Most abandoned old houses do not contain anything more surprising than a shocking amount of insects and animals. But in 2006, people trying to tear down an abandoned townhouse located in London, England faced a true surprise. It turned out that the basement was full of items that had not been touched since the 1940s. When they were opened up, the items inside of the wooden crates were entirely unexpected.
Inside of the crates were specimens of fantastical and completely unknown animals, plants and creatures. There were over 5,000 different collectible items, that seem to be primarily mythological creatures. Many boxes contained the skeletons of tiny fairies with butterfly wings. Other cases were full of the skulls of werewolves, looking oddly human yet still coated in hair, and taxidermied dragons. The items in the crates are not just taxidermied and preserved specimens. There are also vampire research cases, which supposedly contain all the items used by real vampire hunters to track down their prey. Notes of various dissections provide possible insight into paranormal anatomy.
Supposedly, all of these items originally belonged to Thomas Theodore Merrylin. Merrylin was a rich and eccentric aristocrat who called himself a cryptozoologist. He spent his life searching for these unique and mysterious specimens, and then he cataloged, displayed, and carefully stored them in the crates that eventually ended up in the abandoned home. These specimens are most likely elaborate hoaxes, created by carefully combining different animal skeletons and artificial body parts to create the fantastical creatures. Though no analysis has suggested that they are real, they are still fascinating to look at.
Of course, the unusual objects have created a wide range of interest. Some people believe that Thomas Merrylin is himself a hoax, and that the crates of weird specimens were created in modern times. Others see it as a unique historical collection of manufactured freaks from centuries ago. And there are some people who think the specimens may actually be real, proving that the supernatural world does exist. Regardless of what you believe, the specimens are definitely fun to look at, and they definitely inspire the imagination. You can see them up close at the Merrylin Cryptid Museum.