On the outskirts of the Windy City, with the Sears…I mean Willis Tower looming in the distance, lies the suburb of Berwyn. Its a town that made a name for itself for once having a giant garbage sculpture and spindle of cars as prominent local art. They even hold an annual parade dedicated to, of all things, mushrooms (courtesy of its Houby Parade which we covered HERE). Despite these wonderful things that give the town so much character, it would be a horror host that would REALLY put them on the map, both here in Chicagoland as well as a national audience…
Berwyn, Illinois is to a Svengoolie fan what Parma, Ohio is to a fan of one of their horror hosts, The Ghoul, and this is no coincidence. The Ghouls and Svengoolies have a shared lineage via a 1960’s horror host named Ghoulardi (you can learn more about that HERE). Berwyn may not have any more sculptures to entice its visitors but they do have something even rarer. On Roosevelt Road, right next door to old style bar appropriately named “The Friendly Tap,” is “Horrorbles.” Horrorbles is to an adult horror fan what Toys R Us is to the average kid. It is a store that sells horror movies, masks, collectibles, models, and..well..just about ANYTHING a horror fan could dream of.
“Horrorbles” opened in 2005 and is the brainchild of owner, John Aranza. “After being a fan and attending shows I realized that nobody had done a brick and mortar dedicated to genres before,” said John. “So my focus was to bring that convention atmosphere to a physical store…hence the name…Horror & Collectibles = “Horrorbles.”
The store not only features the amazing collectibles you see here, but also features its “dungeon” of sorts. A set of stairs takes you down to a lower level that features even MORE great stuff as well as its own movie screening room. Select horror films are shown each week and offer a chance for fans to meet other like-minded souls.
When my best pal and fellow Terror Dave, David Albaugh, first came to Chicago in March of 2010, we went straight from the airport to “Horrorbles” (read his telling of the story by clicking HERE).
Just as Berwyn is linked to Svengoolie, “Horrorbles” solidifies the bond even further. Fans who stay and watch Sven’s end credits will note that Horrorbles is the official supplier of the Svengoolie rubber chicken!
And speaking of Svengoolie, he recently returned to his favorite store to partake in unique event. That story coming SOON!