Eww! Ick! Cool!

Scottish Nut's House of Horrors

from Sploid

Somewhere between the stuffed cyclops pig, a feejee mermaid, stacks of human skulls, the jackalope and the amazing fur-bearing trout, gentleman-collector Gordon Rutter sits in his living room and describes the joys of his "room full of curiosities."

Rutter is a teacher who lives in Edinburgh with all his horrible things.

His degree is in biology, while natural history has long been his focus. But the unnatural history is what he gets most excited about - which is why he spends his spare time collecting oddities and writing for Fortean Times.

"I've been into this sort of thing all my life," Rutter told the Scotsman last week. "When I was a kid I'd go to the library and devour weird stuff."

He gestures to his huge collection and says, "And now, I've got all this!"

There's a Loch Ness Monster figurine, a two-headed stuffed duck, even an ostrich egg mounted on an ostrich foot.

"I say to people if it makes you go 'Yeargh', 'What's that?' or 'Who would want that?', then the chances are I'd be interested."

His contacts around the world keep the weird stuff coming, while people in Edinburgh know right where to go when they come across some horrifying thing.

His biggest regret is not buying a Christian relic - the mummified hand of some saint or another. Better yet, it was in the private collection of infamous magician Aleister Crowley, who did some of his best-known work while living in a dreary house on Lock Ness.

"I'd have loved that," Rutter says.

Rutter's travels have led him to some of the world's most enduring mysteries that most people only see in books or on the History Channel.

He has seen the Shroud of Turin, chased ghosts in haunted Scottish castles, and explored all the iconic locations made famous by The Da Vinci Code, including Rosslyn Chapel (close enough to be his local church) and the Louvre's bizarre glass pyramid.


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