Inaugural Strangefest comes to Scranton, with a variety of niche items

SCRANTON — Sunday morning found Scranton resident Greta Howk shopping for skulls at the first-ever StrangeFest, held at the Ritz Theater on Wyoming Avenue.

A new skull, she said, would join others on her fireplace mantel.

“We love weird things,” she said of herself and her boyfriend.

Howk, who found out about the event on social media, said she was interested in taxidermy and preserved animal heads.

She was impressed with over 40 vendors participating in the event, offering everything from handmade items to baked goods to home goods.

Vendor Payton Brown, owner of Into the Unknown Antiques, describes her business as fulfilling all the “witchy, spooky dreams” of customers.

Brown was offering items including vintage lamps, candlesticks, bottles and figurines.

She found out about the event on Instagram and decided to join in as a vendor. She describes her vintage products as “Victorian goth meets ’70s grandma.”

Brown, who sells many of her items on social media, said it was nice to get out to interact with customers and others who share similar interests.

Vendor Jeremy Cilberto was offering skulls crafted from resin to be used for everything from home decor to eating morning cereal.

“It’s Halloween all year round,” he said of the spooky items.

Robert and Kay Stroup made the two-hour trip from York County to attend the event, after hearing about it on social media.

“I found out about it and marked my calendar,” she said. “I like things that are unique, like skulls and things like that.”

The event included silent horror films projected in the venue’s theater area, providing an appropriate backdrop for the sale of similarly themed items.

For those who came hungry, Noir Dark Spirits, a bar and eatery located at the theater, was offering a special brunch menu, including several brunch-perfect cocktails.

The event was sponsored by Strange and Unusual, a specialty shop in Kingston offering crystals, taxidermy, antiques, skulls, spiritual items and home decor.