Ghoulish Mortals: The scary small business in downtown St. Charles

Kip Kane, Staff Writer

At the end of June 2018, the town of St. Charles gained a new small business, a shop featuring toothy monsters and an abundance of frightening paraphernalia. On a busy corner on Main St. and North 3rd St. lurks Ghoulish Mortals, a retail horror store unique in both its decor and its merchandise. The store advertises itself as “creepy, cool and fun,” although its concept seems scary, the atmosphere is friendly for all ages.

The original site for the store was located in Southern California, where the About Us page of Ghoulish Mortals’ website claims “There was clearly an over abundancy of cool retail horror stores”. Ghoulish Mortals came to Chicago eight years ago after owner Dove Thiselton and her husband realized that the area lacked any sort of monster retail store.

“In Los Angeles, there are so so many amazing horror stores scattered about, each with their own specialty,” Thiselton said. “We thought every big metropolitan area had them. That was the main driving force…the need to create something for ourselves and fellow spooky fans to quell their retail needs.”

The store will celebrate its fifth anniversary this April. For a year before the grand opening, the Ghoulish Mortals storefront was being built to look exactly how the Thiselton imagined. Today, the store boasts two lit-letter signs over its awnings, complete with flowerbeds below the windows with a garden variety of freaky foliage.

Even though the little shop of horrors is very Halloween-themed, it is open year-round.

“Our busiest weekends of the year are during Scarecrow Fest and Holiday Homecoming, as the city really goes all out for these community events,” Thiselton said. “We like to think of ourselves as a totally fun retail destination oozing with the creeptastic products of over 150 artists and vendors, most of which are local to the Chicagoland area.”

Many folks are attracted to the store’s unique novelty, the broad range of products from different monster and horror franchises and new products that come from the various vendors in the area.

“The most unexpected thing is that 70% of our clientele in the store and social media followers turned out to be women,” Thiselton said. “We didn’t expect that. As a wife and mom, I was the only female I knew that was into all this stuff. I was so happy to find that it was one of those ‘if you build it, they will come’ scenarios.”