The Atlas Obscura is an online directory resource for unique, intriguing, amusing, and peculiar attractions around the globe. Being a fan of historic and cultural oddities, I figured this would be a great thing to cover.
On March 20th they are hosting “Obscura Day” highlighting the best destinations from South America to the North Pole. It just so happens that the Vancouver Police Museum has been put on their map to represent our city.
â€œWe were approached by Atlas Obscura a few weeks ago,” said Chris Mathieson, Executive Director of the Vancouver Police Museum. “They had received a fantastic review of the Police Museum by one of their international users and thought weâ€™d make a great fit for Obscura Day.â€
Once you register for an Obscura Day event in your city (or a city that your are visiting) you will be treated to tours and special offers. The Vancouver Police Museum will offer up two tours that you can choose to take for a donation of $15.
Old City Morgue
The Vancouver Police Museum building is the former City Morgue and Coroner’s Court. Between 1932 and 1980, close to 15,000 autopsies were performed in this space, covering almost every major homicide and accident in the city during that period. Special behind-the-scenes opportunities will also be included; not for the feint of heart.
Sins of the City
The Museum’s “Sins of the City Tour” will explore the history of vice crime in Vancouver. Brothels, gambling dens, opium house and strip clubs are all featured on the regular tour. For Obscura Day they’ll add a few special stops into the mix. Appropriate clothing (including closed-toe shoes) will be required for this adventure.
You can read my post about my experience on both on these tours.
The Atlas Obscura is, “a compendium of this age’s wonders, curiosities, and esoterica. The Atlas Obscura is a collaborative project with the goal of cataloging all of the singular, eccentric, bizarre, fantastical, and strange out-of-the-way places that get left out of traditional travel guidebooks and are ignored by the average tourist.”
Outside of Vancouver, other Obscura Day attractions include the World’s Largest Treehouse in Crossville Tennessee, the Underground Salt Museum in Kansas City, a tour of the National Museum of Dentistry in Baltimore Maryland, or a self-made concert at Ringing Rocks Park in Pennsylvania (bring a hammer to make some noise).
The Vancouver Police Museum tours will take place between 11:00am and 2:00pm on Obscura Day, March 20th.
â€œWe hope it encourages locals to take notice of us and realize that weâ€™re so much more than just a dusty collection of badges and uniforms,” Mathieson told me. “We have an amazing building and some of the best stories in the city to tell.â€
Tickets may only be purchased through the Obscura Day website.