In today’s mega-world of ‘Marvel Universes’, and ‘zombie nations’, many like myself long for the simpler “creature comforts” of yesteryear when ‘classic’ monsters ruled the horror/sci-fi landscape and dominated the pantheon of horrific heroes. Thanks to Cortlandt Hull, those devoted ‘monster kids’ need only visit his exceptional movie museum in Plainville, Connecticut— although the experience is certainly anything but plain.
Hull is the creator/curator of the Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum, specializing in detailed, life-like wax reproductions of iconic Universal Monsters characters like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera and the Black Lagoon’s Gill-man as played by screen legends like Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney (both) and Henry Hull (Cortlandt’s great-uncle, who played the title monster of 1935’s Werewolf of London).
The stellar monster movie attraction, regarded as the longest-running one in the nation, gives a 20-minute tour featuring the recorded voices of Hull’s friends, June Foray (best known as the voice of Rocky on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends) and the legendary Vincent Price. The museum also boasts film screenings (beginning in 2022) plus a gallery of horror movie memorabilia and relics.
Incredibly, Hull began the venture in the town of Bristol in 1966 at the considerably young age of 13! Much enhancement and improvement has been made since those ‘monster craze’ days but he has remained true to his original vision and dedication to the classics.
Authenticity is one of the Dungeon’s obvious hallmarks as details like Larry Talbot’s ‘wolf’s head’ cane and the statue of Beethoven in the Phantom’s catacombs draw fans straight into its characters’ frightening worlds. Headpieces in the exhibit created by Oscar-winning makeup artists John Chambers and Dick Smith are the real deal, having been employed in various classic films.
Hull currently has the Invisible Man and the Bride of Frankenstein in the works and plans to introduce them by October. When not presiding over his Dungeon in Connecticut, he can be found touring many of his monsters across the country at various exhibitions and conventions. To see it all, though, you’ll need to stop into the Witch’s Dungeon at 103 East Main St., open weekend evenings by appointment (Adults $8, Children under 12 $4. Call (860)583-8306 before 4PM to schedule). Click here for more: https://preservehollywood.org/
Tell them the “man of many faces” sent you—with regretful apologies to the great Lon Chaney, of course.