The Thing is an Arizona roadside attraction hyped by signs along Interstate 10 between El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. A large number of billboards entice travelers along this sparse stretch of desert highway to stop, just to find out what the mysterious Thing might be. The object, supposedly a mummified mother and child, is believed to have been made by a creator of exhibits for sideshows named Homer Tate.
The Thing was purchased by former Thomas Binkley Prince in the mid-twentieth century, who quickly based a tourist attraction around the strange object. Although Prince died in 1969, the attraction was run by his wife Janet for many years. Today, the site is under the ownership of Bowlins, Inc. Despite its remoteness, the attraction has been popular; it has appeared in several tourist guides, and has been the subject of several news stories and reports.
The Thing is located at just off I-10 at Exit 322 on a hilltop between Benson and Willcox, near Texas Canyon, at 2631 North Johnson Road, Dragoon, Arizona.
The exhibit-which costs one dollar for adults and seventy-five cents for children to enter-leads to three prefabricated corrugated steel sheds. Inside are a variety of exhibits, including odd wood carvings of tortured souls by one Ralph Gallagher, the "wooden fantasy" of painted driftwood purchased from an Alamogordo collector, framed lithographs, saddles, rifles, a covered wagon and several vintage automobiles. Most of the exhibits are dusty and poorly maintained. A sign by a 1937 Rolls-Royce makes the claim that it was once used by Adolf Hitler. Winding corridors and exhibit halls with painted monster footprints on the floors eventually lead to the titular Thing, a mummified mother-and-child tableau encased in a glass-covered coffin.