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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