Portland's Strange Places #3: Freaky Buttrue Pecularium & Museum

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So there are several odd things about every city. Old, creepy stories, legends and haunts. Portland is no exception and thus our series on "Portland's Strange Places" continues here with installment #3. This time around I am focusing on a truly wild store called the Freaky Buttrue Pecularium and Museum. Tucked away on NW Thurman St. in PDX (2234 NW Thurman to be exact), one must visit this bastion of oddities to truly appreciate it. I'll do my level best here, though, to provide a taste (pun-intended, see below) and (hopefully) ample provocation. 

 A brief glimpse inside the Pecularium. Image Courtesy: Fake Publishing Millionaires

A brief glimpse inside the Pecularium. Image Courtesy: Fake Publishing Millionaires

 This menagerie captures some of the strangeness of the Freak Buttrue Pecularium. However, only a physical visit will do it justice. Image Courtesy: pecularium.com

This menagerie captures some of the strangeness of the Freak Buttrue Pecularium. However, only a physical visit will do it justice. Image Courtesy: pecularium.com

Direct from the Freaky Buttrue Pecularium website, here is what they say about this crazy destination's genesis: 

Famed and yet unknown Portland adventurer Conrad Talmadge Elwood had a dream, but forgot it when he woke up. Still he spent a life time traveling the globe in search of the inexplicable and the freaky. Established in 1967, The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is a one-of-a-kind store and snack bar devoted to Elwood’s blurry vision.
Visitors can discover interactive displays for all six senses, including retro candies, toys, novelties, gags, books, original artwork, tricks one-of-a-kind oddities, ephemera and more. All while having a light snack, complete with edible insects and the likes. In Conrad Elwood’s words, the Peculiarium is a store dedicated to learning and terror.
— pecularium.com

Eat Bugs, Get a Club Membership?

 Yep, there's a  club at the Pecularium  where entry is gained by eating bugs. Image Courtesy: pecularium.com

Yep, there's a club at the Pecularium where entry is gained by eating bugs. Image Courtesy: pecularium.com

So viewing strange things is one thing, but how about tasting them? Yes, the Freaky Buttrue Pecularium prides itself of its offering of "light snacks" on-site. But wait, these snacks are not popcorn and candy...they are insects. Yes, your read that right. Begun in 2011, a club called Insectatarian was formed and is thriving to this day. The basic angle here is "come eat bugs, join our club." Depending on how hungry you are, well, this may just be a non-starter. And yet, Portland is a food-adventurous city... Personally, I've eaten a chocolate-covered ant...and it was quite good. Beyond that? nothing. Perhaps some chili powder crickets at the Pecularium are in order? 

 

Details

Here are some important details to help you plan your visit to Portland's oddest store/museum: 

Website: here

Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Every Day - Summer Hours Only. Check back for Fall/Winter hours updates.

Entry Fee: $5 per person. That said, a decent costume will get you in for free. 

Directions: Given the great nature of this writing, I had to share the official directions from the Pecularium.com website. Here goes: 

We are located at 2234 NW Thurman st., in Northwest Portland, Oregon, 97210, just off 23rd Avenue.

Start the car. Check your tire pressure. Put on your safety belts and set down your drink. Coming from North or South on I-5. Take the I-405. Carefully merge onto US-30/St. Helens. You’re going to go over the Fremont bridge. Don’t worry, it’s safe. Take the Vaughn Street exit. Go straight on US 30 W. Turn left at the light at the bottom of the bridge onto 23rd. Take the first left onto Thurman St. It’s on the right, half a block down, pink building, usually has a bunch of weirdos hanging around out front. 

Check back soon for the next installment of Portland's Strange Places...

 

 

 

Dan Meyers