Skip to content

Chloe Wagner: Master of the Macabre.

July 2, 2013

ChloeWagnerRequiem01SmallText by Jenelle Janci. Image by Jonathan Van Dine.

A small jar of thin, white, five-inch raccoon penis bones sits at the Requiem counter in front of Chloë Wagner.

“I just restocked those yesterday,” the 31-year-old from South Philly says quite nonchalantly.

Restocking raccoon penis bones, jarring squids and speaking affectionately of human skeletons are just part of another workday for the oddity store owner, who also plays keyboard in the industrial band MyParasites.

For Wagner, unconventional knick-knack collecting has been a lasting hobby.

“I’ve been collecting this kind of stuff my whole life,” Wagner says. “The past few years, I’ve been buying and selling online. I kind of got busy doing that, so I figured I would open my own store.”

Wagner opened Requiem on 9th Street near South last summer with her fiancé, Steve “Jaws” Jaworski. She had moved to Philly from New York in 2011 after studying photography and jewelry design in college. Some of her original jewelry is displayed in the store, featuring macabre elements like teeth, bones and insect parts.

“A lot of times,” Wagner says, “there are bits left over from things sold at the store and I don’t know what to do with them, so I make them into something wearable.”

As for her favorite item in the shop currently, she introduces “Bob,” the human skeleton perched in the corner, seemingly the shop’s watchman.

“He’s sold but he’s sticking around for a little bit,” Wagner offers. “He’s definitely a favorite.”

Wagner hand-picks what items are displayed based upon her tastes and interests, so it can be hard to see some things sell.

“There was a charcoal drawing from the 1800s,” Wagner recalls. “It was this little girl and she kind of looked like Wednesday Adams. She had the most angry look and her eyes just followed you everywhere you go. It was the creepiest portrait I’ve ever seen. I kind of wish I kept it.”

Prior to owning Requiem and playing in MyParasites, Wagner’s resume was a hodgepodge of more odd jobs than oddities, including a stint as a pool-cleaning technician, which helped her deal with the less glamorous side of running Requiem.

“I had to develop an iron stomach to deal with some of the stuff,” she says. “When you clean so many pools, you find all kinds of things. I had one where I was pulling families of baby skunks out of the filters. People ask, ‘How do you deal with putting the stuff in jars?’ That’s nothing.”

She has a varied musical background, from a four-year stint in high school as the bassist/singer in a punk band to three years of classical vocal training and five years of flute (which she jokes was in another lifetime).

She joined MyParasites in 2011. They toured North America and Canada to promote the group’s November 2012 album, ParaLies. MyParasites shared an 11-passenger van with fellow dark electro-rock groups Angel Spit and Cyanotic, all of which were part of the Wall Street Massacre tour.

“It was fun and exciting,” she says, “and awful all at once.”

Wagner also works as a customer service agent for the website Vampire Freaks, a gothic-industrial networking site. Her duties include answering user questions, moderating disputes and deleting fraudulent profiles. She essentially keeps vampire enthusiasts in check.

Wagner balances her music and jobs so that none of her interests fall by the wayside.

“It is a juggle,” she says, “but I think they are equal passions.”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: