Horror-themed gift shop opens in REO Town

Deadtime Stories expands with The Screamatorium


THURSDAY, July 8 — Deadtime Stories, a REO Town book shop dedicated to true crime, paranormal and other horror-tinged fare, is expanding to include a gift shop, even more media including films and, eventually, an ice cream parlor.

The Screamatorium, which debuts Saturday, is attached to the Deadtime Stories building on Washington Avenue. Owner Jenn Carpenter, author of the “Haunted Michigan” series of books and founder of the Festival of Oddities, said she always wanted to open an additional shop and was given the opportunity thanks to a switch-up with her neighbor.

“Next door to me was a salon. I thought if she ever left, it would be cool to expand into that spot,” Carpenter said. “The day after I had that thought, my landlord called and said, ‘The salon is moving out, do you want her space?’ I had to take it while it was available.”

The new shop will focus entirely on gifts, freeing up valuable shelf space at Deadtime Stories, which now stock even more books. Patrons to The Screamatorium can also purchase a wide range of true crime and paranormal crafts including toys, T-shirts, art prints, board games, ghost hunting kits, dolls and movies. The goods are supplied by Michigan-based artisans like Steve Jencks and vendors like Creepy Kawaii, Alt Printing Co. and Cult of Death.

To play on the “Scream” in “Screamatorium,” Carpenter also wants to build a bar in order to serve her own custom ice cream. But for now, she’s offering fare you can typically find on an ice cream truck, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Spongebob Squarepants-themed ice cream bars and classic oversized Bomb Pops. Vintage-style candy will also be for sale.

“It’s a spooky little general store with a whole bunch of nostalgic stuff based on true crime and horror,” Carpenter said. “By next summer, we hope to have a full-service ice cream counter. There’s so much fun stuff you can do with ice cream.”

Saturday’s grand opening runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the first 15 customers through the door will receive a special commemorative bookmark free of charge with any purchase. 

The Screamatorium Grand Opening

Saturday, July 10, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

1134 S. Washington Ave., Lansing



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