Museo Momias - Mummy Museum Guanajuato
If you ask any Mexican what Guanajuato is famous for, they will almost certainly instantly respond: the Mummy Museum (El Museo De Las Momias).
It is quite sad that the historic and charming city of Guanajuato is most famous for this gruesome and horrific museum.
The creepy mummies of Guanajuato, certainly not a family friendly tourist attraction
Most sensible tourists dislike the thought of viewing mummified bodies which are a little over 100 years old, but usually curiosity prevails and the visitor is subjected to what is possibly the most disturbing museum in the world.
Be warned the Guanajuato Mummies Museum is not a family orientated attraction. Some of the mummies have distressed expressions while others are downright ghastly.
Guanajuato Mummies Tourist Guide
The entrance costs $50.00 pesos and the museum is open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. Inside, visitors pass through three major rooms where the mummies are lined up like works of art and attached to each mummy is a description of the person.
The first mummified body that dates from 1865 is of Dr. Remigio Leroy and is on display along with an assortment of very distress mummies.
These are not real just another creepy exhibit in the Museum of Death
The Guanajuato Mummies present in the Museum are not ancient, but from the turn of the last century. Some still wear clothes and most are recognised and known by name.
The horrific mummy collection includes mummified fetuses, mummified babies and an unfortunate person who was buried alive.
Source of the Guanajuato Mummies
The Guanajuato mummies originate from two sources both equally as shocking. During a major outbreak of disease, mass graves were dug and the bodies thrown in without the required burial salts to help the decomposition in the arid land.
For unknown reasons some of the bodies were exhumed, possibly to be placed in more fitting graves but to the shock of the gravediggers some of the bodies had mummified.
These unfortunate victims were displayed and generally these mummies have shocked and pained facial expressions.
The main building of the El Museo De Las Momias
The other source of the mummies and the first to be discovered, were as a by-product of a tax. The tax required that the relatives of the deceased had to pay a rental fee of the grave for four years.
If the relatives were unable to pay the tax the body was exhumed, cremated and became property of the local government. Many unfortunate families could not afford this tax and a great number of bodies were exhumed.
It has been estimated that approximately 2% of bodies mummified. These bodies were stored next to the graveyard in the building that became the Guanajuato Mummies Museum.
The graveyard workers charged locals $3.00 pesos to view the mummies. This practice of exhuming bodies continued well into the 1950s with the total collection of mummified bodies reaching hundred and eight.