Established in 1983 “1/2 Block West of the Old Spaghetti Factory,” Laclede’s Landing has been a kitschy joy ever since.
The wax museum’s collection of over 200 figures takes up 5 floors of a dark warehouse building. The top floors are dedicated to celebrities, public figures, and scenes from the “Life of Christ,” with varying degrees of success. Not everything is labeled, but context clues help: George Washington Carver, for instance, holds a peanut.
Things really pick up in the basement, where the proprietor has installed a proper Chamber of Horrors, assisted by the old building’s creaking floors and winding hallways. It’s dark, in both surroundings and content. As pre-recorded screams echo through the space, visitors are greeted by torture animatronics, copses dripping innards, and all manner of bloody, dismembered bodies. Satan and Hitler are down here too.
Although the wax museum has been in operation for over 20 years, its owner hasn’t lost his entrepreneurial spirit. Laclede’s Landing offers a few special services, including sleepovers and figure renting. You and up to 150 guests can be locked in the wax museum overnight to cuddle up to the Chamber of Horrors and enjoy “Pizza, Pasta, Salad, Ice Cream & Soft Drinks.” At a base price of $300, you can borrow your favorite figure and have it installed outside a friend’s house, inside a friend’s closet, or anywhere else you might imagine. And, just when you think Laclede’s has run out of surprises, it turns out it also has an ice cream shop (with free wifi!).