The “House on the Rock” in Wisconsin is what I imagine might have happened to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory if Willy didn’t have the constructive pursuit of making candy to distract him from the dark depths of his deranged mind. We spent a month in the United States in June this year and the House on the Rock was probably The highlight outside of spending time with precious people. I’m actually at a bit of a loss to describe what it is exactly. It’s not a mere museum. It’s an unhinged mind made corporeal. It’s the end result of the lifelong obsession of a well-financed hoarder to gather the world’s miscellany throughout time and space in one place. And so much more.
House on the Rock is home to the world’s largest carrousel. (The photo above is of a smaller carrousel of creepy porcelain dolls, right beside which is the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). The carrousel’s other feature of note is that there is not one horse amongst the carrousel animals. Apparently when Alex Jordan finished the world’s largest carrousel-of-horror, he noted the complete lack of horses, and liked it that way; so he hung all of the superfluous horses on the walls instead.
It’s impossible to do justice to House on the Rock with photos alone because of its huge collection of room-sized assemblages of animated, automated music machines, mechanical puppetry, and ye olde novelty carnival games. This video does it justice more than any of the others I’ve seen on You Tube (it gets to the good stuff after the first 35 seconds):
I very much want to thank our friends Tara and Tyler, for impressing upon us the worthiness of visiting this marvellous monstrosity, and Keith and Sarah, for putting us up in their home and taking us to House on the Rock.
In conclusion, if you ever feel like glutting yourself on the unhinged and deranged, I can’t recommend House on the Rock, Wisconsin enough.