Vent Haven Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to the stagecraft of ventriloquism.
The first known instance of ventriloquism for entertainment purposes dates to 1753 England. The proliferation of travelling fairs gave stage performers an opportunity to develop acts around what was once thought of only as a religious or spiritual practice. Vent Haven Museum celebrates the evolution of ventriloquism from sideshow act to legitimate entertainment.
A private, non-profit Museum, Vent Haven is built around the personal collection of William Shakespeare Berger. Berger, a businessman, purchased his first ventriloquism dummy in 1910. At the time of his death in 1972, his collection had grown to over 500 dummies. Located in Berger’s former home, the Museum’s collection now includes over 900 items, encompassing dummies, scripts, costumes, recordings, and publications. It pays homage to great ventriloquists, such as Shari Lewis, Jeff Dunham, and Jimmy Nelson, to name only a few
Vent Haven Museum is open from May through September. Individuals with automatonophobia (the fear of ventriloquist dummies) will want to skip this one!
Plan your next vacation to include a visit to a play-related store, museum, or private collection.