Sleeping is overrated, right? Just checking, because I'm probably never going to sleep ever again.

Vent Haven in Fort Mitchell, KY is the only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism, thank god. I'm actually pretty terrified of ventriloquist dummies, and had to keep taking breaks while editing these pictures, but this place is also pretty fascinating.

venthavenmuseum.com

Located inside of a private home and several small surrounding buildings, the Vent Haven is not actually scary, in theory, but curator Lisa Sweasy is well aware that a large part of her job is to assist visitors in conquering their dummy phobia. She gets a kick out of those visitors, but also wonders: "Why would someone like that come here? Ninety percent of ventriloquism is uplifting and funny and cute. Clowns are scarier." Right Lisa. You're right. That is why I will not be writing about the clown museum.

Each room in Vent Haven is filled with dummies sitting in little chairs, dummy heads on sticks, or sometimes on tiered shelves that go all the way up to the ceiling. Walking through the creepy rooms, there is a feeling of being outnumbered, as miniature, creepy Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter grin at you from their spot above your head.

venthavenmuseum.com

The bond between a ventriloquist and his dummy is so strong that no living vents are willing to donate their dummies, and neither are their children. It takes two generations of death for a dummy to finally be donated to the museum. I'm convinced that this is because the dummies have threatened to kill the families while sleeping, but I'm told that they "don't come alive at night and murder people." Whatever.

venthavenmuseum.com

The last building on the tour is a classroom full of dummies sitting at desks, with one vacant desk where visitors can take a photograph. Aaaand now I have the shakes again.