A Museum In Savannah, GA Boasts The Largest Collection Of A Morbid Object

The following article includes information on crimes involving sexual assault and murder.

On a cobblestone walkway just above historic River Street in Savannah, Georgia, is a unique museum dedicated to every level of the macabre. Since February 2020, the Graveface Museum has lured visitors to a place that gives more than just a passing glance at some of life's darkest elements. Part sideshow, part repository of murderabilia, this spot tucked inside an old tobacco storage warehouse is a place you'll not likely forget.

The gift shop is loaded with original and repressed vinyl records, many of which have been re-released on Graveface's record label. Amid the shelves filled with horror movie and serial killer-related souvenirs and unique taxidermy, the gaping maw of a papier-mâché Satan welcomes those who dare into the belly of the museum. Once inside, there are lots to see: A full skeleton belonging to the museum owner's great-grandfather, a room dedicated to traveling circus and carnival sideshows, and too many occult artifacts to count. A free-play arcade is part of the ticket price, giving visitors a chance to play unlimited games on nearly two dozen different horror and sci-fi-themed pinball machines and arcade games. 

Upstairs from the game room is an area that is a must-see for anyone who has an interest in true crime. Thousands of articles formerly belonging to or associated with numerous true crime figures await your curious (and perhaps horrified) gazes. Sunglasses belonging to Jim Jones. Photos of the Manson girls. But maybe the most intriguing tidbit about this museum is that among its many artifacts is the largest display of paintings created by "Killer Clown" John Wayne Gacy.

This is home of the largest collection of Gacy paintings

Gacy has long captured the attention of true crime aficionados since his arrest in December 1978. The Chicago contractor spent several years luring young men and teenage boys to his home on Summerdale Avenue, where he would torture, sexually assault, and murder them. When police searched his home, they discovered that the majority of his victims had been buried in the crawlspace underneath his floorboards, coated with thin layers of soil and quicklime. Gacy was responsible for 33 confirmed murders and was executed in 1994 (per Newsweek). 

During his stay in prison, Gacy passed a lot of his time using a paintbrush. After someone sent him a beginner paint set in 1982, he started creating works of art that eventually sold at auction for tens of thousands of dollars (via Crime Museum). The work he developed over the next 12 years consisted of many self-portraits of him dressed in his Pogo the Clown getup (Gacy dressed as this character to entertain at children's events before he was imprisoned), but also contained paintings of other notorious criminals like Charles Manson. 

Gacy's paintings are a big draw for visitors at the Graveface Museum, as this spot hosts the largest collection of Gacy's paintings assembled (per Graveface Museum). On the top floor, visitors can take in every brushstroke the killer made on an assortment of canvasses. Ryan Graveface, the museum owner and namesake, acquired his first Gacy painting when he was 15, the result of a school project where he penned letters to several incarcerated serial killers (via The New York Post).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Relics from other infamous killers are displayed

The sheer volume of serial killer murderabilia on display might be a lot for some folks to absorb. And there's so much more than just Gacy's paintings to see. The keys that once gave access to the makeshift graveyard beneath Gacy's home are in the museum's possession, as is an assortment of other odds and ends from Gacy's house. And visitors wanting to see more than just Gacy items won't leave disappointed. 

Behind the glass are a pair of sweatpants worn by Charles Manson in prison, and an old sign for Spahn Movie Ranch, where Manson's cult had its headquarters, is prominently displayed on one wall. A pair of underwear that once belonged to Florida serial killer Aileen Wuornos is also there for your viewing pleasure. There are also numerous items taken from the Ed Gein crime scene, which the museum received in the mail from an unnamed source (via The New York Post).

The museum once displayed several items tied to serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy. But the curator decided to remove them after witnessing some disturbing reactions from some of the young women who viewed them. He says he's still in possession of those artifacts and keeps them stored under his sink.

If you're in Savannah, the Graveface Museum will give you an unforgettable experience. It's a quick jaunt up the alleyways from River Street, at 410 Factors Walk. It is open from noon to 7 pm Thursday-Sunday.