There are hundreds of worlds inside Wesley Cannon's home.

Cannon houses thousands of pieces of imagined worlds -- some as fantastical as "The Neverending Story" and "Harry Potter;" others as horrific as "Silent Hill" and "13 Ghosts;" or some as romantic as "The Notebook."

An avid collector of genuine movie props and memorabilia, Cannon has spent more than 20 years gathering mementos from his favorite films.

And though his collection is impressively expansive ---- as well as expensive ---- it is the way he sees the world and the connections he makes to the movies that capture his imagination that are most striking.

An Army veteran, Cannon said his passion for movies first sparked when he was overseas, serving in Iraq.

Stationed in the Middle East for one year in the service, and an additional six years as a contractor, he began watching movies as a means of escape.

"When I was overseas the movies were my getaway," Cannon said. "It took my mind away for a while. It became an escape."

Today Cannon works as a police officer with the Mount Olive Police Department, and he serves on the Wayne County Sheriff's Office Dive Team. So it is no surprise that he has a huge collection of badges from various movies in which characters appear in uniform, such as "Resident Evil" and "Transformers."

At 37-years-old, he remembers when he first acquired any memorabilia, though not in earnest.

It began with his mother, Rose, giving him a knife and scabbard from the show "Xena: Warrior Princess" and a "few envelopes from 'How Grinch Who Stole Christmas.'"

He energetically walks through his home, beginning in the kitchen, pointing out the hero sword from "Eragon," the golden ticket from Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Menedel's cake boxes from "The Grand Budapest Hotel," a revolver from the HBO show "Westworld" and dragonglass from the land of Westeros in the "Game of Thrones."

In his garage, the wedding photo of Kip and Lafonda from "Napoleon Dynamite" hangs, and even looking at it, he laughs.

Napolean Dynamite is his favorite comedy.

"I remember my little brother in Hollywood Video asking to get it, and I said 'no,'" Cannon said.

Later, his brother would be watching it on television and hearing his laughter he was drawn to what was on.

"I heard my little brother, and it was a giggle that he did -- a mischievous laugh -- and I looked up and started watching it with him, and I laughed so damn hard," he said.

He said the film had no real storyline, it was simply funny with situations -- though exacerbated by the absurd -- that could mirror life, and that was what made him enjoy it so much.

On his bookshelves in his living room there are the movie clapperboards from "Judge Dredd" and "Top Gun."

On the coffee table, enshrined in a glass case is the book from the "Neverending Story," a declared prize position that Cannon refuses to sell.

"Years ago, it was valued at $20,000, but I don't know what it would be worth today, between $60,000 or $70,000 -- but I still wouldn't sell it," Cannon said.

Upstairs, three rooms are filled with memorabilia -- from Baby from the 90s show "Dinosaurs," to his office with walls covered in "Batman," "Captain America" and "X-Men" movie props and the actual prosthetic mask of Yoda from "Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back."


A portion of Cannon's home is a journey into the macabre.

In his living room is an ancient human skull from Bulgaria and dinosaur bones, but upstairs, there is a room filled with horror.

Mannequins outfitted in the costumes of the ghosts from "Silent Hill" and "13 Ghosts" are arranged in all their startling gore, along with an arm with hypodermic needles stuck into if from the movie "Saw II."

Cannon talks about these films -- not as if they were diversions -- but rather a commentary on the human condition.

He said "Saw" was filled with gore and horror, but the storyline is powerful, with people making decisions in favor of or in spite of their biggest failings with the twist at the end that will leave the audience dumfounded.

As a youth his family presented a haunted house event each year as a fundraiser for their church, so fear and horror is more than a genre -- it's an art, and he marvels at the artistry of masterfully executed movie makeup and costuming.

He still participates in haunted houses to this day at Dark Side Haunted Estates to Nightmare Factory in Havelock.

In his collection, are Freddie Kruger's gloves from the film "Freddie vs. Jason."

Those gloves -- which at glimpse in a dark movie theater have the ability to strike terror in the hearts of the audience -- for Cannon are partially a fond reminder of his youth, but also represent a morbid curiosity about dreams and death and the age-old fear of losing complete control.

"My favorite horror movie would have to be 'Nightmare on Elm Street,' me and my friends would make the costume and the gloves when I was younger -- when I was younger my parents let me watch those things," Cannon said.

"(Freddie Kruger) was always the scariest to me. The situation of going to sleep and being in a dream and having no control over it -- the movie is based some in reality. Of course, it's another sentimental movie for me, too."



For Cannon, films are an art and a reflection of what makes the best of people.

His "second-most treasured" piece is the Jack Skellington bedroom from Tim Burton's "The Nightmare Before Christmas," a stop-motion or stop-frame animation film.

He said stop-motion films are his favorite because of the talent and patience that goes into them. Each individual frame is captured in an animation and with each movement of the animated character another frame is taken, so when the frames are played back it presents an audience with the illusion of free-form movement on the screen.

The process is long, detailed and painstaking, he said.

"Imagine having to change a facial expression one step at a time."

But imagining is not something that Cannon is unaccustomed to -- from dropping himself into a world of horror to imagining himself away from the sands of the Middle East -- other worlds have essentially become his own.

Wesley Cannon's collection is expected to be featured in a series "Amazing on the Inside" on Netflix.