Exhibition will show the darker side of Moyse’s Hall Museum, in Bury St Edmunds

Moyse's Hall Gothika exhibition which starts this weekend in Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Lance A

Moyse's Hall Gothika exhibition which starts this weekend in Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Lance Alexander (Heritage Manager) and Alex McWhirter. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Artefacts ranging from voodoo dolls to replicas of horror film characters will form the basis of a chilling and sinister exhibition opening in Bury St Edmunds this weekend.

Moyse’s Hall Museum, on the Cornhill, is billing its first ever Gothika exhibition as its “most ghastly” event of the year and “not for the faint-hearted”.

The show will open on Saturday night, when visitors will be able to tour the iconic 12th Century building at night and see exhibits, including everything from a surreal horse-head violin to a sinister gibbet cage and “human oddities” from the Georgian Bury Fair.

Heritage officer Alex McWhirter said: “With Gothika, we are reinterpreting many of our collections by focusing on their elements of romance, the strange, the mysterious and the frightening, and in many ways, this exhibition feels most in keeping true with the history of the building itself.

“It will be certainly be chilling and sinister but we think most people have a sense of the macabre and the exhibition should certainly raise a few eyebrows, if not hairs on the back of the neck.”

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Moyse’s Hall has looked out over Bury St Edmunds’ marketplace for almost 900 years. The origins of the building remain mysterious but its varied past has included serving as the town jail, workhouse and police station, before first opening as a museum in 1899.

Its collections offer a unique view into the past, documenting everything from the foundation of the early town to the dissolution of the Abbey. It also offers intriguing insights into the darker corners of superstition and witchcraft.

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Among the exhibits in Gothika is one of only 16 original gibbet cages in the country and the only one in the world to have a photograph of its occupant.

The opening weekend will conclude on Sunday with an afternoon of readings from Gothic Horror tales.

The exhibition runs until December 15.

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