On Saturday, April 3 Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum held a grand opening for Camp Horror, the latest addition to the Burbank establishment's list of sinister offerings. Previously, the retail venue and exhibition space had consisted of two side-by-side units, designated Vintage Oddities and Mystic Museum & Gift Shop - the former emphasizing stuffed animals and apothecary products, the later offering fashion items, games, and decorations. The Bearded Lady has now expanded into a third contiguous unit, which houses the namesake line of collectibles: t-shirts, mugs, water bottles, and tote bags branded with the Camp Horror logo.
Fear not: this would not be the Mystic Museum if Camp Horror were nothing but a product line. The new section of the store is essentially an immersive display embodying the Camp Horror theme, a pun-ish name suggesting not only tongue-in-cheek terror but more specifically '80s horror films set in woodsy locations, such as The Evil Dead and Friday the 13th.
Scroll down for a photographic tour of Mystic Museum's latest addition. Click on any photo to open a gallery....
Camp Horror Photo Gallery: Mystic Museum Exterior
The Camp Horror section of Bearded Lady's Mystic Museum is located on the corner of Magnolia Boulevard and N. Ontario Street, directly to the left of its two older units, which offer collectibles, rarities, and vintage oddities. As you can see, the exterior storefront is as much an attraction as the interiors - it's like a little bit of Halloween all year long....
Camp Horror Photo Gallery: Collectibles
Entering Camp Horror is a little bit like stepping into an old slasher movie, with the emphasis on "camp" - which is to say, the familiar iconography will more likely elicit a smile than a scream. Whatever emotion you feel, Camp Horror is worth a visit. The walls are so festooned with decorations that this section of the store is almost an immersive art installation, with the products acting as props. (Indeed, some elements are reminiscent of - if not borrowed from - the Mystic Museum's 2019 Evil Dead Exhibit.)
Backdrops display moody forests. Rowboats look ready for a voyage on Crystal Lake. Wooden picnic tables await unsuspecting guests. A fireplace is surmounted by a deer's head suggests Deadites might be about to return to the land of the living. A hapless victim lies speared in a bunk. And Jason Voorhees himself stands at the crossroads, willing to take a selfie with those brave enough to approach....
Camp Horror Photo Gallery: Vintage Oddities and Gift Shop
At present, because of Covid-19 precautions, when the store is crowded, visitors are encouraged to enter through the Camp Horror section and move through the two other units via interior doorways, exiting from the last unit. This is not a strict requirement; it's more a matter of helping to maintain social distance.
Although the contents of all three sections are categorized, there is overlap, and if you have come to see Camp Horror, you should explore the rest of what Mystic Museum has to offer....
Camp Horror: Conclusion
In consideration of the safety of its customers, Mystic Museum continues to offer pickup and shipping services, but if you have a taste for their macabre products you will enjoy a visit to the physical location, especially if you have been fully vaccinated.
Besides the three retail units, there is a gallery space in back that houses exhibits. Currently on offer is Slashback Video: The Beginning - which bills itself as an "all-horror VHS video store immersive experience & art gallery," inspired by '80s slasher films. The exhibit runs through June.
We don't want to oversell Camp Horror. This is still a store selling product, but the theming transforms a shopping trip into an enjoyably campy horror experience. Hollywood Gothique recommends you check it out - if you dare!