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Somerset museum celebrates "all things weird"

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SOMERSET, KENTUCKY (WDKY)-- Somerset's Carnegie Community Arts Center is a pretty place. The century-old building was once a post office, then a library; a place full of history with a basement full of mystery.

"A little bit of everything-- ghosts, aliens, voodoo, psychic, all the weird things," said Kyle Kadel, co-owner of the International Paranormal Museum and Research Center.

The museum has been open for one year. It's two rooms full of things they've collected over the past 15 years.

"I don't believe everything we cover in the museum," Kadel said. "For example, I doubt the werewolf encounters, but it's more fun to believe it's possible than to know it's not."

The museum contains plaster casts of Big Foot prints, including some collected in Pulaski County, dolls that are said to be cursed. and models of the Moth Man.

"The freakiest piece we have, and so far the only one piece I've not even wanted to touch, is a voodoo doll," Kadel said. "It's 100 years old and filled with grave dirt and human teeth."

Kyle says the building itself has a haunted history. A little boy died on the property in the early 1900. Visitors have claimed they've heard him laughing.

"Other than that, we've also had a librarian pass away in our building and I've personally been shushed by her," said Kadel.

The most talked about item is a mannequin named Gladys that came from a local store. Kadel says employees would often lock up at night and find the mannequin in a different spot in the morning.

"Employees started threatening to quit because frankly, they didn't like Gladys."

The mannequin has stayed put in the museum, but still gives some visitors the creeps.

"And actually since we've been open, we've had about eight people say she's winked at them."

Visitors can take ghost-hunting equipment around the room to see if any of the objects on display give out abnormal magnetic readings.

"I love having a haunted museum," Kadel tells visitors. "But I do not want a haunted house."

He said even skeptics love the museum because it's about storytelling and preserving cultural traditions.

"We hope they leave having had a little fun. We've had so much fun the last 15 years."

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The museum is at 107 North Main Street and is usually open from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday; noon to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. It's closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children and seniors. Check its Facebook page for more information.

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If you have an idea for a "Spirit of the Bluegrass" segment, email Marvin at: mbartlett@foxlexington.com


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