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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Bizarre Markets in the World you Wouldn't Want to Shop In – Get Ready to Be Spooked
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Bizarre Markets in the World you Wouldn't Want to Shop In – Get Ready to Be Spooked

Are you a lover of the weird or a do you feel squeamish at the sight of dried skulls? Well, the following list of markets may captivate you or turn out to be totally repulsive; do read on and decide. 😳


Lome Voodoo Market – Togo Africa

Lome Voodoo Market – Togo Africa

By Julius Cruickshank (Originally uploaded to Flickr as Fetish Market) CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A true ode to the inexplicable world of Voodoo this market in Togo is testimony to the deep roots the religion seems to have in Africa. West Africa, in fact, is believed to be the birthplace of Voodoo although Haiti too comes in as likely candidate.

The concept of Voodoo is such that all forms of creatures whether dead or alive have a divine purpose and it is the latter that is sold at the Lome market. Animals such as crocodiles, monkeys, lizards and chicken are sold stuck in various stages of decomposition.

The smell is quite atrocious and not recommended for the feeble hearted, so do tread with care.


Witches Market – Bolivia

Witches Market – Bolivia

Photo By Gonzalo Rivero (Own work) GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Next, we hop over to Bolivia where the Witches Market will send icy chills up your spine. It's called the witches market because it's well stocked with all the gruesome things we associate with witches.

There are talismans, charms that serve good and bad purposes, dried creatures and other horrid bits and pieces that go into a witches brew.

The place also sells snakes, snake venom – purpose unknown, aphrodisiacs and some other quirky remedies that have dubious recipes at the core. Of course, the Witches Market is not just for these trinkets; it's so named due to the real Bolivian witches that are found there!


Beijing Food Market – China

Beijing Food Market – China

Dong Hua Men Night Market, Beijing, William via Flickr, (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Not a standard market for the travelling foodie but if you are up for a challenge and have extremely strong stomachs do head over to the Beijing Food Market. 🦀🦂

The place is a gourmet centre for all things creepy. Basically, everything comes on a 'stick' to eat as you go. Choose from snake, extra-large spiders, sheep's penis, pupae, beetles, cockroaches and even medicinal centipedes.


Deyrolle – Paris France

Deyrolle – Paris France

saragoldsmith via Flickr , (CC BY 2.0)

Wildlife enthusiasts and general animal lovers will find this shop rather sad. Definitely one of Europe's eeriest shops, the Deyrolle taxidermy is chock full of stuffed animals ranging from ferocious looking tigers to soft fluffy rabbits.

A rather sad aura permeates the place though and is probably the kind of shop that lovers of inanimate and stuffed animals should visit. 🐰


Gypsy Brides Market – Bulgaria

Now, this may not be listed on Shopping in Focus or be a part of the general shopaholics best shop guide, but it sure is a bizarre market that needs to be on this list.

This market is where in this new and modern age, girls who come of age are taken and sold as brides to the highest bidder. Parents do still practise this ritual and may ask up to US$ 6,000 for a cherished daughter; as always prices are negotiable in case you are interested.