It’s safe to say that “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe has seen his share of unusual items during his many years in the antique business. However, according to what he said during a 2017 interview with Antiques And The Arts Weekly, there is one item that really stands out. And, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Wolfe shared this story after he was asked to talk about his “weirdest road trip.” And, as the “American Pickers” star began his insane tale with a warning to readers.
“OK, if you’re squeamish, you may not want to know this …” Wolfe said. He then added: “but for sure my weirdest trip took me to a collection of late nineteenth/early twentieth century freak-show memorabilia.”
Here’s where things get, well, freaky. Wolfe next recounted the story of a murdered woman and her mummified remains. That’s right, the “American Pickers” star once had the opportunity to purchase a mummy!
“Did you ever hear about Marie O’Day?” Wolfe also said. “Back in the 1920s, she was murdered by her boyfriend, who threw her body into the Great Salt Lake.”
Because of where her body was placed, this preserved O’Day’s remains, according to Mike Wolfe.
“When they found her 10 years later, she’d been mummified by the saltwater,” the “American Pickers” host also explained.
‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Said the Marie O’Day Mummy Went ‘On Tour’
At some point, someone realized they could make money by showcasing the mummified remains of Marie O’Day.
“They put her on tour,” “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe also said. “People used to stand in line for hours and pay 50 cents just to get inside the tent to see her.”
It was while he was on a road trip that Wolfe encountered the Marie O’Day mummy. And, he had the opportunity to purchase her. However, he wisely decided to pass on the chance.
“Well, there were a lot of these sideshow attractions and I happened upon this collection in North Carolina,” Wolfe shared. “I certainly didn’t want the pickled remains of anything, but I did buy the skeleton of a sea lion.”
While the mummified remains of Marie O’Day were one of the weirdest things Wolfe has encountered, he has come across many other items that he wanted. During the interview, he shared the one find that stands out above the rest. This find involved historical artifacts.
“My best pick was in Rock Island, Illinois,” Wolfe shared. “I found paintings and original literature from the 1878-80 Schwatka Expedition, when Frederick Schwatka and his team made the longest trek in history through the Arctic in search of the remains of an ill-fated 1845 expedition. What I found were remnants of history that had been totally lost.”
These items found their way to a museum.
“To me, they were priceless,” Mike Wolfe also said. “But I did sell them, for just $5,000, to the Alaska State Museum in Juneau, where they truly belong.”