Cleveland Curiosities is the place to start your spooky season


Courtesy of Cleveland Curiosities

Cleveland Curiosities’ taxidermy animals are among the shop’s many unique antiques and oddities.

Joey Gonzalez, Life Editor

It’s no secret that Lakewood has its fair share of unique stores, from crystal and rock shops to bookstores with entire sections dedicated to mysteries and the occult. As a fan and frequent visitor of these kinds of shops, I spent my weekend exploring and spending my way through a few. And while each of them had a little something to add to my collection, there was one that stuck out to me as my new personal favorite, a store that is both equally intriguing and unsettling: Cleveland Curiosities: Antiques & Oddities.

As the name suggests, the store carries one-of-a-kind items ranging from taxidermied animals, skulls and even bones to antique medicine bottles, statues and more. The items available for purchase are only half the charm of the store, as just browsing for an hour left me finding artifacts that my eyes had missed even by my fourth time around. Covered in taxidermied animal heads as well as antique photographs, paintings and posters, the walls of the shop transform into visually stunning displays of their eclectic selection of goods. The coffin shaped shelves—several of which are for sale—house other oddities like candles, antique books, skulls and too many other items to list. A few of the cabinets, which can be opened with the help of the worker, hold some of the more gruesome items that might not be for the faint of heart. In one there were several animals preserved in jars, from a disfigured piglet to an isopod. Though the artifacts were unsettling, I still couldn’t help but examine each cabinet with the awe of a kid in a candy store. Human and animal skulls, old medical journals and taxidermy figures littered the shelves like a quasi-science lab. 

Cleveland Curiosities carries too many items to name in this article, but I’d like to highlight a few interesting pieces. The store has a ton of antique jewelry, including Victorian lockets, necklaces, brooches and rings of all sizes. The jewelry varies in style, medium and gemstone. Additionally, they carry a vast collection of antique books, including the aforementioned medical journals, natural world textbooks, Boy Scout pamphlets, old-school stage magic manuals and much more. Antique perfume bottles and old medical tools also drew my eye. While these weren’t exactly my cup of tea, I was also drawn towards the statues and figures that were scattered around the store. From Greek gods to Christian saints, the store has an extensive collection of figures for any shelf. And if you aren’t buying for yourself, the store is the perfect place to shop for “that hard to buy for person on your list.

The taxidermy that covered the shelves and walls also made for an interesting aesthetic, with samples ranging from the traditional deer head to more intriguing medical mysteries. On one wall hung an upside down opossum, who seemed to be chugging a Busch Lite, while another hung from the ceiling by its tail. Sitting on top of a shelf was a cyclops lamb, with one eye covering its entire face. In a different part of the store, there was a two-headed calf who sat facing the entrance.

Cleveland Curiosities also sells their own merchandise, including hats, stickers and hoodies. If you’re interested in the weird yet intriguing, I recommend you take a trip over to Lakewood and see the store for yourself. The staff is incredibly friendly and will answer any questions that you may have. Items rotate daily, so you might get to see some new additions. Even if taxidermy, candles and antiques don’t fit in the college budget—or the dorm room aesthetic—it’s still a great place to get your spook on as the leaves begin to change. Who knows, you might just leave with something that everyone will always ask you about.