WEIRD PLACES: The International Cryptozoology Museum Bookstore, Bangor, Maine

Visiting Portland, Maine in March has been a trip we have been doing for many years, always visiting the International Cryptozoology Museum. All of our plans were in place for 2022 as well until we both got Covid, causing the trip to be cancelled. After a nightmare back-and-forth with Hotels.com to cancel our reservation, plans were made to reschedule our visit to Maine (without the help of Hotels.com). This time though we decided to go further north to Bangor, home of the International Cryptozoology Museum Bookstore.

Our day started out by going on the three-hour Stephen King tour by SK Tours of Maine. From there we went to the International Cryptozoology Bookstore. I had chatted a bit with Loren Coleman, curator of the Museum and Bookstore, prior to my trip and he made every effort possible for me not to be disappointed. He made sure ahead of time that I knew the that the store was small, especially in comparison to the museum itself. I truly appreciated his honesty and yes, the store is small, but still full of charm.

The saying “good things come in small packages” has never been truer than with the International Cryptozoology Bookstore. One of my favorite parts of Maine are the small stores run by individuals and are not a chain or conglomerate. They all make the most of their space by cramming in as much eye candy as they can. The bookstore location is certainly a teaser for the main event, which is the Museum itself.

I immediately recognized some displays from the Museum, including my favorite, the FeeJee Mermaid. The woman behind the counter, Jean, was very friendly, commenting almost immediately about my tarantula sweatshirt. Though not a fan of the world’s largest spiders, she shared some great stories of tarantula encounters she had. She engaged with us for most of our visit, when not taking care of other guests, and is a great face for the store.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Bookstore, coming home with a handful of books, patches and stickers. It is a mini-museum and the displays are a lot of fun to look at and if you are fascinated by cryptozoology like I am, then this is a must-visit. What Loren Coleman has done for the cryptozoology world is amazing, and it just keeps getting better!

~David Albaugh

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