When you're doing a Jack The Ripper-themed Halloween party, you have to remember one thing: No guts, no gory.
That thought was front and center for Mike Zohn, star of the Science Channel series "Oddities," when he was trying to find items suitable for his client's spooky shindig, which was centered around the infamous 19th century serial killer.
The episode airs Oct. 29 and when Zohn didn't have the right items at his New York-based shop, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, he reached out to medical memorabilia collector Rex Young.
Young's interest in the macabre is a family tradition.
"I come from a long line of physicians," he said in the episode. "When my grandfather died, I helped clean out his estate and got to dig through all the stuff and find out things about him -- things that normal people feel uneasy around."
For example: Young's great-grandfather was once evicted from an apartment after his landlord found a human head in a suitcase that he "borrowed" from his medical school.
Zohn's client had specific needs, he said.
"I'm looking for something that reads humans, reads Jack the Ripper, something that screams 'eviscera,'" Zohn told Young.
Young figured the preserved human organs that were on display near his human skeleton were a good starting point.
Zohn was immediately interested in the human kidney, and fell in love with the jar containing a preserved small intestine.
"Dude! Oh my God, That is disgusting, but I do not hate your guts," he said. "Amazing!"
However, Zohn didn't just start buying preserved human organs yesterday and his careful eyes noticed an important detail.
"When stretched, the small intestine can be taller than a human house," he said. "This doesn't look like enough for an adult human."
Zohn was right. It was actually the small intestine of a dog.
"Being that it's not human, it might be a problem," he said.
Young made the deal by tossing in the dog guts as part of the human kidney. Total sale: $150.
"You have got yourself a deal," Zohn said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story left out the word "head" in the following sentence: For example: Young's great-grandfather was once evicted from an apartment after his landlord found a human head in a suitcase that he "borrowed" from his medical school.