BY HENRI ROBBINS
Loveland Area Information
LOVELAND, Ohio — “It was utilized in a double murder in West Virginia,” mentioned Greg Johns, the owner of Memento Mori, to a purchaser as he points out the tale guiding a knife in a glass scenario.
“It is a butcher’s knife,” Johns reported. “You could use it. But it was presently applied for murder.”
Memento Mori is an oddities shop at the rear of Express Deli Market place on the corner of N. Elm and Primary streets. In business for more than 8 yrs at their bodily place, Johns at first began as a collector of funeral devices ahead of branching out to his broad collection of “oddities, collectibles, and antiques,” as the signal on the front doorway reads.
“It’s all authentic,” Johns states, in reference to a taxidermy two-headed calf, and later on in regards to all of the store’s contents.
Getting into by means of the ease store’s aspect doorway, a huge array of products fills the primary room: A six-foot-tall taxidermy giraffe head, a assortment of animal skulls, and a rescued fighting puppy named Bunsen, are instantly seen. For Johns, opening Memento Mori permits him to go after his enthusiasm — gathering any and all kinds of oddities – when nonetheless residing on his personal timetable.
“A lot of places won’t get into selected stranger points, and I get into the strangest factors you can obtain for sale the stranger the greater,” Johns stated.
In 1 of the back again rooms, a little group of dolls, a mix of toys and ventriloquist’s dolls, sit on a table.
“We had a piece right here a single time, it was a handmade dummy used in an old vaudeville act, and this dummy would shift,” Johns mentioned. “It was in a scenario, so no one particular could contact it, but every couple times we would arrive in and the legs would be in diverse positions, and there is no way that could transpire.”
Even though Johns does believe that the dummy had a certain strength to it, he would not call it “haunted.”
“I feel whoever had that doll and employed it in the vaudeville act turned connected to that doll,” Johns said. “It was their livelihood, so there was a piece of them hooked up to it.”
“The human being who owns it now however sees items occurring, nonetheless has conversations with the doll, even to this day,” Johns said. “They really reside right here in Loveland. A area collector acquired it and she has no little ones, so she sits it next to her bed and talks to it every night time.”
Total, Johns doesn’t give considerably credence to the thought of “haunted” merchandise, alternatively indicating the doll — like quite a few other points — just had “some mojo connected to it.”
“I don’t assume every little thing is haunted, you know, it’s creepy, but not all the things. I’d say about 99.9 per cent of the things they say is haunted isn’t, but that position-just one percent is.”
Across from them, a selection of biological specimens — mostly animals, all useless from all-natural brings about — preserved in jars of embalming fluid, known as “wet specimens,” fills a set of bookshelves.
“I’ve bought human hearts in there. I’ve experienced entire human faces and heads from outdated health care educational facilities, made use of for healthcare training. Individuals donate their bodies. They’d market their bodies back again then to health care schools. [To find them] I chat to the people in the health-related educational institutions.”
In a facet space, a human-sized determine of a goat’s head on a human physique sits, cross-legged. Sitting down following to a stuffed hamster and a cupboard of Environment War II memorabilia, Johns mentioned the tale behind it is somewhat benign.
“A close friend of mine produced that for me,” Johns mentioned. “She had a [stuffed] goat that came with a messed-up shoulder, So she cut [its head] off and designed it into a total goat particular person.”
Monitoring all of this down, Johns will work with collectors and travels across the continent.
“[I’ve been] all in excess of Canada, Salem, I have been all over the United States – only a single or two areas I’ve under no circumstances been. I have never been to Iowa, there is just not a great deal heading on there.”
“Someone instructed me two days back that they could not be in below, they explained they received ‘weird vibes,’ but they , so you know. [The ‘weird vibes’] really do not trouble me. I acquired a protector,” Johns stated as he motioned in the direction of Bunsen, who was sleeping future to the giraffe head.