The Oddities and Curiosities Show really lived up to its name. Two floors of the Odeum Expo Center in Villa Park were filled with vendors and artists showcasing their work of the strange and unusual.
Creators of wet specimens and taxidermy revived(ethically!) animal bodies and organs into stunning art pieces for the home. I didn’t expect to be surrounded by so many animals through out the day! It was identical to a family trip to the zoo, except you wouldn’t expect anyone to be moving. Smaller pieces were available for purchase if a whole mummified dog would clash with your furniture. Framed and styled portraits of preserved bees and bats are the perfection addition to any wall collage. I even found a vendor selling penis bones. I’m guessing the size was unimpressive as they were only $1 each.
I naturally geeked over all the horror fan art. The top floor of the Odeum was an exhibit of “Monsters through the Ages”. From Bela Lugosi’s Dracula to Annabelle, all horror fans could take their favorite characters or iconic movie stills home on a sticker (I bought so many stickers!), wine glass, or Christmas ornament. It was great to discuss movies and monsters with these artists and fans. We exchanged views how no movie has yet to exceed the practical effect excellence of The Thing (1982) and how Terrifier’s Art is an inspiration to all killer clowns.
Speaking of killer clowns, Pogo and other celebrity serial killers made their appearance at The Oddities and Curiosities Show. Shoppers could share their intrigue of murder with memorabilia like serial killer jewelry and prints of killer’s mugshots. We were guided through Chicago’s considerable history of murder by author and film maker, John Borowski and his work on serial killers, most notably H.H. Holmes. Borowski’s other publications on Ed Gein and Jeffrey Dahmer were for sale as perfect gifts for your favorite hybristophiliac.
The day was a long one as it was impossible to spend less than 5 minutes at each vendor. I left the ordinary world walking into the Odeum that afternoon. It was the perfect local activity for a stormy summer day being surrounded by kindred souls and the macabre.