thanks to Loren Coleman, and his bizarre (and seemingly similar to my own) passion for mythical creatures, I was able to get my inquiring mind full of information all in one place.
Loren Coleman, now the author of 17 books, has spent most of his life researching cryptozoology, more scientifically known as “the study of hidden animals.” Over the years he has collected replicas of such animals and any type of artifacts he can get his hands on. He is one of the few that are passionate about cryptozoology and probably the best and most educated source of all hidden animals.
Overall, I felt like I hadn’t given the Cryptozoology Museum the respect it deserved. I do wish that the collection was better displayed, but I have to hand it to Loren, this is one hell of a collection, and you’re never going to see one like it anywhere else. If I ever win the lotto, I’m donating a few million dollars to the renovation of this museum so Loren’s collection can get the exhibit that it deserves.
Check out this gallery below with a few more images from my visit to the International Cryptozoology Museum!
Donations, admission, and purchases made in the gift store keep the Cryptozoology Museum open so be sure to get at least one of their rare souvenirs. Don’t worry about rushing through, patrons may stay for 30 minutes after closing.
If you are ever in Portland, MN, and want to explore the hidden, rare, and quite bizarre, I’d suggest visiting the International Cryptozoology Museum and taking a peek at their amazing collection. It is the only one of its kind and you will learn a lot of fascinating facts while gazing at the strange oddities that might haunt your nightmares.