The 6 Most Terrifying Items People Actually Collect
Some people collect stamps or coins, but for some reason, that's just not enough to keep them interested. So they do what any reasonable person would do: collect the most disgusting, creepiest things imaginable.
Here's six collections that are great conversation starters, if you want the conversation to be about whether or not you're a serial killer.
Celebrities--is there nothing the public won't ravage them of? People rifle through their trash, reporters snap pictures of their genitals with telephoto lenses. What's left? How about owning an actual piece of a famous person? Of course, lopping off a finger or ear is still against the law, but you can still settle for a hunk of their hair.
Who would collect this?
Everyone. In the last decade the number of serious hair collectors has skyrocketed from about 150 to over 2,000. Why? Well you already know there's no non-creepy answer to that question, but the interest seems to be tied to all the recent breakthroughs in DNA research, so people are collecting on the vague idea that they can clone themselves a celebrity some day. Seriously.
It's just a matter of time
A few strands from JFK sold online for $205. The clump of hair pictured below is from Che Guevara, which sold for $100,000 in October 2007. You hear that? A damn commie socialist outsold John Fucking Kennedy. How about a little American pride in our fur trappings?
The leading hair dealers are Louis Mushro, a Michigan collector who deals on eBay, and John Reznikoff, who's the Guinness world record holder for his huge human hair collection (once again proving that it's not that hard to get into the Guinness Book of World Records).
Reznikoff has pieces from Marilyn Monroe, Napoleon, Albert Einstein and even Abe Lincoln, complete with chunks of brain matter from his assassination. Hell, he even has some hair from the man who shot him (Wilkes Booth got clipped while being dragged from his burning barn hideout).
So how do the still-living celebrities feel about this? Well, in 2005 Reznikoff struck a deal with Neil Armstrong's barber on some snippets, but when Armstrong heard of the transaction he tried to block it. His efforts failed, and Reznikoff donated several thousand dollars to his favorite charities as a consolation. Money he'll surely make back when he clones his spaceman army).
"Murderabilia" is what they call works of art produced by serial killers. Prison wardens encourage killers to pursue such creative outlets, it makes a guy more manageable while keeping a paintbrush in his shankin' hand. While behind bars famous psychopath John Wayne Gacy had art exhibitions, and was a leader for terrifying clown awareness.
Meanwhile cult leader and swastika enthusiast Charles Manson spent his alloted arts and crafts time painting, sketching and making spiders out of yarn and string. In fact he scribbled down two pages of instructions on how to make a genuine Manson yarn spider, all in his native language of crazy.
Page three details how the yarn spider should be stored in a cool dry place and continuously fed the blood of innocents.
Who would collect this?
There are no exact figures but the sale of murderabilia is hugely successful online with daily transactions at MurderAuction.com and DaisySeven.com, whose slogan "Where crime pays. Everyday." just barely beat out the alternative "For people who masturbate to CourtTV".
Louisiana mortician Rick Stanton was a pioneer in selling murder doodles and organized the first art exhibitions of famous killers' work. Stanton is considered by many to be the originator of the collectible craze, saying the murderers' art is, " ... the stuff where the feelings are everything, where the person is everything ... They're not concerned with trends, or with sales in the art world."
Another piece by Charles Manson
It should be noted that serial killers probably aren't concerned with sales mostly because of laws that prevent them from making any money. In 1977, a little doggy told David Berkowitz he could make a truckload of cash from a tell-all book, and publishers came running. These events lead to the formation of "Son of Sam laws," which prohibit a felon from profiting off their crimes, and preventing mediocre art school students from going on a killing spree.
Also, a brief analysis of the works by the killers themselves shows no correlation between depravity and talent. It turns out a shitty painter will remain shitty even after disemboweling a hobo. For instance:
Above is an orgy skull dreamed up by Gacy when he got tired of painting clowns. Yes, it's a skull made of dongs. This is way scary, and not laughable or pathetic in the least.
This depiction of a mermaid tickling a shark was miscarried into the world by killer Charles Ng, whose body count totaled over 25 people. He felt the compulsion to bring more suffering into the world and designed the poster for Jaws vs. SPLASH!.
Attempting world domination isn't all throaty speeches and fancy goose-step parades, you've also got to mass produce a lot of crap with your logo on it. Nazi Germany made an enormous amount of wartime paraphernalia. Everything from swastika armbands to ornamental knives, all of which is important when you're trying to get your brand out there.
Over the decades, quite a market has developed for all this leftover Nazi gear, from pins and jackets to ceremonial daggers. Find a jackboot at a garage sale? Good. Still got a Nazi foot inside? Better. If it was used by a Nazi to kick a puppy, that's probably the equivalent of a Micky Mantle rookie card.
Who hasn't held a Nazi tea party now and then?
Who would collect this?
We should point out right away that it's not just neo-Nazis collecting this stuff. There's plenty of attraction for history buffs and antique collectors who want nothing to do with creepy guys in Prussian Blue concert tees.
Still, the obsession with the Nazi trinkets borders on fetishism in some circles, as in recent years when SS Christmas cards were sold at auction along with a negligee belonging to Eva Braun.
Rare bottle of Hitler wine: 4,000 pounds
EBay has refused to deal in Nazi memorabilia and Yahoo! was sued over a past auction of Hitler's speech notes. Of course, like porn, the taboo is part of the appeal. Maybe that's why they started selling new Nazi merchandise a few year ago in Hong Kong.
Someone who has multiple tattoos could claim to be a "collector," but in most cases they probably just like attention a whole lot. If you're a true collector of tattoos then they can't be on you, they need to belong to someone else. Don't get squeamish--it may sound horrifying but it just means there's a collection of stained skin, ripped from corpses, and preserved in a mummified state under glass.
Also, the skin is pulled so tight when mounted it's near translucent, and light shines through the puncture holes. Neat! Now tribal armbands and butterfly back tats can be appreciated by our great grand children, reassuring them that such poor decision makers are long dead.
Who would collect this?
Surprisingly, only a small number of people collect these works and his name is Dr. Katsunari Fukushi. He is involved with the Japanese Tattoo Institute where they study the art of looking like a total badass. His pieces are from those who endured the traditional hand-applied method of "tebori," where they insert charcoal ink into your skin with bundled needles attached to a bamboo stick.
The Yakuza (the Japanese mafia) were famous for having these tattoos and Fukushi has 105 flawless examples in a collection that amounts to a John Dillinger trading card crossed with Leatherface's wet dream. Photographs of the collection don't appear to be available, because either he doesn't like the attention or because camera technology has not advanced to the point where it can capture something that creepy.
Our attempt, via Photoshop
Most of Fukushi's prime pieces were gathered from the 1920s to the 1940s, which makes us sad to think of all of the glorious modern tattoos that will never be preserved. Maybe somebody needs to start a new collection ...
"Pickled Punks" was carnival slang for jarred fetuses that were put on display at sideshows. Normally the fetus would feature some type of abnormality, because an abortion crammed into a Mason jar intended for sweet Georgia peaches wasn't shocking enough on its own.
Who would collect this?
If you're thinking it's illegal as hell to own these, you're right. C.M. Christ (not to be confused with Jesus H.) learned that in 1977 when his baby freak show was raided by police and he was arrested for the illegal possession of human remains.
You want to play around with the dead? You need a mortician's license and even then you can't charge people for looks, even though that's kind of exactly what you do with a funeral, but with all the money being paid by the people who were most affected by the death. So what's a modern pickled punk collector to do? Give up their terrifying collection? Hell no! They buy rubber replicas, of course.
They're called "bouncers" by collectors, because the rubber replicas will bounce in the jar. If you shake the jar of your newly bought fetus and the thing inside doesn't bounce off the bottom, somebody is probably going to jail.
The replicas range from $65 to $200, so go ahead and spice up the cubicle, just like this guy:
OK, so number one could be considered rather unsafe for work, so we're going to put it behind a link. Yes, that's right a third page, and this time we have a reason, maybe the best reason we've ever had for adding a third page to an article: there are detailed representations of genitalia on the way.
The art of making plaster casts of people's genitals goes back to the likeliest of decades: the 1960s. It started with some enterprising groupie who apparently wanted to play art teacher with a rocker who could maintain an erection long enough to indent a cast. Musicians from Jimi Hendrix to Frank Zappa got wang-deep in dental moldings and are plated like Greek sculptures for their intimate lovers and drunk, horny fans.
Who would collect this?
The all-time collector of famous plaster dongs is Cynthia Albritton, known as Cynthia Plaster Caster (Warning: website contains more flash-animated cocks ejaculating across the screen than typical websites). Cynthia would travel to hotel rooms in Chicago along with her "plater" (known in other industries as a "fluffer") and after her assistant readied her subjects she'd indent the mold with a rock star boner. KISS even made a song in her honor ("Plaster Caster") even though a cast of the band members has never been done.
We certainly can't see anything degrading about that. But if you're thinking that once again obsession with celebrities has taken a turn for the why-fucking-bother, you should know that even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in talks with Cynthia to put her genital collection on display at the museum. Maybe between the Red Hot Chili Peppers' cock socks and Cher's fishnet body stocking.
Also, plaster casting isn't just for the rich and famous anymore. There are several businesses that will turn your smelly junk into wall-ready collectibles. Even ladies can get in to the act casting their bathing suit areas at their leisure. We won't speculate as to how many of our readers just bookmarked this page in their Valentines Day Gift Idea folder.
Prices range from $200 to $500 depending on the location and the type of casting. We suggest spending the extra dough and going for the elegant "broken-stone effect." There are few self-esteem boosts that measure up to creating the illusion of breaking stone through the power of your dong.
For some terrifying things that you're supposed to put in your mouth, check out The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World. Or check out Dan O'Brien's look at 4 Celebrities Who Might Just be Superhero Alter-Egos. Then, see what a commercial for Dark Knight action figures might look like.