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Myrtle Beach Ripley’s Believe It or Not is bizarre, unbelievable fun

Shuffleboard, hot tubs, pools, exercise facilities, private balconies and oceanfront swings are among the diverse amenities available to guests of Palmetto Shores Resort.

Comprised of three towers situated along Ocean Boulevard in Myrtle Beach, Palmetto Shores Resort has ideal accommodations for practically any vacationers. It is centrally located near some of the area’s most popular attractions, including Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium, which is less than two miles away. 

The Odditorium, a museum housing strange artifacts, displays, statues and more, has been open in Myrtle Beach since 1975.

Of course, the attraction gets it name from Robert Ripley. A California native, Ripley was a cartoonist, explorer, journalist, adventurer, illustrator and treasure hunter of peculiar and intriguing things from around the globe.

Ripley opened his first museum, known as the Odditorium, in Chicago in 1932. To date, there are 31.

“We are an icon of American history,” said Steve Clarke, general manager at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium in Myrtle Beach. “We have one-of-a-kind oddities that come from all over the world. These are objects Robert Ripley went out and looked for when he was alive.”

The Odditorium’s name is befitting because of the weird dwelling here.

“We actually have a shrunken head, or a mummified head, that is quite a few years old,” Clarke said. “We also have one of the Fiji mermaids (a mermaid created from a monkey’s head and body of a fish popularized by P.T. Barnum) on display. We have a huge rollercoaster made from matchsticks on display, too, as well as a six-legged taxidermy pig. We have weapons from medieval times and so much more stuff.”

There are more than 500 items to see in the Odditorium, with the most bizarre likely being a piece of tattooed skin from the 1930s.

“Back then, the only way they could remove tattoos was by peeling the skin off,” Clarke said.

There are also other attractions that are a part of Ripley’s Believe It or Not: The 5D Moving Theater, The Marvelous Mirror Maze and The Haunted Adventure.

“The moving theater allows you to see and fell the movie,” Clarke said. “In the Snow Ride, for example, you will actually see snow.”

The Marvelous Mirror Maze is a labyrinth of reflections, which some folks have difficulty solving and others solve easily.

“On average, it take people about 10 minutes to find their way out of there, but some people go in there and get lost,” Clarke said. “Of course, we help them get back out. Then, there are those with the ability to get in and out in record time. I observed this one kid go in there, and he was able to find his way back in the blink of an eye.”

Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, described by Clarke as the best-haunted house in Myrtle Beach, is not for the little ones. Children 5 and under are not allowed admittance. However, those old enough to venture in should still be a bit leery.

“We have an actor who will greet you,” Clarke said. “You will get on an elevator and that is when we really start messing with you while you are taking the ride up.”

He refused to divulge more about the Haunted Adventure, except the following: “Some are so people terrified and can’t finish the self-guided tour that takes 15 to 20 minutes, with things happening all along the way. We have emergency exits for them throughout the attraction.”

Believe it or not.

If you go:
What: Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Where: 901 N. Ocean Blvd., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
When: Times vary, but it is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. during September and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Oct. 1 to Oct. 28.
Hours: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The 5D Moving Theater is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Marvelous Mirror Maze is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The Haunted Adventure is open from noon to 7p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Cost: Prices are $14.99 and $6.99 for children 6-11 for the Odditorium, with ages 5 and under free. The theater prices are $13.99 and $7.99 for children 6-11, with ages 5 and under free. The Haunted Adventure costs $13.99 and $7.99 for children 6-11. Children 5 and under are not permitted.
Group rates: Prices per attraction are $9.99 for ages 12 and older and $5.99 for children 6-11, if there are 10 or more people in your group. To make a group reservation, call Mary Clark at 843-916-0888, ext. 3226.
Information: Call 843-448-2331 or visit http://www.ripleys.com/myrtlebeach/
Directions from Palmetto Shores: Go south on North Ocean Boulevard until you see Ripley’s Believe or Not on the right.

Posted 12/12/12

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