ILWACO - For about 28 years, Carol Herndon and daughter, Marie, have enthusiastically hunted down what appears to be nearly every Barbie known to man ... or girl.
Between the two, the Herndons have quite an extensive display - Holiday Barbie, Christmas Barbie, Disney Barbie, "American Idol" Barbie, Looney Tunes Barbie, Rockstar Barbie, Beach Barbie, Pregnancy Barbie, ice skating Barbies, cheerleading Barbies, Barbies that talk and sing, and many more. So when the collection became overwhelmingly large three years ago, it only felt natural for the duo to share their collection with others - thus the Whispering Spirits Museum and Gift Shop was born.
"We started out just showing the Barbies," Carol laughs. "But the guys that came in with their girlfriends or wives complained that they had nothing to look at! So we felt a little obligated to add the sports collections."
Once located in the Aberdeen Mall, Whispering Spirits moved to their Ilwaco location at 120 First Street South in June.
The museum is comprised of several private collections that have recently become available for public viewing. With currently 20 collectors featured and more than 2,000 items on display, the Whispering Spirits Museum hosts a variety of autographs, McFarlane figures, Marvel and DC comic figures, wrestling figurines, head busts and NFL, NBA, WNBA, NHL and MLB sports collections. Visitors may also enjoy the singing tribute wall in progress.
Other collections include Princess Diana memorabilia, a Dale Earnhardt exhibit, model railroads and cardboard cutouts of television and movie characters.
While visitors can buy unique items at the Whispering Spirits Gift Shop, some of the collectors' items are also for sale.
With the collections always changing, this month's feature consists of items related to the "Lord of the Rings" series, complete with character biographies, staged scenes and CDs of the music used in the movies. Video games such as Halo and Final Fantasy are scheduled for September. A haunted house theme is planned for October and Christmas animation is scheduled for November.
Whispering Spirits Museum and Gift Shop is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2.50 for children six to 12 years old and kids under six get in free. Discounted group rates are available. To find out more or to display your collection call (360) 339-3121.