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Pricey Freak Pennsylvania Bound

An article in Michigan’s Kalamazoo Gazette caught our attention, reporting that an otherwise unidentified Pennsylvania “Dime Museum” — an attraction devoted to freaks and curiosities — had just bought a stuffed two-headed calf in Kalamazoo for slightly under $3,500.

Typical 2-headed calf, Colorado.
Typical 2-headed calf, Colorado.
Another attraction commodity, the Muffler Man, has experienced wild price fluctuations between $10,000 and $1,000 in the market decade just closed. But this was the first time we’d considered two-headed calves, the standard of animal freakdom, as a wiser — and perhaps more stable — long-term investment.

And where was this “Dime Museum” in Pennsylvania? We could think of only one, Doc Weitzel’s Traveling Curiosity Show in Gettysburg, so we called Doc to see if he was the winning bidder.

“I was in competition for that calf,” Doc told us. “But when it started to go into $800-900 bucks, I said no.” Doc said that he instead decided to save his money to buy a unicorn that was for sale, and that he didn’t really need a two-headed calf anyway, since he already had a two-headed raccoon.

“We’ll have a whole bunch of new goodies when we open for the season in March,” Doc said, unprompted. “We’ll have a mummified human hand from England, and a 300-year-old mummified cat.” The cat, he explained, belonged to Sarah Goody, one of the condemned witches of Salem. It was buried along with her and “when they dug her up and reburied her in consecrated ground, the cat was sold into a private collection. Now we have it.”

Who bought the two-headed calf? Doc didn’t know, but he guessed that it might have been the Museum of the Strange, a long-promised (but as-yet-unopened) attraction promoted by a couple of ghost-hunters, according to Doc, “to try and put me out of business.” He didn’t seem worried by the possible competition. Instead, our conversation rekindled Doc’s interest in adding to his already considerable collection of oddities.

“I wonder if the six-legged frog is still out there,” Doc wondered aloud. “If that ever turned up — that would be marvelous. It’s alive.”

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