This Heights Shop is Creepy and Spooky, With Just the Right Touch of Macabre

Take a selfie with Jack Skellington, post it on Facebook or Instagram (tagging Wilde Collection), and enter for a chance to win a gift basket and $50 gift certificate.EXPAND
Take a selfie with Jack Skellington, post it on Facebook or Instagram (tagging Wilde Collection), and enter for a chance to win a gift basket and $50 gift certificate.
Photo by Susie Tommaney

When The Wilde Collection first opened its doors in the Heights last year, we got all excited – albeit in an uncomfortable, nervous sort of way. Our walk-through last fall revealed a human skeleton, antique medical paraphernalia (for "where the sun don't shine") and other oddities collected by owners Lawyer Douglas and Tyler Zottarelle.

While the inventory from these purveyors of the macabre has turned over since our last visit, you'll still find room after room of strange, avant-garde objects that transform normal into the bizarre. The selfie-friendly Jack Skellington is the only nod to contemporary culture, and they've got eccentric, one-of-a-kind items not found in those seasonal stores that pop up every September. One caveat: If you're grieving over the loss of a child, this might not be the place for you.

This demon skull has wings instead of horns and stands guard over the bathroom's entrance.EXPAND
This demon skull has wings instead of horns and stands guard over the bathroom's entrance.
Photo by Susie Tommaney

The middle room sports an enormous taxidermy collection – we're talking lions and tigers and rhinos, oh my – and towards the rear of the store we found this demon skull. You can tell by its wings.

Find skeletons and skulls for a fish, marmut, rat, rabbit, muskrat and even a grizzly bear (that's the big guy).EXPAND
Find skeletons and skulls for a fish, marmut, rat, rabbit, muskrat and even a grizzly bear (that's the big guy).
Photo by Susie Tommaney

Bones, skeletons and skulls are artfully arranged in this eccentric curiosity shop. Last year Douglas told us that he was descended from curanderas and voodoo witch doctors, which perhaps explains why he creates freaky bone art that's both dark and well-executed.

We found a few small caskets with baby dolls in perpetual slumber, but there's nothing innocent about this particular vamp baby.EXPAND
We found a few small caskets with baby dolls in perpetual slumber, but there's nothing innocent about this particular vamp baby.
Photo by Susie Tommaney

While vamp baby (above) is immortal, towards the back of the shop is a small casket in what looks to be a loving tribute in remembrance of Alister Reginald Wilde III. The "reborn Victorian postmortem art installment" includes a cabinet card death notice and a photo of the baby and his mother.

Vampyre Erzsébet and Vampyre Claudia are just the sort of dolls that Wednesday Addams would enjoy.EXPAND
Vampyre Erzsébet and Vampyre Claudia are just the sort of dolls that Wednesday Addams would enjoy.
Photo by Susie Tommaney

More fashionable than a Madame Alexander doll, each Vampyre doll has its own name and so-called charm. Erzsébet, also known as The Blood Countess, was descended from the noble Báthory family in Hungary and, according to Guinness World Records, was the most prolific female murderer of the western world. It was rumored that she killed 650 young women from neighboring villages, sometimes bathing in the blood of virgins to preserve her youth. Anne Rice fans should appreciate her companion, Vampyre Claudia.

Here's proof that nothing goes to waste in taxidermy; it's good till the end. (L) Hillbilly Rogue Taxidermy and (R) Cheshire Cat.EXPAND
Here's proof that nothing goes to waste in taxidermy; it's good till the end. (L) Hillbilly Rogue Taxidermy and (R) Cheshire Cat.
Photos by Susie Tommaney

What has been seen cannot be unseen. One look at the hillbilly taxidermy at The Wilde Collection and you'll be muttering to yourself, "This sh*t ain't right." 

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