The Hypnotism Museum — A Dream

I’ve looked, and there is no muse­um devot­ed to hyp­no­sis any­where in the world, at least noth­ing with any kind of web pre­sense or news sto­ries about it. The best I found through a web search was a short-lived expo­si­tion almost 20 years ago.

This is dis­ap­point­ing, since there are plen­ty of muse­ums to even the most triv­ial of sub­jects, so why not hyp­no­tism? Plus, I’ve spent the past *mum­ble mum­ble* decades col­lect­ing The Hyp­no­sis in Media Col­lec­tion, and I’ve invest­ed a lot of time, mon­ey, emo­tion and devo­tion to it and I want to see it in the hands of peo­ple who would be as com­mit­ted to it as me: I want it to be con­tin­ued, main­tained and used. I just don’t have the time, the ener­gy, the con­tacts, the funds or the exper­tise to do it.

So what would the Hyp­no­tism Muse­um look like? Pos­si­bly a loca­tion like a movie mem­o­ra­bil­ia store I found in Los Ange­les over a decade ago, when I was look­ing for hyp­no­sis-relat­ed movie mem­o­ra­bil­ia, pub­lic­i­ty pho­tographs, posters, etc. It was lit­er­al­ly on the bot­tom floor of a two-sto­ry urban mall, with eth­nic stores around it and a Japan­ese restau­rant / bar on the upper floor that over­looked the hall on the low­er floor. Only in Los Angeles …

Any­way, I can dream, though, and I can imag­ine, and I can con­vert those dreams and imag­in­ings into words. (And maybe, one day, into reality.)

Here they are:

It is an anony­mous, brown paper-cov­ered glass door and accom­pa­ny­ing brown paper-cov­ered dis­play win­dow, just one in a row of iden­ti­cal doors and dis­play win­dows, all barred, some occu­pied, some sim­i­lar­ly anony­mous, along both sides of the par­tial­ly-under­ground low­er floor of the enclosed mall, a typ­i­cal sub­ur­ban strip mall dou­bled-back and fold­ed-over onto itself in the small­er urban space with­in the com­bined busi­ness / apart­ment house / park­ing garage city block. There isn’t even a num­ber over the door, but the store sell­ing Bol­ly­wood DVDs on the right and the bak­ery two doors down on the left are labeled, so the applic­a­ble address could be guessed eas­i­ly. There is no but­ton near the door, but a close inspec­tion would reveal con­cealed cam­eras mon­i­tor­ing the entire front.

The dead­bolt opens eas­i­ly, but the stuck door still gives a rea­son­able approx­i­ma­tion of being locked until a strong shove forces it open. A sound plays with­in, faint­ly: the ring­ing sound of the Red Pres­i­den­tial Phone from the Derek Flint movies. Once the door is closed, there is still just enough light around the edges of the paper cov­er­ing the glass to find the light switch­es on the near wall. The neon lights over­head sput­ter and all but a cou­ple flick­er into light at a flip of the switch: the burnt-out lights will be replaced, soon.

The wall beside the door holds a vir­gin cork­board with an array of push­pins neat­ly arranged in rows by col­or at the top. Above it is a bright red sign show­ing the sym­bol of a fire extin­guish­er and down­ward point­ing arrow. The wall beside them, back to the cor­ner, holds two large framed posters, sev­er­al framed pho­tographs, a framed phono­graph album, a deep mem­o­ra­bil­ia box and a framed biog­ra­phy, all ded­i­cat­ed to a famous female stage hyp­no­tist of years gone by.

The far wall is even­ly divid­ed by a bead­ed cur­tain, where the beads are shiny sil­ver faceted balls and small mir­rors, which obscures the mys­ter­ies within.

The walls to the left and right of the hall­way entrance both have low glass cab­i­nets before them and glass-cov­ered shelves above the cab­i­nets. The cab­i­net to the right of the entrance holds a shin­ing brass con­trap­tion, with crys­tals mount­ed on a rotat­ing plate before a mir­ror out­lined by four low can­dle hold­ers, with gears under­neath the plate designed to be oper­at­ed by the crank behind the mir­ror. The glass-cov­ered shelves in the wall above the cab­i­net hold large fig­urines rec­og­niz­able from movies and comics. The cab­i­net to the left of the entrance holds a series of hard­cov­er books with bright paper cov­ers, all show­ing some image of medieval fan­ta­sy, and a plac­ard show­ing a pic­ture of the author and list­ing their biog­ra­phy. The shelves about the cab­i­net are nar­row­er, and are only part­ly filled with gad­gets like met­al box­es with arrays of lights and metronomes and mechan­i­cal spi­rals and spi­ral coins and glass­es with spi­ral lens­es and racks of dan­gling crys­tals in sev­er­al shapes, sizes and colors.

The left wall holds swing­ing poster racks: cur­rent­ly, one is open to a lurid 70s era movie poster fea­tur­ing a beyond stereo­typ­i­cal image of a Yel­low Per­il pulp vil­lain, oppo­site a Vic­to­ri­an peri­od repro­duc­tion of a poster show­ing sev­er­al sub­jects per­form­ing stage hyp­no­tism antics, with an open area across the top to be used to print the name of a spe­cif­ic stage hypnotist.

The enclosed win­dow dis­play is wide but not very deep. Through the open access door can be seen two manikins stand­ing there, fac­ing out: the one on the left is dis­guised with a black satin cloak with upswept lapels, the oth­er wears a shab­by monk’s robe with strag­gly hair down past their shoulders.

Through the bead­ed cur­tain is a hall­way. Anoth­er switch turns on the lights there. Pic­tures line the hall­way: large framed one-sheet and three-sheet movie posters on the left, small­er por­trait-sized pic­tures of movie pub­lic­i­ty pho­tos and enlarged book cov­ers on the right. The doors and walls are mis­matched, some pos­si­bly tem­po­rary or pos­si­bly new addi­tions: the wall to the right, up past the first two doors, is an indus­tri­al dark green in col­or, but the wall after that and the wall on the left are paint­ed a paler pas­tel blue. The first two doors on the right are paint­ed, and prob­a­bly paint­ed more than once, indus­tri­al white, while the oth­er doors are plain wood. The ceil­ing over­head is obscured by indus­tri­al-col­ored drop panels.

The first room to the left is only five mis­matched met­al fold­ing chairs across, with an aisle on either side, but long enough to hold five rows and leave more than ade­quate room for the small podi­um and ade­quate pac­ing space in the front and the nar­row table hold­ing the minifrig, microwave and cof­fee mak­er in the back. There is a retractable screen across the top of the front wall and a pro­jec­tor hang­ing from the ceil­ing near the back.

The first room to the right is an office, noth­ing of inter­est to see there: the door, direct­ly across from the door across the hall, is labeled “Private”. Under­neath is a framed T‑shirt, with a spi­ral of grad­u­al­ly dimin­ish­ing text repeat­ing “The Hyp­no­tism Muse­um” in black let­ters against the white fabric.

The door to the next room to the right is also labeled “Private / Not For Gen­er­al Pub­lic” over the all-accom­mo­da­tions restroom plac­ard. The facil­i­ties with­in are bland and prob­a­bly date from the 1980s, with the con­tem­po­rary addi­tion of hand­i­cap rails. There is also a cab­i­net in one cor­ner hold­ing bath­room and clean­ing sup­plies, includ­ing a mop and wheeled bucket.

The next room on the left opens into floor to ceil­ing book­cas­es sur­round­ing the walls. The binders, books and DVDs are cat­e­go­rized and sort­ed, non­fic­tion on the left, fic­tion to the right. All are labeled on the spine or inside accord­ing to both the Dewey Dec­i­mal and Library of Con­gress sys­tems, both famil­iar sets of let­ters and num­bers to the cognoscen­ti. The door­way is lined with sen­sors, and the books are tagged, so any attempt to remove them from the room is instant­ly detected.

The next room on the right, direct­ly across from the library, is lux­u­ri­ous with indi­rect dim­ma­ble light­ing and sooth­ing eggshell white walls that seem wider than the oth­er rooms. Two mis­matched over­stuffed leather reclin­ing chairs face each oth­er, flank­ing the door, with an iden­ti­cal end table with a read­ing lamp beside them. One end table is piled with hard­cov­er books, each with book­marks pok­ing out of the top. While the pur­pose of the room is unmis­tak­able, it has anoth­er func­tion: the shelf under­neath each end table holds a VR immer­sion rig, includ­ing a nest of body sen­sors and an accom­pa­ny­ing lap­top com­put­er. In addi­tion, bil­low­ing para­chute cloth obscures the ceil­ing, and a vin­tage dis­co ball hangs from a motor­ized assem­bly in the cen­ter, sur­round­ed by a ring of col­ored LED pro­jec­tors on the walls. There is a UV-light poster of a spi­ral mount­ed on the wall direct­ly across from the near­est chair, and a box mount­ed on the wall next to the door with a timer switch and a fre­quen­cy dial that oper­ate the UV light overhead.

The dark green fire exit door is at the end of the hall. There is a deep alcove to the right of the door, hold­ing more mis­matched met­al fold­ing chairs and an eight-foot gener­ic white plas­tic fold­ing table, and a fold­ing step­stool. Typ­i­cal, gener­ic, bland, necessary.


The first room on the left in the hall is intend­ed for class­es, but also for watch­ing movies or TV pro­grams, and pos­si­bly even a reg­u­lar D&D session.

Speak­ing of a web search, these are the only two things that I found that are in any way relevant:

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