Impromptu stop at the Cabinet of Curiosities 30 Hatt street in Dundas Ontario

Well, we’re back and back with a vengeance! To our loyal fans and followers our sincerest apologies for our less than reliable schedule these past few months but it’s was with you in our minds and hearts that we undertook so many perilous missions to break through with countless treasures and phenomenal material!

Literally we have thousands of items new to the shop and not on the website but we’re working on that… drop us a note stop by or keep an eye on the site…You’re gonna love us!

It’s no easy task to commit every waking moment to tracking down the mysteries of the universe… we hope to help make some magical holiday memories for you and yours.. Stop by the shop at 30 Hatt Street in Dundas or visit the website at

Here’s a piece just released to a local paper … in a single statement 🙂 we’ve got literally thousands of new items in the shop!

We may not be everyone’s cup of tea but we’re certain we can all agree, that the Cabinet of Curiosities is one of the most unique shopping experiences in the region. In fact, we take great pride in being  been described as “HomeSense through the eyes of Stephen King”.  Our small and ridiculously over-stuffed Cabinet is a one-of-a-kind source for unusual, magical, mystical, historical and awe inspiring treasures collected from around the world. Television and film have celebrated our distinct inventory as have some of the industry’s most notable figures, were we to drop names you might rub elbow’s with Guillermo Del Toro or Danny Elfman… Welcome one and all, those who appreciate the unusual and celebrate the wonderous, to our fantastical antiques emporium and museum of natural history – a true collection of wonders. Featuring tantalizing remnants of the Billy Jamieson Collection, the Niagara Falls Museum and the iconic Gord Smith FX collection.

The Q&A

What is your signature?

To redefine exceptional and inspire great wonder! Where else would you have to decide between a 2,000 yr old egyptian mummified hawk or Wolverine’s original 1st generation prosthetic arms from X-Men? Or maybe 80,000,000 yr old Mosasaur tooth strikes your fancy!

How did you start your business?

A lifelong fascination with treasure hunting, ghosts, science fiction and history paved the way for an eclectic collection that simply evolved into a retail venture to share the mysteries and wonders of the world.

What is the secret to your success?

The secret to success in this business is to never lose sight of the child inside. It takes the imagination and wonder of youth to see the magic that surrounds us every day. And trust us, it’s not on an IKEA shelf or at the dollar store. Magic exists!

How do you contribute to our community?

We like to think we enrich evryone who comes into the shop, wether there’s a purchase or not. Celebrate nature, culture and history and embrace the “Wow factor”!

I once overheard him described as a mash of Gene Simmons and Indiana Jones, that he put the Rock and Roll back into history, archeology and adventure. In a short time he became somewhat of a legend to many, and his exploits and charismatic personality easily earned him the right to that single name recognition of “Billy”. Billy Jamieson however never got the chance to really bask in his glory and celebrate the phenomenal success of his television show that would inspire millions of people around the globe. In 2011, Shortly after production on his television series Treasure Trader ended, the modern-day treasure hunter and “Master of the Macabre” suffered a heart attack on his 57th birthday and died. In honour of his life and memories the decision was made to air that one and only season to virtually instant success. A single season was never enough and the fan base continues to grow today for an incredible man who lives on in myth and legend as much as memory. Now, five years later, The History Channel has given Treasure Trader a second life, a chance for a new audience to be captivated by the curiosities, oddities, and larger-than-life persona of the one and only Billy Jamieson. 

With the aid of his partner Jessica Lindsay Phillips, Treasure Trader captures Billy’s exploits in the worlds of mummies, shrunken heads, human skulls, tribal artifacts, and much more. Under Billy’s tenure as curator of the Niagara Falls Museum, it was discovered that the mummy of Pharaoh Ramesses I, which had been missing for over 150 years, was an unidentified part of the collection, and never would have been discovered if Billy hadn’t facilitated the sale of mummies to the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, Georgia.

Billy may not have had been able to enjoy the fruits of his labour and watch as his show played on televisions across the nation, but he didn’t need to. He was living in the world of the strange and the exotic all the time, and he loved every minute of it. If The History Channel’s re-airing of Treasure Tracker can do only one thing, we hope it is that it inspires people to be as passionate and unique as Billy was. 

Cabinet of Curiosities has been lucky enough to work closely with Jessica over the past several years and is proud to count her amongst friends of the Cabinet and particularly Mark the owner. Over these past years together they’ve made it possible to bring an incredible selection of Billy’s collection to display and for sale. The website will soon be undergoing a dramatic refresh and invigorating transformation and we look forward to having Billy’s legacy as part of our future. Celebrating the life of Billy Jamieson, one of the world’s most enigmatic treasure hunters.

Cabinet of Curiosities has been working with the local filmmaking community renting unique props to enhance productions, on Saturday November 7th we’ll be at The Hamilton Film Expo!

One of a kind original authentic FX pieces from the special effects master Gordon Smith. Material will be on display and for sale ranging from $30 to $3,000. A once in a lifetime chance to own original pieces used in both development and production of some of films and televisions most memorable characters, part of a collection appraised at over $1.5 million. Films represented will include X-men, Stephen King’s Night Shift, Nixon, Jacob’s Ladder, Platoon, Truman, Snow Falling on Cedars, Ghosts of Mississippi, Mimic, Threshold, K9 and many others. Television shows are also represented such as Robocop, Total recall, The Fringe and more! Many of these items have been on display at TIFF and have never been offered for sale to the public.

Cabinet of Curiosities and Otherwise Needful Things, based in Dundas, ON will also present a collection of distinct oddities and curiosities from its vast collection of prop rentals and collections for sale. A truly unique destination where the phrase “expect the unexpected” rings true upon every visit. In the Cabinet you’ll discover treasures from around the world and from every dark corner and twisted mind that are sure to amaze, intrigue, shock and inspire. Specializing in world treasures, tribal, taxidermy, apothecary and the macabre, Cabinet of Curiosities is an experience unto itself.

Deep inside the Cabinet, in the murky depths, you’ll come across stacks and stacks of macabre and somehow inspiring material. You wouldn’t know what to make of it at first. In fact you might not want to explore at all, but they’ll call to you, they’ll beckon in a soft and dark whisper… “come closer” see what you have found…”

The work of Gordon Smith has been hailed as revolutionary in the industry, his portfolio of film and television projects is beyond compare. You don’t have to be a movie buff or television squatter to easily recognize dozens of pictures that he personally helped to make memorable if not unforgettable. Pictures such as Platoon, X-Men, Jacob’s Ladder, Legends of the Fall, Benjamin Buttons, Snow Falling on Cedars, Nixon, Truman and hundreds more.

The Cabinet is proud to feature an extensive collection for sale and display from the genius of work. We’ll soon be adding some photos of the collection to inspire and impress. Here we have an image of resin elephant tusks created for the Oscar winning film Legends of the Fall starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, Henry Thomas and Julia Ormond.

Check out the facts about Prime Minister Harper’s government, as sung by Blue Rodeo.

Local artist and our good friend Shara Ross has created a series of professionally designed & uniquely illustrated Ouija Boards.

In 1891, a Pittsburgh toy and novelty shop, started advertising: “Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,”  which went on to describe a magical device that answered questions “about the past, present and future with marvelous accuracy”,  “a link between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial.” Little has changed in the way of design for that board, patented over 120 years ago. A flat wood grain looking board with the letters of the alphabet arrayed in two semi-circles above the numbers 0 through 9 all printed in black which makes it a basic two colour piece; the words “yes” and “no” in the uppermost corners, “goodbye” at the bottom; the planchette is a teardrop-shaped device, comes with it and is used to travel over the board and stopping at a letter or a number, when the connection with a spirit has been made.

I felt inspired to create new boards. I always thought it would end up being a Tarot deck I would do first, a long standing passion of mine as well, but what started out as a pet project grew into the three boards shown here…. as I’ve always thought that the Ouija board deserved more than the very generic design it has displayed almost since it’s inception.

Shara has created 3 unique Ouija boards called Portal, Carousel, and Symbols. Her IndieGogo campaign has a variety of perks, including boards with genuine antique glass eye planchetes!

Hey it’s Michael I’m the CO-OP student working here in this horrific antique shop, informing you that a really creepy African Voodoo skull has just recently been added to the amazing collection at Cabinet of Curiosities.

I basically know nothing about voodoo skulls, but many believe that voodoo is not just a religion but a process that brings the body and soul together. I do know for sure that this African Voodoo skull would definitely be a great conversation piece.

P.S. I think it’s watching me as I type this so I better watch what I say!

The upcoming Hollywood North: FXSMITH Studio Collection Online Auction is in association with our good friends at the Billy Jamieson Collection.

From March 23-26, 2015 you can bid on incredible memorabilia such as Mystique’s costume, Wolverine’s claws, weapons from Platoon, and much more.

Waddington’s presents the artistry of FXSMITH Studio Inc. in an auction of extraordinary examples of special effects from blockbuster movies such as X-Men, Platoon, Nixon, JFK, Jacob’s Ladder and Legends of the Fall.

“This auction really takes you behind the scenes – an exploration of the magic and the imagination of some of Hollywood’s most popular and provocative movies” says Duncan McLean, the president of the Toronto-based auction company conducting the sale. An unusual auction for Waddington’s, McLean explains: “What impressed us was the artistry of the work; FXSMITH’s team was comprised of some of Canada’s leading artists, including one of Canada’s best sculptors, Evan Penny, whose work appears in the Art Gallery of Ontario and has been featured in our contemporary art auctions.”

A 30-year veteran of the film industry, Smith and the 13 hand-chosen artists in his company are probably best known for bringing the mutants from X-Men to life. Mystique, Wolverine, Sabretooth, Toad, Nightcrawler, Senator Kelly and Lady Deathstrike all appear in the auction in one shape or form, including the life-size Mystique played by actress Rebecca Romijn; the life-like bust, prosthetic hands and arms, and silicone bullet head wounds of Wolverine played by Hugh Jackman; as well as various prosthetic busts, tails, feet, ears, clawed hands and retracting blades of the other main X-Men characters.

While the special effects for movies like X-Men and Jacob’s Ladder are based on sci-fi and fantasy, FXSMITH’s work in movies like Oliver Stone’s Nixon, and Edward Zwick’s Legends of the Fall involved creating life-like effects. Items in the auction from these movies include mixed media, life-size models of eviscerated zebra and antelopes and life-size models of charred, skeletal battlefield corpses from Legends of Fall. Museum-quality sculpture is captured by the cast plaster life masks of characters from Oliver Stone’s Nixon, including Anthony Hopkins as Nixon, Paul Sorvino as Kissinger; as well as John F. Kennedy from Stone’s 1991 JFK.

McLean summarizes that “It’s been an incredible exercise in research, discovery and appreciation of a new art form.” As an auction house which covers a broad range of fine collectibles – the mutant bat heads and cockroach wings, eviscerated wildlife, and life-like busts of Genna Davis, Whoopi Goldberg and Hugh Jackman, and the statuesque Mystique have actually begun to blend in with the oil paintings, bronze sculpture, and objets d’art.

All these incredible items will be on view from March 21 – 23. Register to bid at

Auction Highlights

Mystique – X-MEN 2, 2003hollywood-north-FXSMITH-mystique

Life-size figure consisting of silicone appliques and hair on mannequin of character Mystique, played by Rebecca Romijn, height 69″ — 175.3 cm.
Estimate: $5,000—7,000

Wolverine – X-MEN, 2000hollywood-north-FXSMITH-wolverine

Stunt double bust of Wolverine character, played by Hugh Jackman, height 19″ — 48.3 cm.
Estimate: $2,000—3,000

Total Recall 2070, 1999hollywood-north-FXSMITH-total-recall-2070

Two pigmented silicone baldhead wounds and two exposed brain prosthetics. Diameter 9” – 22.9 cm
Estimate: $200—300

Dolphin – Johnny Mnemonic, 1995

Mixed media, life-size prop model of a biomechanical dolphin, length 85” – 215.9 cm.
Estimate: $300—500

San Francisco is home to The Golden Gate Bridge, definitely one of the most recognizable milestones in the world and a spectacle of engineering. However that’s all dominated by the fact that it is one of the main suicide magnets in the world. It is anticipated that there are about 30 deaths every year from jumping off the bridge, even though there could be people who have jumped without anybody else seeing them whose bodies were never retrieved.

One reason why numerous people jump off the bridge is because they figure that it is a fast and easy way to finish your life—just one impact and it’s all over instantly. Though, autopsy reports have revealed that it might not be as easy as you think. Firstly, about 5 percent of people actually survive the fall. To make troubles worse, some people who do survive the fall die later due to a combination of drowning and gruesome injuries—punctured lungs and bleeding brains are just certain consequences a jumper can expect.

The fact that there really isn’t much of a barricade to prevent people from jumping off the bridge is another reason why behavioral scientists believe it is such a suicide attraction.

Sadly, some people don’t comprehend the mindset of suicide. They believe that funding a barricade or netting would just cause people to commit suicide somewhere else, and funding such a barrier would be a waste of taxpayer’s money. A report done on the topic of bridge suicides showed this was simply untrue. Suicide is typically a very spontaneous act, of the people who survived the fall off the Golden Gate Bridge, 90 percent of them did not go on to attempt suicide ever again.

Sadly, this second myth is certainly costing lives because not enough people believe making suicide attempts more challenging will reduce deaths.

There are several myths about The Great Wall of China; the most recognized myth would possibly be that the wall is the only man-made item noticeable from outer space, which is not at all true. Though, there is a much more ghoulish myth about the Great Wall that is fairly popular.

We know that building the Great Wall was an immense effort that likely involved millions of workers during the years. Numerous people who labored on the wall died while working on the assignment. This has led to the myth that there are possibly hundreds of thousands of bodies buried inside the remaining wall itself.

According to experts, this is very doubtful—though it’s difficult to prove either way. They claim that it would have significantly weakened the configuration, because the bodies would have produced air pockets as they decayed within the walls.

Still, there could be a definite component of truth to the story. Long before the current Ming Wall was built, there was another lost wall known as the Qin Wall. A domineering emperor of the same name ordered this wall’s production. Several legends claim there were so many deaths throughout the assembly that they just dug lots of graves and dropped the bodies right in. Though, even in these legends the deceased are not truly entombed inside the walls, as that would have been an unrealistic idea. They were simply buried nearby, as a matter of pure convenience—not to please the impulses of an outrageous dictator who believed a wall crammed with bodies was a good idea.

Everybody has heard stories of the mummy’s curse. The legends will say that somebody entered a tomb, disturbed the remains or stole a holy object, and was then cursed by the powers of a bitter spirit. Of course, there is no proof beyond stories that there is any such thing as a mummy’s curse, but that has never stopped the storytellers. One-tale claims that centuries ago when Napoleon was doing his thing, he was swinging by Egypt and wanted to take a look at the pyramids at Giza. In order to fulfill a particularly narcissistic desire, the self-styled Emperor wanted to spend the night in the pharaoh’s tomb in the Great Pyramid.

The stories claim that Napoleon stayed the whole night in the tomb as intended, but he looked horrified upon exiting the tomb the next morning. He then clammed up about the experience, and he tried to never discuss about it again. According to legend, he nearly considered telling all the details of what happened to him upon his deathbed, but he decided not to because he didn’t think anyone would actually believe his wild claims. Unfortunately, his administrator—who journeyed with him—said that Napoleon never spent the night in a tomb.