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Welcome to the Crypt!

Enter the Crypt as John "The Unimonster" Stevenson and his merry band of ghouls rants and raves about the current state of Horror, as well as reviews Movies, Books, DVD's and more, both old and new.

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From the Desk of the Unimonster...

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08 December, 2007

Uni's Trips from the Crypt: Horrorbles Horror & Science-Fiction Memorabilia, Berwyn, Illinois

When the Chicago-area horror landmark The House of Monsters closed recently, it left a void in the cold black hearts of horror-fans throughout Chicagoland. That was a void that John Aranza, owner of Horrorbles Horror & Science-Fiction Memorabilia sought to fill. And since opening his doors just over a year ago, both he and Horrorbles have become major players on the local horror scene.

Located in the historic suburb of Berwyn, on Roosevelt Rd., Horrorbles has rapidly become the place to go for those Chicago-area Horror fans needing a fix for their fright-filled addictions. Carrying everything from t-shirts to models to movies, Horrorbles is squeezed into a small, older building in this fashionable district, famous for being the home of long-time Chicago Horror-Host Svengoolie.

Svengoolie is a fixture in Chicago’s pop culture landscape, and Horrorbles has a close relationship with the 34-year veteran host. They are not only a sponsor of his program, airing twice each Saturday night, but they are the official supplier of rubber chickens to the show (one of the program’s trademarks is Sven being pelted with flocks of these birds at the end of each episode…). They offer the official chickens for sale, in both regular and autographed versions.

But Svengoolie isn’t the only big name associated with the store. In the eighteen months since it opened, Horrorbles has sponsored several events, including bringing Oscar©-winning actress Patricia Neal to town for a recent Science-Fiction film festival. They are also the exclusive dealer for a new line of Basil Gogos authorized t-shirts, and last year hosted a book signing for the “Famous Monsters” cover artist. Recently, they agreed to be the sole retailer for a well-known Horror-host’s private collection of memorabilia, as well as entering into a similar arrangement for one of the most prolific screenwriters from the heyday of Sci-Fi B-Movies.

However, that’s not why people are heading to Horrorbles six days a week (the store is closed Mondays…). That has much more to do with the store’s two strengths: Selection, and Service.

Horror fans are a diverse lot, and no two fans are looking for exactly the same thing. Whether your interest is the most recent copy of Rue Morgue; an original Remco Mummy, still on the card; or a Sideshow Toys Silver-Screen edition Dracula, chances are you’ll find it here. Aranza carries a wide variety of magazines, including many original Famous Monsters, and an excellent variety of movies, from early Silent horrors to J-Horror gorefests. However, the primary focus of Horrorbles is toys and models.

Aranza describes his philosophy as providing “a window back to the monster toys and monster memories of our youth.”

But should you be searching for something not in stock, that’s where the store’s excellent service comes into play. Simply ask Aranza, or his capable assistant Elizabeth Haney, and they will do their best to track it down for you. Not only are they collectors themselves, with a genuine love of the subject matter, but they have a wide network of friends and colleagues to whom they can reach out.

And if you aren’t in the Chicago area, there’s no need to despair; you too can shop Horrorbles… virtually, at http://www.horrorbles.com/. But if you’re planning to be in Chicago, then you definitely owe it to yourself to schedule a trip to Berwyn, and experience it first-hand. You won’t be disappointed.

[Horrorbles is located at:
6731 W. Roosevelt Rd.
Berwyn, IL 60402

Telephone: (708) 484-7370
E-mail: store@horrorbles.com

Store Hours: Noon-7pm, Tu-Fri., Noon-5pm Sat-Sun., Closed Mon.]

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