a tribute to Homer Tate, genius creator of the bizarre and intriguing

November 13, 2010
filed under: Fun Facts, History

The Thing?While traveling through Arizona, many road trippers have been seduced off of Highway 10 by the inscrutable allure of “The Thing?” which has been advertised along this stretch of road for decades. This curious roadside attraction is a gaff created by the infamous Homer Tate, a man who became an indispensable part of the survival of the sideshow.

Tate's Two-Headed MummyBefore Homer ventured into the world of the weird, he was an upstanding citizen who maintained several conventional jobs. Born in 1884, Homer was a miner, a farmer, a sheriff and eventually the owner of a motel and gas station in Arizona. In 1945, he moved to Phoenix and decided to radically change the direction of his life: he began pursuing art. Homer’s artistic expressions did not manifest themselves on a canvas, but instead in the form of weird creatures. During the 1940s and 50s, Homer was the creator and purveyor of shrunken heads, Feegee Mermaids and other oddity attractions (Grindshow.com). At one point, Homer even boasted a full catalog filled with peculiar curio available for purchase, as well as a dime museum in Apache Junction, Arizona (Sideshowworld.com).

Homer passed in 1975, but his legacy lives on. His surviving memorabilia has become prized collectibles in the sideshow circuit, and others follow in his footsteps today.

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7 Responses to “a tribute to Homer Tate, genius creator of the bizarre and intriguing”

  1. Utah Showman says:

    The two headed mummy at the Thing in AZ. has long been believed to been created by Homer Tate.

    As this mummy doesn’t hold any resemblance to Homer’s other creations. I believe it to have been created by The Nelson Supply House, which was another supplier of sideshow attractions.

    Here’s a link to one of their creations. http://www.sideshowworld.com/blowoffMoas.html

    Utah Showman
    Sidshow World

  2. Angel says:

    What a bizarre funny hobby. I like the humerous feegee mermiads. Any idea what they were made out of?

  3. Noel says:

    Everyone has their own technique, but friends of mine who have made feegee mermaids use a variety of materials including paper mache, clay, cardboard, etc…

  4. Noel says:

    Very interesting- I had never heard this before. Thanks for the comment and the good info!

  5. Sarah says:

    I want a Homer Tate!!!!

  6. Noel says:

    Someday, you shall have one. I just know it.

  7. Liz says:

    I’ve been to see the Thing. It was amazing.

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