Every family has a black sheep. You’ve probably got a brother, sister, or cousin who’s a little unusual. Maybe they’re into taxidermy, or goth culture, or maybe they just have an “unhealthy” obsession with true crime. Maybe they’re gung-ho about trying unusual foods from around the world, or maybe they are just passionate about historical re-enactment. Chances are, when the holiday shopping season rolls around each year, you have absolutely no idea what to get for this person. Sure, you could get them a safe gift like a gift card or some socks, but wouldn’t it be nice to get them something they’ll really like?
If you have a friend or family member with unusual hobbies, our guide to weird gifts is here to help you find a Christmas gift they’ll actually enjoy. If you’re shopping for someone who loves unusual stuff, this is the gift guide for you. In my family, I’m definitely the black sheep, so everything on this list is something that us “weirdos” would definitely think is cool. Some highlights of this gift guide include creepy books, gruesome films, and home decor items with a touch of the scientifically macabre. In addition to the darker items on our list, we’ve included some items that are just plain unusual, which are perfect for those “hard to shop for” people on your holiday gift list. Even if you know nothing about your black sheep’s favorite hobbies, our recommendations will make it easy to pick out an unusual gift that will really speak to their personality. Browse a selection of weird gifts here, or read on to browse our handpicked guide to weird gifts for Christmas 2016.
1. C & A Scientific Real Bat Skeleton
A skeleton is definitely a creepy gift, but one that will definitely appeal to certain types of people. This real bat skeleton is made for scientific or classroom use, but those with unusual tastes in home decor might place it on the mantelpiece or in their cabinet of curiosities. Articulated and placed in a clear viewing box, this is definitely an unusual gift. The specific species of bat is Pipistrellus abramus, or Japanese house bat. This is an unusual gift that will delight scientists, teachers, biologists, veterinarians, or anyone who loves vampire lore.
2. ‘The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft’
When it comes to weird stories, Lovecraft is king. The man who gave us stories like “The Call of Cthulhu” and “The Dunwich Horror” has a cult following today, even though he died in 1937. This annotated book of Lovecraft tales is packed with tons of information to make the stories even more engrossing. The collection features 22 stories, including “At the Mountains of Madness,” “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” and of course “The Call of Cthulhu.” In addition to the stories, the book features 280 illustrations, and more than 1,000 annotations to explain the context of each tale. This is Lovecraft for scholars and serious horror aficionados.
This is a great gift for teens who haven’t been exposed to Lovecraft yet, or for serious Lovecraft readers who want to delve deeper into the references and meanings in their favorite short stories. If you’re shopping for someone who already owns this book, a nice alternative in the same vein might be Morbid Curiosities: Collections of the Uncommon and the Bizarre.
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Price: $30.20 (24 percent off MSRP)
3. Ouija Board Necklace
This is a great gift for ladies who believe in psychics, the occult, and life after death. The necklace is 18 inches long, and made from a metal alloy. If you like this idea, but want to see some additional styles, you can browse more Ouija necklaces on sale here. Not sure this is the right gift for the person you’re shopping for? Get more unusual gift ideas in our guide to the best unique gifts.
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4. Handmade Human Anatomy Coasters
These anatomy coasters are great for anyone who appreciates the human body, especially artists and doctors. The coasters come in a set of six, which are packed in a brown kraft paper gift box. The coasters are made from neoprene, with a fabric top. Looking for something cool to pair with this gift? Why not pick up some pint glasses with human anatomy illustrations on them?
Like the idea of giving handmade gifts? Get more holiday gift ideas from our guide to the best handmade gifts for Christmas 2016.
Price: $24.99 for a set of six coasters
Need a great gift for your girlfriend? Our guide to the best gifts for girlfriends is packed with cool, creative, and romantic gift ideas.Click here to read more
5. Silver Phantom Jewelry Women’s Octopus Tentacle Ear Cuff
This is a great gift for Lovecraft fans, or for a marine biologist with a special affection for cephalopods. The ear cuffs are sold singly, so you’ll need to select whether you want one to fit the right ear or the left ear (or buy both, so she can have a matching set). These ear cuffs are made from a silver alloy that is both nickel-free and lead-free, so they are suitable for those who have metal allergies. Want to see more unusual jewelry designs? Browse more styles from Silver Phantom here.
Price: $19.99 (33 percent off MSRP)
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6. Steampunk Skull With Gas Mask Print
This unusual art print is made from “upcycled” books that would have otherwise been destroyed. Each print measures approximately 8.5 x 11 inches. All prints are shipped flat in rigid, stay-flat mailers and are protected in plastic sleeves. You may wish to pick up a frame to complete your gift. This is a great print for fans of steampunk, or anyone who appreciates quirky art. You can browse other unusual prints from this artists here.
Need a gift for your husband? We've rounded up great gift ideas for his birthday, your anniversary, or any occasion when you think he might deserve a nice gift.Click here to read more
7. Design Toscano Rampant Rogue Dragon Walking Stick
Walking sticks are an affectation from days gone by, but plenty of guys and gals have the confidence to rock this look. This epic dragon walking stick is a little weird, but definitely perfect for the right sort of person. Do note, however, that this walking stick is not weight-bearing, and so should not be used as a replacement for an orthopedic walking stick or support. Not sure about the dragon motif? Browse more decorative walking sticks here.
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Price: $38.90 (11 percent off MSRP)
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8. ‘Killer Legends’
Killer Legends is an intense, creepy documentary that chronicles the true crimes that inspired urban legends. The documentary reveals the the origins of stories like the Candyman, the babysitter who gets a call from inside the house, killer clowns, and the “Hookman” who terrorizes teenagers on dates. Everyone hears these stories growing up, but learning the true crimes that inspired these tales is even more haunting. A similar documentary, Cropsey, is also worth picking up if you’re shopping for a fan of horror and true crime.
Price: $14.38 (20 percent off MSRP)
9. Metal Skeleton Bookends
These spooky skeleton hand bookends are the perfect gift for a big reader with a love of the macabre. The bookends measure just under a foot wide, and about seven inches tall. These bookends would look great in a home office, living room, or den. If you want to see more gifts like this, browse other cool decorative bookcases here.
10. ‘The Invention of Murder’
The Victorians were obsessed with death and murder. This fascinating book examines the grisly homocide cases that transfixed the Victorian public. There’s plenty of discussion of Jack the Ripper and the crimes of Burke and Hare, along with some lesser-known crimes that are just as shocking. This is a great gift for people who love history, English literature, true crime, forensics, or Sherlock Holmes. A similar non-fiction title, Murder by Candlelight, is also a good choice, particularly if you want a book that focuses solely on London crimes, rather than murders throughout Victorian England.
Price: $12.02 (33 percent off MSRP)
Buy The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime here.
11. OliaDesign Sliver Stainless Steel Sugar Skull Tea Spoon
These skull spoons are perfect for those with a dark personality. To make this gift complete, we recommend pairing it with some suitable mugs and a beverage they’ll appreciate. We recommend this cool Edgar Allen Poe mug and some Poe-inspired tea.
Price: $7.29 for two spoons
12. Iron Fist Women’s Zombie Stomper Platform Pump
These zombie pumps are gross, but cool. They would definitely work for the girl who loves classic horror films, or likes to blow her whole paycheck at Hot Topic. Consider pairing them with a zombie rockabilly dress for the woman with a cute-but-gory sense of style. Want to see more unusual pumps? Browse more styles from Iron Fist here.
Price: $25 – $49.99, depending on size selected
Freaks is a cult classic. This 1932 film used real sideshow performers in the cast. It’s definitely a controversial movie, but despite some outdated views, this black and white film is really memorable. It’s a story of love and betrayal that’s definitely weird, but in a good way. Two of the film’s most famous stars, conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, were the inspiration for the Broadway musical Sideshow. The DVD includes three alternate endings, as well as a documentary. If you’re shopping for someone who loves circus history or banned cinema, this is a must-watch movie. Another gift idea in the same vein is the book American Sideshow: An Encyclopedia of History’s Most Wondrous and Curiously Strange Performers.
14. ‘The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration’
This collection features richly colored images from the golden age of medical illustration. Back in the 1800s, medical illustrations were the best way to teach medical students, and provide reference materials to help doctors diagnose certain ailments. This is a great gift idea for doctors, scientists, art collectors, or anyone who appreciates medical curiosities. Like this gift idea, but want something with a fantasy twist? The Resurrectionist: The Lost Work of Dr. Spencer Black is a cool book that imagines what anatomical diagrams of mythological creatures might look like.
Price: $24.53 (30 percent off MSRP)
15. Zombie Evolution Art Print
This print from Israeli artist Rany Atlan (aka TOTAL LOST) is perfect for zombie fans. This is a high quality matte paper printing. It is available in two different sizes: 16.5 inches x 11.7 inches, or 16 inches x 12 inches. Don’t forget to pick up a frame to complete your gift. You can browse more cool and creepy designs from this artist here.
16. Crick-ettes Sampler Gift Pack
Shopping for an adventurous eater? This tasty pack of edible crickets is an unusual gift idea for the guy who’ll try anything once. Crickets are a sustainable source of protein, and already popular as a snack food in other countries. They are also healthy, since they’re a source of calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and zinc. While these snacks may be adventurous, the flavors are definitely approachable, and pretty similar to popular potato chip flavors. Whether you’re looking for a gag gift or a gift that’s given in earnest, these unusual snacks will definitely fit the bill. If you want more unusual food gifts, we also recommend snapping turtle jerky or EntoVida’s cricket sampler.
Shopping for someone who prefers sweet snacks? You might also be interested in something from our guide to the best chocolate gifts.
17. DuneCraft Plant Cubes (Venus Fly Trap Edition)
Venus Fly Traps are cool, but creepy. These plants are actually carnivorous, and will capture flies and insects between their jaws. After the bugs are trapped, the plant releases digestive enzymes to consume their prey. These “killer plants” are the perfect gift for someone with a dark worldview, or for anyone who just wants a natural way to get rid of pests in their home. This kit comes with a lidded terrarium, plant seeds, a stake, sand, and stones. Want more gift ideas in this vein? Browse more unusual plants on sale here, including “monkey face” orchids.
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18. BLK Water
The idea of drinking jet black water is weird to some people, but this special formula is actually good for you. Featured on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, this trendy beverage gets its signature color from the addition of fulvic acid. This acid turns the water black, and is believed to have health benefits such as improved digestion and cell health. Despite its color, this water doesn’t really have a flavor. It just tastes like regular mineral water. The black color will not stain teeth. This is a great gift for someone who likes to dress in all black, or for anyone who is trying to eat healthy.
Price: $32.35 for 24 bottles
19. ‘Best Worst Movie’
Best Worst Movie is a documentary about the lives of actors who starred together in a budget horror movie many decades ago, and what paths their lives took after being part of the production. The horror movie in question is the infamously bad Troll 2, which has a huge cult following. Best Worst Movie includes interviews with the stars of Troll 2, as well as an examination of how such a poorly reviewed movie managed to gain so many fans over the years. It’s weird, it’s funny, and it might even make you cry the first time you watch it.
Shopping for someone who really appreciates weird and offbeat documentaries? You may also want to pick up a copy of Crazy Love, a doc that examines the twisted, real-life love affair of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss. After Linda decided to marry another man, Burt hired men a group of men to attack her and blind her with acid. Burt was jailed for his role in the attack, but then managed to marry Linda upon his release. The documentary, which features interviews with both Burt and Linda, explores how a woman could marry the man who blinded her. It’s a roller coaster love story that proves the truth is stranger than fiction.
Price: $5.99 for DVD copy
20. Little Adventures Full Length Deluxe Velvet Cloak
This crushed velvet cape is the gift ideal for cosplayers, historical re-enactors, or modern-day practitioners of Wicca or Pagan faiths. Measuring 64 inches from shoulder to floor, this hauntingly elegant cape can be worn during cold months of the year. It is available in both black and red. Cloaks like this may not be in style any more, but for those who appreciate the fashions of bygone eras, this cloak may be vastly preferable to a new winter jacket. The hood of this cloak is lined for extra luxury. If you’re looking for something similar, consider a book on historical women’s fashions. You can browse a collection of these types of books here, including pattern books so your lucky gift recipient can make her own clothes.
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21. ‘The Kurim Case: A Terrifying True Story of Child Abuse, Cults & Cannibalism’
Many of us are fascinated by real-life crimes. We’re simultaneously obsessed with learning all the details, and then repulsed when we learn too much. If you’re shopping for someone who is fascinated by real life crimes, and has a strong stomach, then The Kurim Case: A Terrifying True Story of Child Abuse, Cults & Cannibalism may be the perfect weird Christmas gift for them. This book explores the tragic lives of two young boys named Jakub and Ondrej. In May of 2007, it was discovered that these Czech boys had been viciously abused by members of their own family, including their mother. The cult and cannibal aspects of this story are definitely disturbing, but also fascinating to those who can handle the grisly details.
Cannibalism is one of those taboos that some people obsess over. Looking for more cannibalistic gift ideas? We also recommend Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal, a great historical account of the real-life cannibalism case that inspired Cannibal! The Musical.
Price: $11.95 (40 percent off MSRP)
22. Gummy Missing Body Parts
These gross gummies are ideal for those who weird candy. This assortment includes gummy brains, skulls, bones, and more fun shapes. This gift comes pre-wrapped in a black box, so it’s ready for gift-giving as soon as it arrives. Not sure this candy is right for them? Browse more weird candies on sale here. You may also want to consider some gummy rats.
Price: $15 for a two pound bag in a gift box
23. Werther & Gray ‘Old Battlefield’ Candle
Scented candles are a pretty typical Christmas gift, but the candles from Werther & Gray have some really unusual scents that make them stand out from the competition. One we definitely wanted to highlight is “Old Battlefield”. This candle is recommended for history buffs and war re-enactors. This candle is designed to smell like lacquer, wood, and gunpowder.
If you’re looking for some additional options, other cool candles from Werther & Gray include scents like Absinthe, The Black Death, and London, 1888. The latter is a scent inspired by the crimes of Jack the Ripper.
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24. Wanderlust Hearts Blood Vial Necklace
Need a gift for someone who is obsessed with vampires, fantasy, or LARPing? These cool necklaces filled with fake blood are an inspired gift choice. Each necklace is made from a 1.5 inch long spent bullet casing. Each casing is sealed with solder so it will not leak. Brass or silver bullet cases are available, and these handmade charms can be placed on chains varying in length between 18 and 26 inches.
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25. Desert Farms Camel Milk Powder
While camel milk might seem weird to people accustomed to drinking cow’s milk, this powerful health food is actually a smart buy. Compared to cow’s milk, camel milk has much higher levels of iron, vitamin C, and protein. It also boasts a lower calorie count, reduced fat content, and lower cholesterol than cow’s milk. As a bonus, camel’s milk contains only trace amounts of lactose, which makes it suitable for those with lactose intolerance and food allergies to “traditional” dairy. Camel milk is a great gift for health nuts, or anyone who loves trying exotic foods. This powdered form of the milk is nice because it doesn’t spoil as quickly as the fresh stuff. You can browse additional camel milk products from Desert Farms here, including fresh milk, frozen milk, and milk-based soaps.
Price: $120 for 14.8 ounces
26. ‘The Twelve Terrors of Christmas’
This creepy Christmas classic is a seasonally appropriate gift for fans of Edward Gorey. In this book, Updike and Gorey poke fun at classic Christmas traditions, in a sly way that only these two artists can do. This darkly sarcastic book is also a perfect Christmas gift for people who kinda hate Christmas. Enhance your gift with another book of Gorey illustrations, or pick up a copy of the surreal, horrifyingly erotic “collage novel” Une Semaine De Bonte.
27. ‘I Am Too Emotionally Attached to Fictional Characters’ Shirt
Shopping for someone who is obsessed with a certain TV show, film, or book series? Like, really, REALLY obsessed? This is the shirt for them. Fan fiction writers, bloggers, fan film directors, and anyone who is passionate about made-up worlds will love to wear this shirt. This style is available in both men and women’s cuts. Multiple sizes and color options are available.
Like this gift idea, but want a smaller gift to use as a stocking stuffer? We also like this “I don’t care if he’s a fictional character, I still want to marry him!” necklace.
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28. The Ed Wood Box
Ed Wood was a B-movie legend, directing a slew of campy cult movies throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Wood’s weird movies weren’t appreciated in his time, but he’s gained a huge following after his death. This box set includes some of the highlights from Wood’s infamous career, including must-have titles like Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from Outer Space. A similar box set, Big Box Of Wood, is also worth checking out, since it has a different assortment of films. You could also just opt for the Ed Wood biopic, which stars Johnny Depp in the title role, alongside big names like Bill Murray and Sarah Jessica Parker.
29. ‘Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories’
This creepy collection features an introduction by beloved children’s book author Roald Dahl. The collection of stories was hand-picked by Dahl from over 700 scary and supernatural tales found within the British Museum Library archives. Just 14 ghost stories deemed scary enough to be included in this collection. This is a great gift for kids, teens, or adults who like a good scare. Also worth picking up is Dahl’s collection of short stories for adults, Tales of the Unexpected. For those who only ever read Dahl’s children’s books, the darker, grown-up stories are refreshing, disturbing, and innovatively weird.
Price: $9.37 (38 percent off MSRP)
30. Historical Emporium Men’s Vintage Velvet Smoking Jacket
Smoking jackets were a popular item of leisure wear for centuries. These comfy jackets were designed to be worn while smoking pipe tobacco. Today, they are a symbol of elegance from a bygone era. This is a great gift for anyone who wants to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes or Hugh Hefner. It is available in sizes from small to 4X. Available colors include true red, deep burgundy, jet black, emerald green, elegant gold, and regal purple. More upscale than a bathrobe, a smoking jacket is the classic cool way to relax at home. This gift will appeal to smokers, as well as non-smokers who love historical clothing. You can browse additional pieces from this clothing company here.
Looking for more gift ideas for men? Browse our guide to awesome Christmas gifts for your husband.
Price: $129.95 (13 percent off MSRP)
Need more help finding great holiday gifts? Visit our Gifts page to find more of our thoughtfully curated gift guides, or check out our Toys page for gift ideas for your kids. You may also be interested in our mega gift guides where we recommend over 100 great gifts for women and gifts for men. Looking for gifts for the whole family? Check out our guide to the best family gifts.