Exclusive: A Magnificently Macabre ‘Oddities’ Halloween Gift Guide

Above image: Adam Wallacavage octopus chandelier

If it were up to us, the holiday calendar would revolve around Halloween, rather than Thanksgiving / Christmas. There would be a needleless pine tree in the living room, and the family would gather for a meal of, say, squid ink pasta and black truffles, with only red wine of course. And there would be gifts…very, very unusual gifts.

So this year we’ve decided to give the idea a bit of a push, by proffering the definitive guide to Halloween gift giving. Obviously we knew exactly who to go to for such an undertaking: Ryan Matthew Cohn and Regina Cohn. The husband and wife pair lord over and expertly curate the Oddities Flea Market, a four-times-yearly gathering (two in LA, two in Brooklyn) of all that is peculiar, strange, gruesomely gothic, magnificently morbid, and most of all darkly romantic. They also run Brooklyn’s House of Wax museum and bar, a most unusual marriage of mixology and the macabre.

This Saturday and Sunday, October 23 & 24, the final 2021 edition of the Oddities Flea Market will be taking place at Downtown Los Angeles’ Globe Theater (tickets can be purchased at TheOdditiesFleaMarket.com), gathering the most unusual dealers in all manner of curiosities that one could ever hope to find assembled in one place. In the lead up, we asked Regina and Ryan to curate an exclusive and truly spine-chilling Oddities Halloween Gift Guide, for all those friends and family who get equally excited for the coming of All Hallows’ Eve.

As Ryan so succinctly puts it, “Halloween is the perfect excuse to give a spooky, obscure, creepy fun gift to that special someone…though some of us do this year round.”

After shopping, feel free to reward yourself with a couple of Blackened Hot Toddies, and a few spins of Siouxsie & the Banshees’ Juju.

Happy(?) Halloween!

Regina and Ryan Matthew Cohn, image by Cody Smyth

Fine & Dandy Co.

Fine & Dandy Co. is an upscale wallpaper brand paying homage to the Gothic, Victorian, and Art Deco periods, amongst others, with designs ranging from classic toile to full-scale 18th-century murals and trompe l’oeil scenes reimagined for the modern home. Wallpaper is having a moment so it’s likely you’ve seen (or think you’ve seen) similar designs elsewhere; but look closely and you’ll spot delicately placed skulls, skeletons trotting on horseback, and twirling umbrellas in Fine & Dandy Co.’s uncommon prints. The quality is topnotch and the motifs and imagery are perfectly suited to any Gothic or dark interior. Their new serpentine metallic wallpaper is a personal favorite. 

F.E. Castleberry

I’m always on the lookout for clothing and footwear with the perfect skull design, but finding it can be challenging – there’s almost always something that dissuades me. The skull might look cartoonish or appear as though it’s unnaturally smiling or just be poorly executed. When I found F.E. Castleberry‘s Skull and Keys Honor Society Prince Albert slipper, I was over the moon! They are the perfect mix of unique style and timeless sophistication, and they’ll look as good paired with your favorite pair of jeans as with a bespoke pinstripe suit. 

‘Yours Cruely, Elvira, Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark’

One of the crowning achievements of my young life was getting the opportunity to sell Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) an antique human tooth necklace on the television show Oddities. In that episode, I awkwardly confessed that she was my very first crush. But let’s be honest, who didn’t have a crush on Elvira? Her new memoir is a gripping and witty firsthand account of her life leading up to the creation of her iconic dark alter-ego and a poignant behind-the-scenes look at everything that followed.  

Animal Replicas

Not everyone wants to surround themselves with dead creatures. As a collector admittedly desensitized to taxidermy, even I have been occasionally startled when wandering downstairs for a midnight snack and seeing a shadowy stuffed specimen. Capturing the true-to-life qualities of expertly-mounted taxidermy, Animal Replicas is the perfect choice for those that like the aesthetic, but don’t want a real carcass inhabiting their home.

Cecelio Designs

If you’re going to dress up, why not go all out? Cecelio Designs offers a wide and diverse selection of custom handmade attire including fantasy masks, sculptural headwear, breastplates, corsets, and more. You can channel celebrity clients like Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Cara Delevingne at your next special event.

Adele Mildred

Embodying Old Hollywood glamour with a touch of the macabre, Adele Mildred eyewear has long been a top choice of discerning peepers the world over. This year, her sought-after NURMI shades are getting an exciting cat-eye makeover. Named for Maila Nurmi, best-known for her turn as the enigmatic 1950s horror host Vampira, the classic batwing frame in ethereal translucent gray is sure to be on many a holiday wishlist. 

Octopus Chandeliers

I have not encountered an artist quite like Adam Wallacavage, whose taste and aesthetic come from another universe. Picture Medusa’s head as a full-scale chandelier complete with snakes whose hissing mouths emit a ghostly glow or an octopus straight out of Jules Verne suspended in your living room. The blend of exceptional craftsmanship, arcane subject matter, and whimsical design make Adam’s work truly singular. Each of his chandeliers is a one-of-a-kind custom creation. 

Alligator Jesus

I used to think grillz were reserved for the only poshest rappers and rock stars; but the popular fashion accessory can be worn by just about anyone. Styles range from flashy full-mouth sets to stylish and subtle single caps, and they can include diamonds, opal, jade, and other eye-catching gemstones in gold and silver settings. Alligator Jesus is grill-master to the stars, boasting a long and impressive client list including Lil Nas X, Beyoncé, Bad Bunny, and Ozzy Osbourne. I think I’m a diamond-encrusted-single-vampire-fang kind of guy. How about you? 

Nicolas Bruno

Nicolas Bruno‘s work is a window into his intriguing and eccentric mind. He’s been well-known in the oddities community as a graphic photographer for some time, and his new line of finely crafted tarot cards takes his otherworldly vision to an entirely new level. With nods to the time-honored Rider-Waite deck and Jungian archetypes, Bruno’s Somnia Tarot is the perfect gift for tarot enthusiasts, art lovers, and anyone looking for guidance in the coming year.  



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