Up Close & Peculiar

More than 100 years ago, the globetrotting Robert Ripley began collecting artifacts from his journeys around the world, which today form the heart of the greatest collection of oddities ever assembled. Up Close & Peculiar brings the curious history of these pieces to a personal level as our very own, Allyson Iovino, explores the strange relics that lie within our Warehouse walls! Become a part of the story as we share pieces for every history buff, pop culture junkie, and oddities collector alike.

Today: The Death of Abraham Lincoln 

We are in the Ripley’s warehouse today with a few artifacts from good ‘ole Honest Abe. Starting with John Wilkes Booth’s derringer gun that he left behind in the theater after killing President Lincoln. It’s said that it fell out of his pocket after he was escaping the theater. BUT -fun fact-, most historians do not believe this is the actual gun that Lincoln was killed with.

When Booth was found hiding in a farmhouse in Virginia after the assassination, a second matching gun was found in his pocket. THIS was the gun that was believed to be the murder weapon. This ended up being confirmed 106 years after the assassination in 1971 after the inside of both gun’s barrels were tested and it was found that the gun found in Booth’s pocket matched the bullet fragments found in Lincoln’s head.

Now you may be wondering, where did they take Lincoln after he was shot? Well, he ended up being taken to a nearby boarding house across the street. It was there that he was looked after by doctors and loved ones until he eventually passed away. This brings us to the other two objects we have here: A lock of Lincoln’s hair taken post-mortem, as well as a clipping from the bedsheet that he died on.

It may seem pretty morbid to think that someone took a clip of his hair after he died, but Believe It or Not!, this was actually pretty common in Victorian times!

And for the bedsheet clipping? Well, it was said that the person who was actually staying in the room that Lincoln died in came home hungover the day after Lincoln was shot and took a nap on the blood soaked sheets. He then wrote a letter to his sister telling her about the horrible things that had taken place, and claimed that he had a clipping of Lincoln’s hair, along with a piece of linen with Lincoln’s blood splattered on it. Kinda weird flex but okay! Now, this is probably not that same bit of linen but it did come from that same sheet that he died on, with a bit of his blood stained onto the fabric.

Do you have more questions about the conspiracies surrounding the Lincoln assassination? Leave them down in the comments and we’ll do some investigating! Thanks for watching, see you soon!


Discover hundreds of strange and unusual artifacts and get hands-on with unbelievable interactives when you visit a Ripley’s Odditorium!