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A wax museum or waxworks consists of a collection of wax figure representing famous people from history and contemporary personalities exhibited in lifelike poses.

Wax museums often have a special section dubbed the chamber of horrors in which the more grisly exhibits are displayed.

Wax museums can be credited to Marie Tussaudmarker, who traveled Europe with wax sculptures in the late 1700s.

Notable wax museums

Madame Tussaudsmarker is the most famous name associated with wax museums. In 1835 Madame Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition in Londonmarker's Baker Streetmarker. There are also Madame Tussauds in Dam Squaremarker, Amsterdammarker; Berlinmarker; Hong Kongmarker; Shanghai; and three locations in the United Statesmarker: the Venetian Hotelmarker in Las Vegas, Nevadamarker, Times Square in New York Citymarker, and a new one in Washington, D.C.marker. Louis Tussaud's wax museum in San Antonio, Texasmarker, is across the street from the historic Alamomarker. Another is located on the Canadian side of Niagara Fallsmarker and another in Copenhagenmarker, Denmarkmarker near the famous Tivolimarker.

One of the most popular wax museums in the United States for decades was The Movieland Wax Museummarker in Buena Park, Californiamarker, near Knott's Berry Farmmarker. The museum opened in 1962 and through the years added many wax figures of famous show business figures. Several stars attended the unveilings of the wax incarnations. The museum closed its doors on October 31, 2005, after years of dwindling attendance.

Another popular wax museum is the Musee Conti Wax Museum in New Orleans, Louisianamarker, which features wax figures portraying the city's history as well as a "Haunted Dungeon" section of wax figures of famous characters from horror films and literature. Another popular wax museum in the U.S. is the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, Californiamarker.

The Royal London Wax Museum in downtown Victoria, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker, features "royalty to rogues and the renowned."

There was also a Dublin National Wax Museum in Ireland. This wax museum hosted well over a hundred figures and for many years has had only one sculptor, PJ Heraty. This museum has now closed but there are plans to find a new location for it. PJ still produces figures even under these circumstances.

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