Secondhand Nightmares: 10 Horrifying Thrift Store Finds
Thrift stores are a godsend for the poor and the tragically hip. You can find nearly anything there, and for dirt cheap, too! Even horror. Especially horror.
The Curse of the Irish
OH GOD HOW DID HE GET THAT
Dora the HorrorWhat? What's out of place here? It's just a wall of kid's sleeping bags. Why can't I shake the feeling that I am being watched, judged and found wanting? Where is that cold, unfeeling disdain of my very being coming from? It's not Elmo; Elmo seems pretty cool with me. It's not the Disney princess. I mean, she looks like a judgmental bitch and all (every Disney princess does), but hers is more of an "I can't believe you're wearing that" vibe, and less of a "your pathetic scrabbling dance is something I do not recognize as life" vibe, like the one I'm getting here. God, where is that
The BloodpigMrs. Davis' fourth grade class, arts and crafts period: "OK, time's up, children! Everybody hold up your piggy banks and let me see how you've painted them. Sally, is yours wearing a wedding dress? Adorable! 'A' for you! Teddy, yours has a wittle top hat! A+! Billy, let's see yours. Oh, he's still blank. You didn't even paint him pink? What's that? You did the face, you say? Well, let me take a look at wha- oh. You ... just sprayed blood all over his face. You, uh, you left your piggy bank completely blank -- a cold white pig with coal black eyes -- save for the bright red gore splashed across his face. That's fantastic! A++! Who doesn't need to go to the cornfield?
The "Friendly" ChefsThe "friendly chef" statues are in every thrift store, every department store and at every Russian flea market (right next to the Betty Boop lamps, behind the switchblades with the ornate crosses painted on them). They come in a variety of poses: they might be stirring a pot, presenting you with a plate of spaghetti, tossing a pizza or just wrist-deep in intestines! Well, that's a little off-putting, but it is a part of cooking. So it's not disquieting in a way that haunts you, quietly, in the twilight state between sleep and waking. Like ...
AfricaliensHave you ever wondered what Africans would look like if they were actually hybrid-aliens designed by H.R. Geiger to remind the viewer of diseased cocks? You have? Good news! You're going to be the most prolific serial killer this world has ever seen! History will remember you in hushed, frightened whispers -- reluctant to speak your name lest they invoke some small part of the greater evil that you brought into this life. Even better news: I bought you this dead-eyed statue of a buxom and subservient member of the terrible race that is a byproduct of your specific kind of horrible insanity! It'd look great in your foyer.
My motto: "Always leave things worse than when you found them, no matter how awful they already are."
Elmo the ChildsbaneHey guys, it's a baby party! Yell in excitement! Yell! Yell because the monster is here! The monster watches you! The monster does not blink, so you yell! Yell because mommy isn't helping you! Yell because nobody is helping! Yell because the nice man periodically steps forward to move the monster just a little bit closer to your face! Yell because you are so very small, and the world is so very big, and sometimes ... sometimes
Burn Your DogsAw, this is just a statue of a friendly, mopey-faced dog. What's wrong with that? Maybe he can guard your keys, and you'll give him a ridiculously cute name, like Dr. Faceflaps, and every time you look at him you'll be reminded of all the great dogs you've owned, and their unceasing, unquestioning love. Well, there is one question they'd like answered:
"Why do you want to burn me?"
The Angel of IndustryGod is a mechanic, and the universe is his machine. We are all but parts in this machine -- not cogs, no, not something as vital as that. If we are lucky, we are paint flecks on a screw holding in the bracket that helps support one end of a cog. And God, like all mechanics, worries only about maintaining his machine. He does not care for the well-being of flecks of paint, nor screws, nor even cogs. When a small, trivial part breaks, he does not mend, tailor, carefully groom and re-forge it. He simply replaces it. He replaces it so the machine might continue to run, with new parts, with new paint and he discards the old and the broken with nary a thought. The machine runs on. Tended by a God who does not care. Not out of cruelty, or spite, but simply because it is not his job. That is God. And these are his angels.
Christmas is that joyous time every year when we celebrate that we are still useful and have not yet been discarded. Glory to The Machine! The Machine grinds on!
Dead Baby DollsFor the almost crazy low price of $39.99, you too can own a full-scale replica of a toddler's corpse! For ... for all kinds of totally legitimate reasons! And not one of them being "practice"! Ha ha, not if the cops ask, anyway! If you can't fully appreciate the scale of this depravity, know that it is truly a fault of scale: This thing was three-feet-tall, looked like it weighed 30 pounds and was genuinely meant to somehow replace a baby. Whether that's because yours has died, and you're so empty inside that you no longer care if the thing that takes its place even remotely resembles something living, or because your hatred of children is only matched by your fear of jail time, and you just need some way to take out that fury without bringing your brass knuckles to the playground again. Or maybe it's just because you have recently stolen a child and only need something to occupy their space in bed until morning, when you'll be too far gone to stop -- well then, this is the doll for you! But wait, there's more! Take another look at that picture up there. See the feet? They're dirty. Just the fucking feet. As though
I like to think that stumbling across this was the last straw that finally caused some Salvation Army worker to quit her job and go back to college.
There is NothingIt is a child, precocious and sweet in every way. But in its eyes are nothing, and in its hands are nothing. It sees nothing; it offers you nothing. The creator has painstakingly and lovingly painted every inch of this figure, and yet the eyes are left blank. The creator has painstakingly and lovingly sculpted every detail, down to the zipper, yet in its hands rests nothing. They are outstretched, upturned, as if to reverently offer you something -- a flower they have picked, a bird's egg they have found, the last bite of cookie -- but there is nothing. There is nothing.
There is no bonus. There is nothing.
You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook but why bother? In the end, there is nothing. There is nothing. There is nothing. There is nothing.