Fear! Wonder! At this Alberta museum, mysterious objects come to rest (in peace, we hope)

In Bergen, Alberta, two brothers have created The Museum of Fear and Wonder, where objects with a curious past find their new forever home.

In Bergen, Alberta, two brothers have created The Museum of Fear and Wonder

Inside The Museum of Fear and Wonder. (CBC Arts)

There's a doll in The Museum of Fear and Wonder that, depending on your leaning, could be read as charming or chill-inducing. You can make a decision on your own about whether the doll, in itself, is frightful, but it's a good example of how the stories we build around objects have everything to do with how we see them.

Watch the video:

Take a tour of the Museum of Fear and Wonder

CBC Arts

3 years ago
At Bergen, Alberta's new Museum of Fear and Wonder, objects with a mysterious past find their new forever home. 4:26

These sorts of complicated mysterious objects make up the collection of The Museum, founded by brothers Brendan Griebel and Jude Griebel. There's already a tradition of museums that house curiosities, but the focus of this one is particularly on objects that have a psychological or narrative association. So, inside the re-purposed army barracks near Bergen, Alberta, you can find things like the aforementioned doll, a chess set made by a death row prisoner in the period before his execution, dollhouses, anatomical models, and plenty of other objects that have had emotional relationships with their owners or makers.

In the above video, the brothers take you inside — if you dare.

The Museum of Fear and Wonder. (CBC Arts)

The Museum of Fear and Wonder will be open June 1-August 30, and you can visit it by appointment at the end of a country road about an hour north of Calgary. It's free, and Brendan and Jude will arrange a tour for you, whenever possible. Guest academics and curators encouraged, Black Mirror associations discouraged. And also, don't just show up — unannounced guests will not be let in, because that's just creepy.

Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.


Josh Wong directed the 2017 award-winning feature documentary No Roads In, which premieres in April 2018 on the CBC doc channel. He’s currently directing the three part documentary TV series Green Gold on Canada’s transition to legal Cannabis. Recent work includes the short film Winter Sleeps for the Calgary Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Centre. Starting with a short on renowned photographer Paul Zizka, Wong has been a regular contributor to CBC Arts.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?