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Strange businesses or stores in your area


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#1    NosmoKing

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 03:57 PM

I was thinking about The Holders series, and a thread I read on another forum about off the wall and creepy stores in their towns. So much of the world is now franchised and commodified to the hilt, is there any strangeness left in the commercial world (was there much to begin with?)?

I wondered if anyone had any stories about strange, creepy, weird, off-the-wall, or even funny businesses/stores in their local area?

Are there stores that seem to be a front for illegal business dealings; dusty old stores that have, like three products for sale on their shelves and never any customers as you pass them by; stores with duel purposes that make a strange combination (like a bait and toy store; or a bowling centre with a sideline of BDSM goods); or a store operating out of someone's garage in the suburbs?

What's your story?

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#2    JustMeRicky

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:51 AM

Between the Annapolis valley and  Halifax, her in my home province of Nova Scotia, there is what we call the "old highway" or "the old post road." It was the route used to travel to the city before the Government built the main highway near by in 70's. There is almost no traffic at all on this road now except for a very few local residents. Along this road is a very small convenience store with a couple gas pumps out in the front, like the old days before modern gas stations. There is no way there is enough traffic to justify keeping this place open, but the weird part is what you find when you go in. It is very old fashioned looking inside, like an old general store, all wood counters and floor and stuff. In the counter display cases are a hole bunch of drug paraphernalia, such as hash pipes and such. But on some shelves are some hand made dolls, about the size of cabbage patch dolls, but very different looking. The had very pointy shaped faces and wild looking expressions, it is hard to describe them because I have never seen anything like this before to compare them to. They had sharp pointy hats and no two were the same, and they all looked like they were watching you or looking at you. Silly sounding I know. Anyway, the woman who works there is always on the back room when you come in and has to come out to serve you. She is very super overly happy and "hippy like." Also the store has an overpowering smell. Anyway, there is no way this store can run on selling one bad of chips every two days, and what on earth are all those strange dolls for?

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#3    Carnivorous Entity

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 06:08 PM

We've got the Ye Olde Curiosity shop in Seattle, full of taxidermy, souveniers, and purportedly real shrunken heads and mummies. There's also an 'Erotic Bakery', never been in that one though. :P

Edited by Carnivorous Entity, 12 December 2011 - 06:09 PM.

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#4    White Crane Feather

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:18 PM

Whooaaa!!! I have got a doosy. It's so wacked out it's going to be hard to beleive---- but that's the way it goes with me. Crap like this is always happening.

So. As a child early in the morning when my dad would take me to the mountains we would pass through this minuscule town. I'll call it trade town. The whole town is like you mentioned. In the middle of no where. All these run down stores that apear to have no purpose. The town always creeped me out. I had all sorts of nightmare daydreams about some crazys blocking the road and attacking us like in some cannibal horror movie. funny thing is is that you would see cars but never any people.

At the end of this town there is this trading post. My dad would always stop there for a rest break and I would mill about looking at all this really creepy antique slaughtering equipment and other stuff.

Well the years went on I travel through there 5 or 6 times a year. It still creeps me out.

Well I was researching renting or trading for pasture land so i can operate my own goat and lamb herd for meat for my family. I'm attempting to free my household from dependence on grocery stores.  I find the ideal set up. Trade labour for use of a 60'acre ranch.  Guess where it ends up being..... Yup. I go up to meet the owner. A normal enough guy, but the ranch is a bit off. Im not going into detail ( I don't Want anyone to recognize him or it he is kind of famous). But there is defiantly a creepy feel to it.

The first day I go up to help him cut wood. Him and his partner go with me. We are getting father and farther back into he woods-----he has a chainsaw!!!!!!!!---- all my bells and whistles are going off. Here I am on a creepy ranch on the backside of a town that I have been haveing nightmares about since I was a child. With a guy that apears to be luring me into the woods with a chainsaw!!!!!!  I'm at the point in the horror movie where you are screaming at the victim to "run you idiot!!!".

During the course of cutting wood, I could swear he was trying to get behind me.... But no matter what happened I would not let him get behind me. A couple of times while working he got the chainsaw very close to me. I was on pins and needles. I think he eventually recognized how nervous I was because he gave me the chainsaw. Finally it was over, but I was still not sure. I ended up... Sharpening the fricken chainsaw while he worked around me in a room full of all sorts of sharp and blunt tools. I still was ready to fight. ( I'm not going into detail of the creepy art and things that is everywhere on this ranch , but once I started to pay attention more---- holy crap----)

I felt like I was being tested the whole time. Possibly for weakness or possibly because he did not know me either. There were a couple of other strange instances. His partner seemed to be on egg shells with him to.... But they interacted loving enough.

Before we started, he informed me that the other care takers he had highered disappeared or quit suddenly----- WHAT!!!!!!

I ended up haveing a glass Of wine and a snack with him and his partner. Seems like
a great guy. But In his house is some crazy tribal items. Shaman masks, grass efigies, lots of strange images. But very beautiful. I never take my eye off of him for a second. He is even cutting this bread and waving this sharp knife around.

Plot thickens

I get home and do some research on him. Guess what he is an expert on.... And who he has spent time with......

Cannibal tribes from New Guine........ Are you kidding me!?!?!?

I really like the set up... And I like him....and I'm sure he means me no harm. But crap. My instincts seemed to be anticipating this relationship  since I was a child.

Yeah..... I know it sounds like some movie but that's my life. Im have a feeling there is something regarding shamanism I am supposed to learn from him. ( I hope it's not eating people)

There you go. What do you think.

Edited by Seeker79, 12 December 2011 - 07:22 PM.

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#5    JustMeRicky

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 09:02 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 12 December 2011 - 07:18 PM, said:

Whooaaa!!! I have got a doosy. It's so wacked out it's going to be hard to beleive---- but that's the way it goes with me. Crap like this is always happening.

So. As a child early in the morning when my dad would take me to the mountains we would pass through this minuscule town. I'll call it trade town. The whole town is like you mentioned. In the middle of no where. All these run down stores that apear to have no purpose. The town always creeped me out. I had all sorts of nightmare daydreams about some crazys blocking the road and attacking us like in some cannibal horror movie. funny thing is is that you would see cars but never any people.

At the end of this town there is this trading post. My dad would always stop there for a rest break and I would mill about looking at all this really creepy antique slaughtering equipment and other stuff.

Well the years went on I travel through there 5 or 6 times a year. It still creeps me out.

Well I was researching renting or trading for pasture land so i can operate my own goat and lamb herd for meat for my family. I'm attempting to free my household from dependence on grocery stores.  I find the ideal set up. Trade labour for use of a 60'acre ranch.  Guess where it ends up being..... Yup. I go up to meet the owner. A normal enough guy, but the ranch is a bit off. Im not going into detail ( I don't Want anyone to recognize him or it he is kind of famous). But there is defiantly a creepy feel to it.

The first day I go up to help him cut wood. Him and his partner go with me. We are getting father and farther back into he woods-----he has a chainsaw!!!!!!!!---- all my bells and whistles are going off. Here I am on a creepy ranch on the backside of a town that I have been haveing nightmares about since I was a child. With a guy that apears to be luring me into the woods with a chainsaw!!!!!!  I'm at the point in the horror movie where you are screaming at the victim to "run you idiot!!!".

During the course of cutting wood, I could swear he was trying to get behind me.... But no matter what happened I would not let him get behind me. A couple of times while working he got the chainsaw very close to me. I was on pins and needles. I think he eventually recognized how nervous I was because he gave me the chainsaw. Finally it was over, but I was still not sure. I ended up... Sharpening the fricken chainsaw while he worked around me in a room full of all sorts of sharp and blunt tools. I still was ready to fight. ( I'm not going into detail of the creepy art and things that is everywhere on this ranch , but once I started to pay attention more---- holy crap----)

I felt like I was being tested the whole time. Possibly for weakness or possibly because he did not know me either. There were a couple of other strange instances. His partner seemed to be on egg shells with him to.... But they interacted loving enough.

Before we started, he informed me that the other care takers he had highered disappeared or quit suddenly----- WHAT!!!!!!

I ended up haveing a glass Of wine and a snack with him and his partner. Seems like
a great guy. But In his house is some crazy tribal items. Shaman masks, grass efigies, lots of strange images. But very beautiful. I never take my eye off of him for a second. He is even cutting this bread and waving this sharp knife around.

Plot thickens

I get home and do some research on him. Guess what he is an expert on.... And who he has spent time with......

Cannibal tribes from New Guine........ Are you kidding me!?!?!?

I really like the set up... And I like him....and I'm sure he means me no harm. But crap. My instincts seemed to be anticipating this relationship  since I was a child.

Yeah..... I know it sounds like some movie but that's my life. Im have a feeling there is something regarding shamanism I am supposed to learn from him. ( I hope it's not eating people)

There you go. What do you think.
RUNNNNN!! Run now, run far, run and do not look back, get as far away form him as possible!

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#6    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:38 AM

I've mentioned the phantom comic story of Brisbane in the past, but here's as good as place as any:

When I was a lad of about ten, part of my holiday routine was going into Brisbane (an hours travel away by either car or train) and the highlight was going into the various comic stores (we had three of them), imagine my surprise to discover a fourth. On Adelaide Street, opposite where the old Library was (and where there's a JB Hi-Fi now) there was a pair of twisting and rather perilous flights of stairs. One led to Ace Comics ... the other weirdly enough the "Phantom Comic Store", I know the stairs to Ace Comics and clear as day I remember the stairs up to this other store and they weren't Ace's. The store wasn't Ace. It was dark and bit "off" enough to make my old man (a copper) stick close to me rather then wander off and look at what he wanted as he usually did. It was in three parts on two levels, the third part I remember the most as it was effectively a great library of comics with long boxes and piles of comics.

Anyway, next holidays roll around and this store's gone.
Years pass, and I get to know someone who ran a store in Brisbane (Fan Attic if anyone remembers that) and he operated a storeroom for Fan Attic on Adelaide street. It was up a perilous flight of stairs and was dark and a bit dingy. It was also on two levels. I swear it was same place, but the owner swears blind he's never opened that place to the public and he never had that many comics to begin with.


#7    NosmoKing

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 02:09 AM

View PostWearer of Hats, on 13 December 2011 - 01:38 AM, said:

I've mentioned the phantom comic story of Brisbane in the past, but here's as good as place as any:

I know the stairs to Ace Comics
(Fan Attic if anyone remembers that)

I know the above two stores. Fellow Australian. Only went into a couple of times (looking for sci-fi books). Nothing weird, though.

There used to be a second-hand store near me that ONLY got stock from the local dump (some kind of deal I guess). Some of the books were covered in...well, I don't even want to guess. I found a teenage girl's diary once. It was my coolest find that year, an actual diary.

Great stories guys. Keep 'em coming.

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#8    Eilidh Enigma

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:52 AM

There's a second hand shop in my town called The Glory Hole. There's nothing creepy about it but the name always cracks me up :P


#9    MetallicBlood

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 11:04 PM

There is this strange little building down the street and right past the hospital in my town that apparently operates as a "Physic and Palm Reading" kinda place, in which walk-ins are welcome and it only opens at night too.

I've been tempted to go in and see what happens, but I'm sure they would charge me a fortune for it, so I don't see myself doing that anytime soon, if ever.

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#10    wondergirl100

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 01:11 AM

As far as strange businesses or stores in my area, there is definitley one. In my town there used to be an auto parts store. It was near the local bagel place. That went out of business and another business opened up. This business doesn't have a sign on the window or any signs or anything. There is a pass code thing in order to get into it. I have never seen anybody go into it or out of it-until today. I saw a woman go into it and I looked through the window. All I could see was people in blue suits and it looked as if it could be a bank, but I'm not too sure. Because banks always have a sign on their windows. This is an unmarked place and a woman saw me looking through the window. She stopped and then I quickly walked away and that was that. It's awfully suspicious to me, because the business has no signs, a pass code is required to enter, I have never seen anybody go in or out of the business, and when I look through the window I just see what looks like cubicles and a christmas tree.

Any ideas of what it could be?

Edited by wondergirl100, 14 December 2011 - 01:12 AM.


#11    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 06:08 AM

View Postwondergirl100, on 14 December 2011 - 01:11 AM, said:

As far as strange businesses or stores in my area, there is definitley one. In my town there used to be an auto parts store. It was near the local bagel place. That went out of business and another business opened up. This business doesn't have a sign on the window or any signs or anything. There is a pass code thing in order to get into it. I have never seen anybody go into it or out of it-until today. I saw a woman go into it and I looked through the window. All I could see was people in blue suits and it looked as if it could be a bank, but I'm not too sure. Because banks always have a sign on their windows. This is an unmarked place and a woman saw me looking through the window. She stopped and then I quickly walked away and that was that. It's awfully suspicious to me, because the business has no signs, a pass code is required to enter, I have never seen anybody go in or out of the business, and when I look through the window I just see what looks like cubicles and a christmas tree.

Any ideas of what it could be?
I'd be asking the nearest copper about it personally.


#12    ThePhantomFlanFlinger

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:06 PM

View Postwondergirl100, on 14 December 2011 - 01:11 AM, said:

As far as strange businesses or stores in my area, there is definitley one. In my town there used to be an auto parts store. It was near the local bagel place. That went out of business and another business opened up. This business doesn't have a sign on the window or any signs or anything. There is a pass code thing in order to get into it. I have never seen anybody go into it or out of it-until today. I saw a woman go into it and I looked through the window. All I could see was people in blue suits and it looked as if it could be a bank, but I'm not too sure. Because banks always have a sign on their windows. This is an unmarked place and a woman saw me looking through the window. She stopped and then I quickly walked away and that was that. It's awfully suspicious to me, because the business has no signs, a pass code is required to enter, I have never seen anybody go in or out of the business, and when I look through the window I just see what looks like cubicles and a christmas tree.

Any ideas of what it could be?


Remember reading years ago about a similar thing in Birmingham over in Blighty.That was a office block that opened up without signage and nobody seemed to go in or out.Seem to remember it closed overnight after a few months of being opened because people took an interest in it....this was in the 70's i think.


#13    Wyrdlight

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 05:59 PM

There is a soclicitors office near me that is creepy.  It has looked exactly the same for the last 15 years.

The front window has this sort of.... sepia/nicotine yellow glass that makes everything inside look faded out.  It has had the same droopy plastic plants and early 90's computer's  since I was a child as well as dusty book cases filled with old legal books, the odd painting sits on the walls.

I have never, in 15+ years seen anyone working in there or seen anyone go into or out of the building, the paperwork etc looks like its in the same place it was last time i walked by it, very creepy.


#14    Taun

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 07:14 PM

View PostWyrdlight, on 14 December 2011 - 05:59 PM, said:

There is a soclicitors office near me that is creepy.  It has looked exactly the same for the last 15 years.

The front window has this sort of.... sepia/nicotine yellow glass that makes everything inside look faded out.  It has had the same droopy plastic plants and early 90's computer's  since I was a child as well as dusty book cases filled with old legal books, the odd painting sits on the walls.

I have never, in 15+ years seen anyone working in there or seen anyone go into or out of the building, the paperwork etc looks like its in the same place it was last time i walked by it, very creepy.

Judging by how long it takes to wrap a trial these days perhaps they're even working on the same case...


#15    MetallicBlood

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Posted 18 December 2011 - 09:25 PM

View PostWyrdlight, on 14 December 2011 - 05:59 PM, said:

There is a soclicitors office near me that is creepy.  It has looked exactly the same for the last 15 years.

The front window has this sort of.... sepia/nicotine yellow glass that makes everything inside look faded out.  It has had the same droopy plastic plants and early 90's computer's  since I was a child as well as dusty book cases filled with old legal books, the odd painting sits on the walls.

I have never, in 15+ years seen anyone working in there or seen anyone go into or out of the building, the paperwork etc looks like its in the same place it was last time i walked by it, very creepy.

Maybe this place was long since been closed and abandoned for 15 years and nobody ever bothered to clean it out? It's not that unusual for such a thing like that to happen ya know.

In my old town where I used to live, there was this small locally owned video game store that folded and went under, and at the time I was glad it happened because the guy who owned it was such a dick. Anyways, soon after that, I believe this husband and wife bought the store and they tried turning it into like this antique toy store, which never really got off the ground, because as soon as they bought it, the place just closed itself down.

I can remember they took the big sign off the place, but they never cleaned it out so there were all these old creepy looking stuffed animals and stuff always sitting in the window displays for several years and years until I moved away.

Some businesses just do that, they end up closing down abruptly and for whatever reason they never clean the place out, maybe since nobody bothered to buy the place they just didn't bother to clean it out. It happens.

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