Sfanthor! House of Wax

Tobyblog and creep

Here in North Texas the sun is shining. The weather is warming up. The world outside is getting brighter. The Texas wildflowers are already in bloom, thanks to a mild and soggy winter. In the woods, things are moving. The itchy season is upon us, and the window of opportunity for a lot of local geocaches is closing, as the casual players tend to steer clear of anything that might put them in the way of tall grass, poison ivy, or the dreaded tick.

It is a season I have grown to love. Especially because it heralds the return of my beloved firewheels, the wonderful gaillardias that blanket the countryside around these parts, that channel the power and living energy of the Texas sun into something beautiful and delicate — as delicate and precious as life. That’s a sense that perhaps only the very young, and the older, possess. I’m not that old, but I look forward.

Sfanthor banner

And perhaps that is why a guy like me is never far from thoughts of fall, and pumpkins, and cool night winds. So it is no surprise that in the middle of all this awakening spring glory I find myself back in the shadows, on a quest to discover if in the heart of Texas something is still left of the spirit of the bizarre, the otherwordly, and the mysterious.

Games

It was almost a year ago that I first blogged about Collector’s Crypt in Oak Cliff. The Crypt is gone now, lost to the real-world horror of neighborhood gentrification. (I will have more to say about that later on.) I’ve kept in touch with the owners, my friends Andrea and Kathy, and they will be making an appearance at the upcoming Texas Frightmare Weekend convention in April. They will have a booth and will be selling lots of curious items under the Collector’s Crypt banner. I would encourage all of you to attend and buy lots from them. Many of their items will surely be one of a kind. And you can even tell them Tobyblog sent you. Who knows what might happen?

They tell me their plan is to take the store online, and I genuinely hope that they are able to do that, as I’m sure I’m not finished giving them money yet.

Comic rack

But still, I’m sorry for the loss. It was a unique place. Maybe a little too unique. I used to wonder if it could really be possible that there was nothing else like it outside of California (that was the line I would use). But did I really believe that? Surely there had to be others. Texas is a big state, after all. And there are pockets of weirdness everywhere, especially in college towns, or sometimes in little places you wouldn’t expect. I’m not particularly well traveled, either, so what do I know? Anything could be out there. Maybe right around the corner. And so I began to look for signs of life…

Games

I believe it was right around the time of Texas Frightmare Weekend 2015, as I was investigating some of the various merchants and attendees, that I ran across mention of Sfanthor!, thanks to the horror blog Blood Over Texas.

I would suggest you link on over and read that now. It’s a short and very well-written article, and you can probably see why my eyes perked up.

“The castle is, Sfanthor, a shop celebrating sci-fi, fantasy and horror — the name is a mashup of those three genres and is full of everything your dark heart desires. Vintage comics, toys, jewelry, collectibles and T-shirts, including horror shirts by local company, Pallbearer Press. Created by one of the coolest, weird shops in town, Museum of the Weird on 6th street (downtown Austin), Sfanthor is following in it’s predecessors footsteps by adding a cool museum to the mix.”