Unusual items from local shops for lovers of the spooky, whimsical + fantastic

spooky stuff at Birmingham oddities
Birmingham Oddities is your one-stop-shop for head-turning items. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

For many of us, Halloween isn’t just a holiday, it’s a state of mind. If you’re the kind of person who wears black year-round or really appreciates an item that can’t be replicated in the art aisle of Target, browse an unusual selection of objects at these local Birmingham businesses.

Fill your creepy quota for the day at Birmingham Oddities

Get a closer look at the three items below and many more that’ll make you do a double-take at Birmingham Oddities.

1. Giant Sea Isopod

Don’t ya just wanna give him a big old hug? Photo via Birmingham Oddities

Envision curling up to this crawly creature at night. Eep! As horrifying as this sounds, in Japan, these giant sea isopods aren’t feared but revered.

“Found mostly in the deep Pacific Ocean, it is a novelette animal in Japan often made into plush animals. They are bottom feeders and creepy but cute.”

Birmingham Oddities
Is it bad I think they’re kind of cute like this? Photo via laughingsquid.com

2. Animal Lungs

spooky lungs
Yes, real lungs. Photo via Birmingham Oddities

I don’t know about you, but I typically hope to score furniture pieces like an armoire or nightstand at local yard sales. However, one lucky shopper was left breathless when he spotted this item cruising through the bargain bins.

Before you wonder if anything Hannibal Lecter-esque went down, the lungs were sold by a pathologist who worked in a lab where they performed animal autopsies.

“The man was fascinated by how lungs function, so he hooked them up to an air compressor to inflate and deflate them out of mere curiosity. Then he had the idea to leave the air compressor on overnight to dry them out, which he did, leaving these dried out specimens of a dogs lungs.”

Birmingham Oddities

3. A slice of brain

Next time you bid on a storage locker, think of what could be inside. Photo via Birmingham Oddities

I don’t remember this episode of “Storage Wars.” Try to wrap your head around the fact that the brain slice pictured above was discovered in a local storage locker.

“This is a slice of an adolescent’s cerebellum (part of the brain) that was dissected after death. The piece was in a medical library at a pathology lab at Hillman Hospital, the hospital before UAB took over. The specimen is dated to be from the 1940s.”

Birmingham Oddities

If you need your decor slightly toned down from a pair of lungs

Birmingham Oddities is one of our city’s most prized museums and I’ll challenge that there’s nothing else like it anywhere nearby. However, if your roommate wouldn’t take kindly to a framed brain slice as the dining room centerpiece, consider other distinctive items from Ritual Shelter.

4. Specimen Display

Mytho Menagerie has a variety of displays like this one. Photo via Ritual Shelter

Mytho Menagerie, a home decor shop inspired by myths and magic, has a multitude of items you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. The husband and wife team is an online shop, but they currently have insect specimens, taxidermy, bones, imported masks and original art for sale at Ritual Shelter.

5. Hand Candle

spooky candle
Fingers-crossed this candle is still available! Photo via Ritual Shelter

This ain’t your average Yankee Candle. While your friends are filling their homes with scents of sandalwood and lavender, let guests marvel at the handiwork of your eerie new candle.

Find more of the metaphysical like tarot cards and crystals at Ritual Shelter—the most magical shop in Homewood.

In the mood for some spooks? Take a look at our guides that’ll send shivers down your spin. 👻

Which item would make the perfect addition to your household, Birmingham? Let us know on social on @BhamNow on Facebook and Instagram, or @Now_Bham on Twitter.

Irene Richardson
Irene Richardson
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