Model of red blood cells suspended in a museum exhibition.

Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches

Category: Exhibition

Exhibition Summary


Requires Discovery or All-Access Pass

When exhibit closes

Closes Sep 2, 2024

Targeted age groups

All ages


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Anchor: #some-real-some-legend-all-hungry

Some real. Some legend. All hungry.

Check out larger-than-life models of bloodsucking creatures and learn how different bloodsuckers earned their titles. Use magnifying glasses to see fossilized bloodsuckers up close. Step into the sounds of a Northwoods mosquito swarm, then play a game to discover which repellants best protect us from their bites. Take a journey through classic movies like Dracula in a mini movie theater and see a historical vampire hunting kit to discover where fact meets fiction.

Anchor: #meet-live-bloodsuckers-like-leeches-and-lamprey

Meet live bloodsuckers like leeches and lamprey

Exhibition highlights

  • An expansive display of bloodsucking species, from taxidermy birds to mounted or fossilized insects
  • A recreation of a barber’s bloodletting station and interactive apothecary drawers telling the story of bloodletting in medicine
  • A theater featuring clips of legendary bloodsucking creatures and characters from popular culture
  • An array of life-sized sculptures featuring legendary bloodsuckers from cultures across the world

Blood Drives 

Blood sustains us all. People rely on your lifesaving blood donations, and there is no substitute for it today. The Field is proud to partner with Abbott and Versiti Blood Centers to host blood drives at the museum, and to offer participants and up to three guests complimentary basic admission plus admission to visit Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches.


Strollers are allowed everywhere except ticketed special exhibitions such as Bloodsuckers, where stroller parking is available near the exhibition entrance. This requirement is not applicable for accessibility instances.

We understand that the Bloodsuckers exhibition can be overwhelming for some due to high sensory additions such as the buzzing noise of mosquitos, and if your visit would be better accommodated with the use of a sensory bag, feel free to visit our Visitor Center on the ground floor. These include various fidgets, sunglasses, headphones, and emotion cards we hope may better the Museum experience.

Blood Drive Legal Language: Donors who donate (or attempt to donate, but cannot due to medical reasons) whole blood or double red cells with Versiti at the Field Museum will receive a thank you gift of access to the Field Museum and the Bloodsuckers: Legends to Leeches temporary exhibition on the date of their donation for up to four (4) individuals (blood donor, plus up to three guests). Donation appointments are limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis; pre-registration is recommended. Offer is valid only on the date of donation. Offer is non-transferable and not redeemable for cash. Offer is subject to change at any time. Offer is valid only at specified donation events as outlined at (Versiti Registration Page) while appointments last.