8 Iconic Horror Movie Props That Sold For Scary Amounts of Money

Robert Englund as A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger.
Robert Englund as A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger.
New Line Cinema

For sheer visceral thrills, nothing beats a classic horror film. From Halloween to The Shining to A Nightmare on Elm Street, scary movies traffic in sensational sights and iconic characters intended to make you shrivel up in your seat. Because of their reliance on grandiose villains and elaborate practical effects, there are plenty of iconic horror props that have appeared on the auction block over the years. Take a look at some of the most valuable screen-used items that have been used to deliver scares.

1. Zuni Doll (Trilogy of Terror) // $204,000

The Zuni doll from 1975's Trilogy of Terror.Profiles in History

Anyone who believes television can’t serve up the spooky stuff hasn’t seen 1975’s Trilogy of Terror, the made-for-TV anthology movie written by horror legend Richard Matheson and directed by Dan Curtis. While the first two segments are forgettable, the third, “Amelia,” has endured. A lonely single woman (Karen Black) is terrorized in her apartment by a “Zuni fetish doll” she intended to be a gift for her boyfriend but that has come to violent life. In 2019, the prop doll sold at a Profiles in History auction for a staggering $204,000, blowing away pre-auction estimates of $12,000 to $15,000.

2. Jason Voorhees’s Costume (Friday the 13th) // $45,000

It’s a close race, but the most iconic horror movie villain costume of all might be the tattered rags and hockey mask sported by jilted camper Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th franchise. A complete costume from the 2009 remake—jackets, pants, boots, gloves, and the mask—was offered by Profiles in History that same year and sold for $45,000.

3. Jack Torrance’s Axe (The Shining) // $209,000

The axe from 1980's The Shining commanded a premium price.Prop Store

Few rampages are as memorable as the one perpetuated by Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King novel The Shining. At the end of the film, an insane Torrance stalks his wife and son in and around the snowbound Overlook Hotel while wielding an axe, which he eventually uses to destroy a bathroom door to deliver his signature line: “Here’s Johnny!,” which Nicholson improvised. After filming was completed, the axe was purchased by a crew member during a sale of the film’s props, costumes, and set decorations. He intended to use it to chop wood, but fortunately, it never served its practical purpose and remained in good condition. The axe was put up for sale by Prop Store in 2019 and sold for $209,000.

4. Freddy Krueger’s Costume (A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child) // $14,900

Char-broiled villain Freddy Krueger haunted cinemas for much of the 1980s. The fourth sequel, 1989’s A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, provided the scares and Krueger’s classic look that fans had come to expect. Actor Robert Englund’s wardrobe from that film, including the familiar hat and iconic red and green sweater, came up for sale during a Premiere Props auction in 2014. It sold for $14,900.

5. Ripley’s Spacesuit (Alien) // $204,800

Ellen Ripley's spacesuit from 1979's Alien.Profiles in History

The bulky spacesuit worn by heroine Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in 1979’s Alien was enough to protect Ripley from the terrors of outer space while she tricked the Xenomorph horror of her inner space out of an airlock. The suit, which was said to be inspired by samurai armor, was offered for sale in a 2018 Profiles in History auction and fetched $204,800.

6. Martin Brody’s M1 Garand Rifle (Jaws) // $89,600

The climax to one of the most revered horror films of all time, 1975’s Jaws, involves Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) aiming an M1 Garand rifle at an air canister he has shoved into the shark’s giant maw. With one shot, he blows the beast up. The rifle used by Scheider in Jaws went up for sale at a Profiles in History auction in 2018 and sold for $89,600.

7. Gill-Man Mask (Revenge of the Creature) // $70,000

The 'Gill-man' mask used in 1955's Revenge of the Creature.Profiles in History

One of Universal’s marquee monsters was the “Gill-man,” the submerged monster from 1954’s Creature From the Black Lagoon. The character was designed by effects artist Bud Westmore, who was inspired by the Oscar statue bestowed during the Academy Awards. (He wondered what the blank-faced design would look like with a fish head and fins.) A mask used during the filming of the 1955 sequel, Revenge of the Creature, stayed in the Westmore family for decades before it was offered by Profiles in History in 2009 and sold for $70,000.

8. Gremlin Puppet (Gremlins 2: The New Batch) // $10,000

A Gremlin puppet used in 1990's Gremlins 2: The New Batch.Prop Store

While Gizmo is among the more adorable screen characters of the 1980s thanks to his starring role in 1984's Gremlins, his fellow Mogwai aren’t quite so photogenic. This puppet from the 1990 sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, was operated by hand and fishing line. It sold for $10,000 at a Prop Store auction in 2020.

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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A New Documentary Investigates West Virginia’s Infamous Mothman

The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The Mothman statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
Jimmy Emerson DVM, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The continuing impact of the Mothman on Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is hard to overlook. The town plays host to a statue, a museum, and an annual festival that all celebrate the red-eyed flying beast who first showed up on the scene in 1966.

In November of that year, two couples spotted a winged, vaguely man-shaped monster near the so-called “TNT area,” a collection of abandoned bunkers where explosives were stored during World War II. After the Point Pleasant Register reported on their harrowing ordeal, other sightings started rolling in. When nearly four dozen people were killed in a bridge collapse on December 15, 1967, many believed the Mothman was somehow involved.

The infamous cryptid’s popularity endured over the ensuing decades with the help of John Keel’s 1975 book The Mothman Prophecies and the 2002 movie adaptation starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney. While glimpses of the Mothman himself definitely peaked during the ’60s, close encounters with a strange creature in West Virginia still surface to this day.

In his new documentary The Mothman Legacy, director Seth Breedlove delves into the history of the Mothman, investigating its long legacy in Pleasant Point and interviewing more recent eyewitnesses. It’s not Breedlove’s first film on the matter; he also directed 2017’s The Mothman of Point Pleasant, which focuses on the Mothman’s heyday from November 1966 to the bridge catastrophe a year later.

His latest project features Jeff Wamsley, who has written two books on the subject and also founded the town’s Mothman Museum. As The Daily Beast reports, The Mothman Legacy doesn’t exactly try to solve the mystery of the Mothman or debunk all the theories about it. Instead, it’s more of a celebration of the urban legend, complete with spooky CGI reenactments and plenty of eerie accounts of alleged run-ins with the monster. In short, it’s ideal fodder for your Halloween movie marathon—and as narrator Lyle Blackburn points out in the film, “an absence of evidence doesn’t necessarily indicate an evidence of absence.”

The documentary is now available to buy on VOD through Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other streaming platforms.

[h/t The Daily Beast]