Spooky season came to Milwaukee early this year as monsters descended upon the city for the Midwest Haunters Convention.
Take a peek inside the Cult of Weird oddities collection at a vintage funeral carriage, a charred artifact from Hell, and a Disney-tinged antique Ouija board.
Besides collecting strange stories, I also collect curious objects to fill Cult of Weird HQ. Some are related to topics I may have been researching at the time, and wanted to hold a real piece of that history in my hands. Others are seemingly mundane objects that conjure fond memories of the expeditions during which they were found.
Let’s open up the Cult of Weird Cabinet of Curiosities and see what falls out.
Funeral Carriage Scale Model
I prefer objects with an interesting backstory, but this one doesn’t have one…that I’m aware of, anyway. An antiques dealer was selling this scale model of a Victorian funeral carriage as a vintage salesman’s sample, which it clearly isn’t. But, with the exception of haphazardly substituting pipe brushes for miniature plumes, someone put in a lot of time building this piece. I couldn’t not have it.
Soon after I acquired it, I took it to the 15th annual Hearse Fest in Hell, Michigan, where it was appreciated by a horde of hearse enthusiasts.
Speaking of Hell…
Postcard from Hell
There isn’t much in Hell. A bar, a few houses…and Scream’s Ice Cream shop, complete with a wedding chapel, mini golf, gift shop, and post office. I found this postcard there, while mingling with the friendly denizens of Hell during Hearse Fest.
When you buy a postcard, they even singe the corner with the fires (lighter) of Hell before bagging it up or mailing it for you.
Hasko Mystic Tray Vintage Ouija Board
There was a Ouija board boom in Chicago in the 1940s. The Haskelite Manufacturing Corporation was known for their fine serving trays, but in 1942 they decided they wanted in on the “fortune telling” business. They produced a variety of serving trays that doubled as talking boards.
Haskelite was producing officially licensed Disney trays at the time. For reasons unknown, they decided to add the witch from Snow White into the Middle Eastern mystic motif of this particular tray design, as you can see in the lower left corner of the board.
The box art is amazing, and the Mystic Hand is probably my favorite planchette design.