Autodidact: self-taught


Oddities and Odd Folks

by V. L. Craven

I’ve only recently discovered the Science Channel’s shows Oddities and Odd Folks Home. And they could not be more up my street.

Science Channel Oddities Logo

It all starts with Oddities, which is about a real life curiosities shop in New York called Obscura, where the owners Mike and Evan revel in the macabre and grotesque. If you’re in need of a two-headed pig foetus in a jar or a bone saw from 1921, they’re the ones to call.

Their YouTube channel has loads of great clips from various episodes and the first two series (they’re on the fourth now) are on Netflix in the US. If you live elsewhere and watch the show, please leave a comment to let me know if it’s available where you are.

If you can’t make it to New York, you can shop on their website , which is mostly logoed merch, but it’s still pretty cool.

[Now, I must fangirl for a moment. This is not something I do very frequently. I can’t remember the last time I did, actually, so enjoy this.]

Ryan Matthew Cohn works at Obscura and… is a rather attractive fellow.

Ryan Matthew Cohn Oddities Black and White

Hello, good sir.

And he wears a suit all the time.

Ryan Matthew Cohn Oddities Black and White suit and skull

So… Do you come here frequently?

And he likes to play with dead things.

Ryan Matthew Cohn Oddities Beauchene Skull

And WHO is your lovely friend?

I’m happily married and all that, but I’d love to go to fun places with Mr Cohn. The Mutter Museum would be great. And I want to wander around his house and look at everything. Because I bet it would be AWESOME. We saw a bit of it in the eighth episode of the first series, but I want more of a snoop. Luckily, there are loads of photos of his collection on his Tumblr page .

He has a website with some of his skeletons and skulls, cufflinks and a bracelet I would wear all the time.


Aside from Mr Dark & Handsome, one of the most entertaining parts of the show are some of the regular customers.

In the first episode, we meet Edgar Oliver, who is a playwright, poet and performance artist.

I was thinking how brilliant it would be to have something he said in the first episode as a ringtone. And, because the Internet is fantastic sometimes, it already exists. Set it as your ringtone today!

He also did a reading of Poe’s ‘The Raven’. Because of course he did.

And this brings us to Odd Folks Home, which, bizarrely, does not have a website of its own, but is nonetheless wonderful. (YouTube has some clips, naturally.)

I dig the Harry Potter meets Danny Elfman music. I’ll wait whilst you scrape your chin up off the floor.

It’s hosted by Mr Oliver up there and features some of the more eccentric regulars at Obscura and their fabulously macabre collections. In the first episode, we got to see more of Laura Flook , the model/mortician/dress designer. (She also has a website .) Ms Flook is sort of Wednesday Addams crossed with Lilith Sternin (Frasier’s wife from Cheers). In other words, I want to be friends with her. And I want to read her book, which is not being made at the moment and that bums me right out. If someone has a copy you’d like to lend me I’d be super careful with it and would return it posthaste upon reading it.

And her dog’s name is Trocar. Trocar wears a ruff. There is nothing about that I don’t love down to the molecular level.

So if you haven’t already, check out the shows and if you’ve been to Obscura, tell me what you bought/sold/saw.

[In doing research for this post I’ve discovered that the Science Channel has two other shows–Oddities: San Francisco & Dark Matters: Twisted but True. If you’ve seen either of those, leave a comment and let me hear your thoughts, please.]

2 Responses to “Oddities and Odd Folks”

  1. Lynne Says:

    I watch Oddities. It is a terrific show with interesting people, places and most of all things. I can not find Odd Folks Home anywhere online to watch for free. Nor can I find it scheduled to air on The Science Channel or Discovery Channel which has me kinda bummed out. I haven’t decided what to buy at the Oddities website but when I do I will let you know.

  2. Autodidact Says:

    Oh neat, I would love to see what you get from the Oddities shop.

    I hope they haven’t cancelled Odd Folks Home–that show’s brilliant. It may be on hiatus.

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