In London/ Museums/ Untold Stories

THERE WAS THAT TIME WHEN MADAME TUSSAUDS BURNT DOWN

madame tussaud's fire london 1925
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I have a confession to make: I’ve never actually stepped foot in Madame Tussauds. I don’t know what it is, but I find wax-work figures more than a little creepy. But I guess that they’re just a little too realistic for my liking… And this irrational fear has only been compounded by a recently watched horror film where the victims were embalmed in wax. But I digress… When looking at aforementioned scary wax figure pictures earlier this afternoon, I stumbled on the most unusual picture. The claim? That the picture was of the Madame Tussaud’s Fire in 1925.

And just one look at the picture is enough to give me nightmares. I’m thinking that the surviving mannequins of the Madame Tussaud’s fire might actually be scarier than those traditional turnips I covered a few months ago…

madame tussaud's fire london 1925

My interest piqued, this definitely called for a little more research! Well, as it turns out, that one original photo was just the beginning. Pictured above is the photo I found. It shows a number of the surviving waxworks and in some cases, parts of waxworks. On the 23rd March, a fire of epic proportions broke out at the Madame Tussaud’s waxwork museum in central London.

History of Madame Tussaud’s 

Madame ‘Marie’ Tussaud had opened the museum in 1835. She lived on Baker Street (yep, the very same that the fictional Sherlock Holmes lived on) and opened her museum nearby. Almost as famous as the museum itself was the infamous “Chamber of Horrors” located within its walls. Tussaud, French by birth, actually began making wax models in a major way during the French revolution. She would recreate the corpses of guillotined noblemen and ended up displaying them in her museum.

Almost as famous as the museum itself was the infamous “Chamber of Horrors” located within its walls. Tussaud, French by birth, actually began making wax models in a major way during the French revolution. She would recreate the corpses of guillotined noblemen and ended up displaying them in her museum.

All in all, the original museum boasted around 400 waxwork figurines of celebrities and notorious criminals alike. Tussaud had even created a waxwork in her likeness and this still exists to this day.

The Madame Tussaud’s Fire

During the spring of 1925, a blaze broke out in the already iconic museum. A large proportion of waxworks were displayed beyond repair. A large number of others ended up melted or burnt. Those who witnessed the fire described it in the Guardian:

“Strong red and golden flames leapt 50 feet from the roof of the building. The wax models could be distinctly heard sizzling”.

Sources: Ricidulously Interesting, Wikipedia, Cover photo via Imgur

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    AlicevstheWorld
    13th December 2016 at 7:01 pm

    OK, this is one seriously creepy photo.

    And I share your aversion to Madame Tussauds. In my case it’s simply never appealed. I just don’t fancy paying a fortune to look at a bunch of mannequins.

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