A Visit to the Nashville Oddities Market

Standing outside the expo building at the Nashville Fairgrounds this past weekend, I looked around at the crowd of people waiting in line with me to get in and felt such a sense of kinship. All the tattoos, the piercings, the multicolored hair, the mohawks. People carrying strange things into and from the building. “Weirdos!” I said to myself. “I am among my people!” About three minutes after entering the building, my sense of belonging had soured considerably.

The organizers, or whomever, had what looked like a whole other half of the building they could have used but chose not to. (Maybe it would have cost more to rent the whole building?) As a result, the vendors and the attendees were packed in like the proverbial can of sardines, except sardines would have had more elbow room. It was so crowded that you literally at times didn’t have room to even turn around. This also made being able to look at all the products available for purchase a most difficult undertaking.

As for those products, I am not exaggerating when I say that at least 50% of the merchandise was comprised of dead animals or parts of dead animals. Was this supposed to be a taxidermy exposition, I asked myself, or a display of lab specimens?

And another 20% of the merchandise was mortuary tools. It seemed like *everybody* there had mortuary tools for sale. I would have liked to see more original artwork. More antiques. Some weaponry (swords and such), perhaps. Vintage sideshow banners and artifacts. And more toys.

This may sound like I didn’t enjoy myself at the Oddities Market, but I actually did, quite a bit. It’s just that I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been so crowded and there had been more variety.

I took photographs of some of the cool stuff I saw there.

I skipped the dead kittens in jars and mortuary tools. If you want to see stuff like that, just attend the next Oddities Market. I assure you, you’ll see plenty.

By The Evil Cheezman

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (,, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at


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