The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium and Museum
Conrad Talmadge Elwood, a well-known but little-known Portland explorer, had a dream, but forgot about it when he awoke.
Despite this, he spent his life traversing the globe in quest of the strange and unusual.
The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, which opened in 1967, is a one-of-a-kind store, interactive gallery, and museum dedicated to Elwood’s hazy vision.
Perhaps not for the faint of heart or the very young, brave visitors can explore interactive displays that include aliens, bigfoot, zombies, a haunted dollhouse, and experiences for all six senses, such as unusual art, toys, novelties, gags, books, comics, tricks, one-of-a-kind oddities, ephemera, and more.
All while indulging in bizarre candy, including edible insects and the like.
The Peculiarium, in Conrad Elwood’s words, is a store dedicated to both learning and terror.
An emporium for the strange, eerie, uncommon, and downright disgusting.
The quirky shop/museum known as the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium embodies the sentiment of the oft-repeated motto, “Keep Portland Weird.”
According to the Peculiarium’s website, the shop and art space was founded in 1967 by Conrad Talmadge Elwood, a Portland, Oregon explorer whose love for all things bizarre, crazy, and zany inspired him to have a dream about the store, which he soon forgot.
While Elwood’s story is dubious, the shop’s fictional genesis fits right in with its reputation for pranks and hucksterism.
Customers are greeted by a giant Bigfoot statue, and the shelves are brimming with strange pop relics, cheap gag toys, and scary curiosities.
A nightmarish dollhouse, a number of very bizarre drawings and memorabilia, and even a trip inside a zombie’s head are among the displays inside the Peculiarium.
Visitors are invited to take photographs, and there are plenty of opportunities for selfies, including a sitting, evil-looking Krampus with burning red eyes and a life-size replica of an alien autopsy.
In addition to the merchandise for sale, the facility also functions as an art gallery, showcasing great local Portland artists who can display their work among the buzzing kitsch debris. Visit The Oregon Zoo.
The biggest squirm-inducing attraction at the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium, ironically, is not its fake severed body parts.
Fresh chocolate chip insect cookies with edible scorpions, mealworms, and crickets are also available.
Along the roadway, parking is plentiful.
Admission is $5, but those dressed up or with a charming, well-behaved dog, cat, iguana, gila monster, parakeet, boa constrictor, or whatever (usually) non-lethal creature you consider your pet get in free.
Free entrance if you dress up in a (good) costume.
The term “decent” alludes to anything extravagant that you wouldn’t wear on a regular basis.
Go crazy with the hats, make-up, and costumes!
The cashiers will assess whether it is acceptable for free entrance.
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