By Crash Preston,
Spookables is the most punk rock store on this or any other planet! There is a small store at the bottom of a mountain in rural West Virginia that is devoted to all things horror, punk, metal, and sci-fi. The tiny building looks like it was once the kind of drive-in hamburger and hot dog joint that John Mellencamp sang about. Littered about the hillside there are a handful of other storefronts that have housed numerous other busineses. This is not unusual in this economically crippled area. At the bottom of the hill where the road splits you can see the sad, corroded, remains of the Dairy Queen Brazier/water slide combo, that was once the mecca of this strip. It has long been abandoned to disarray and decay. I grew up not far from here, and I have relatives that are here as well. I know these people and this area well despite having lived out west for the better part of twenty years. Two of the most popular activities around here are fishing and off-roading. There are no comic shops, few bookstores, and definitely no stores that specialize in horror movies and related ephemera. So, what the hell is Jason Scott doing at the bottom of this hill in his small store that is far cooler than it should be?? When we pulled up to the store for the first time I knew I was in for a visual, nerdy treat! Outside there was a bucketful of 12 inch Marvel Comics action figures, a ghoulish banner featuring the store's name and the Crimson Ghost character, and a collection of toys and Halloween bric-a-brac. Opening the door my eyes were assaulted by the overwhelming mass of collectible junk literally crammed into every available nook and cranny! I tread carefully around the inhumanly small store for fear a misplaced step might start a chain reaction that would collapse the building and trap everyone inside under a mountain of plastic! The store's emphasis has been placed on horror collectibles, dvds, and vhs tapes. But, the shelves, floors, walls and display cases are littered with enough Punk and Heavy Metal vinyl, stickers and patches, wrestling collectibles, toys related to nearly every franchise and genre imaginable, and sci fi and comic book shit that could force me to empty my wallet several times over! I spoke to the store's owner Jason Scott for about half an hour. I found him to be very animated, affable and passionate. We talked about his collections, the Ash vs. Evil Dead tv show, about the time I lived in the Seattle area, and about what brought us to the world of nerddom and collecting.. Jason grew up in this part of West Virginia as well, and understood how isolated I felt growing up in a place where few people shared my interest in nerd shit. He said that he always liked horror movies, comics, and the like, but as a child he had no real desire to become a collector. Like myself and others in the nerd community, Jason eventually drifted toward the punk rock and heavy metal scenes. His first glimpse and induction into the world of obsessive collecting was when he saw pictures of the horror and science fiction collectibles belonging to Metallica's Kirk Hammett. His passion for the music scene is reflected in his aesthetics. He chose to paint the inside walls of the store black and orange because they were "punk rock" colors. Similarly, he picked the store's remote location so that people would have to seek it out, to work for it. This punk rock attitude is working. Perhaps, one could argue, too well. Business is so good that Jason does not keep regular business hours. He states that if he wanted to he could easily move into a more commercially viable location. The storeowner stays busy. He has hosted to a number of Youtube shows, and podcasts. Jason can be seen attending conventions as well as vetting offers to be a vendor at many events. He wwas recently offered the chance to set up shop at Fear Fest an event featuring the Metal band Mushroomhead, many actors of Horror movies and TV, and the Helheim Haunted Attraction. Unfortunately they were unable to make this event. I'm sure this will not be the last such invitation for Jason. For the time being Jason is comfortable in his little nook at the bottom of the hill where the Dairy Queen and water slide used to be. May he continue to carry the torch for all things horrorific, nerdy and punk rock for a long time! This world of normies needs more places like Spookables!
Spookables is located at 2541 Coal Heritage Rd., Bluefield, West Virginia 24701.