AUSTIN, Texas — A walk along Austin’s Sixth Street brings visitors to a place where they keep things weird. The Museum of the Weird is a take on the old dime museums of the 1800s, where people would pay 10 cents to see all kinds of oddities.
“Live animals, they would have performers and exhibits,” said owner Steve Busti.
Busti’s love for all things creepy started when he was a child. His collection includes two-headed animals, a fruit bat and an original prop from the movie “Gremlins 2.”
“I got it at auction from Rick Baker who was the special effects artist who created the effects for the movie,” said Busti.
And that’s just the beginning. Walk outside and up a set of stairs and you come face-to-face with life-sized wax figures of famous movie monsters.
“I always connected with them. I connected with the Frankenstein monster. He wasn’t something scary to me. He was more like my friend,” said Busti.
The dozen or so figures in Busti’s collection include the Wolfman, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dracula. His fascination with these creatures goes back to a favorite television show in the 1970s.
“Saturday mornings, there would always be the ‘Chiller Theater.’ They’d have this creepy hand coming out of the ground, ‘Chiller!’ It was just my love for those movies that I think brought me to creating a wax museum of classic horror,” said Busti.
Reactions are mixed when people tour the museum. Some think it’s cool, and others think it’s creepy. Busti says most of the time it’s a positive experience.
“They leave with a smile on their face!” he said.