Downtown Chattanooga is getting a new, quirky tourist attraction, called The Little Curiosity Shoppe.
President of Chattanooga Ghost Tours Amy Petulla is leasing, with plans to eventually buy, the legendary Sugar Flat Road creature head. That head will be the centerpiece of her new storefront, which is in the same vein as a Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum.
President of Chattanooga Ghost Tours Amy Petulla said that—in addition to downtown ghosts tours, where guides tell about spirits rumored to exist in the area—her company offers ghost hunts for adults.
The ghost hunts are more along the lines of what people might see in television shows about paranormal investigation.
"I'm so excited about this," Petulla said. "We are acquiring the Sugar Flat creature head. It's basically a Bigfoot-type head."
Legend has it that someone ran over the creature in the '80s in Lebanon, Tenn., and took it to a taxidermist, preserving the head. Some say that there is still another similar creature roaming around Lebanon.
The creature head has been a tourist attraction in Lebanon, Petulla said. She went to see it recently, and the shop that showed it was closing, so Petulla struck a deal to lease and eventually buy the item.
She declined to discuss the cost of the creature head.
The Little Curiosity Shoppe will be located across from the aquarium in the small space below Vaudeville Cafe on Market Street.
The shop will also feature other oddities, and employees will sell tickets for the ghost tours and hunts.
Anyone going on a ghost expedition will have access to the shop for free; otherwise, it will cost $1.
“It’s exciting that Chattanooga Ghost Tours will be opening a new storefront downtown in the Riverfront District. This gives them a higher visual presence in front of the millions of visitors that visit Chattanooga annually,” said Dave Santucci, vice president of marketing at the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Petulla said that to cover the rent for that space, the company needs to attract about 15 more people a week, and with the new storefront and attraction, she is optimistic she will succeed with that. She's going to put a picture of the creature in the window so that tourists can see it.
"If a big picture of a Bigfoot head doesn't get tourists over, I don't know what will," she said.
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