People get sick all the time,
but nobody gets better
because of the Swinster Pharmacy.

The Swinster Pharmacy is a pharmacy that resides in Stain'd-by-the-Sea. It is featured mysteriously in 29 Myths on the Swinster Pharmacy and File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents.


It sits on the corner of a block[1] on Yamgraz Drive, in a part of Stain'd-by-the-Sea called Flounder Ponds. The neighborhood looks "stepped on," with several empty houses and few businesses open.[2]

Across from the pharmacy are trees that are easy to lurk behind.[1]


It looked like all mysterious buildings look when you approach them. It's difficult to describe, but imagine a creature, heavy and enormous, sleeping in great, loud breaths with its eyes closed. The eyes are the windows of the mysterious building. Now imagine that you must not wake it up.

The pharmacy as seen through a window, how most prefer to view it.

The building is a perfect square, and the front window displays three Styrofoam heads wearing wigs. There is "something" about the door that is electric as opposed to acoustic, and it closes with a slow, threatening hiss. While not described, it is illustrated as having multiple sale signs in the windows.

People tend to stop when walking down the street by the pharmacy, though it's never understood why. There used to be a book rack out front, but one day it disappeared.[1]

The inside is described as "flyblown," with a very dark floor and a very low ceiling. Half-eaten curtains cover the windows, and there are several bruised and sticky jars of vitamins, painkillers and other ailments along the shelves. There is a rack of books, and a counter along the far wall that is known to serve tangerine soda.[2] By the counter there are pieces of fruit cut in a bowl, such as grapes, and apples and bananas cut in half. Visitors are allowed to take a piece if they wish.[1] The counter is very dusty with padded, ripped sears and "lonely striped linoleum." There is a phone inside, though it is "ill."[2]

The employees inside all wear white coats,[1] which have faint, tall stripes.[2] The (presumed) owner is "completely insane" and insanely tall; He is described as arriving before everyone wakes up, but everyone sees him leave. He is very preoccupied with illness and viruses.[2]

The pharmacy has a "mysterious" reputation; though people go in and out of it, nobody seems to know what it sells, and it is described as "in all our dreams," in the middle of the block, "like something blue and hungry." Dogs also are reported to bark at the building. When arsons started appearing around town, the Swinster Pharmacy was "panned" for it. Indeed, suspiciously, once the fire department was called with a report that the Swinster Pharmacy was on fire, but another, nearby pharmacy, Miller's, which was coincidentally across the street from a Swinster employee's house, was burning instead. It took hours for the smoke to clear.


The Pharmacy.

The mystery of what it sells intrigues passers-by; while an out-of-town policeman says that you can buy aspirin and toothpaste there, "just like anyone else," few are brave enough to enter, and a newspaper once begged for information on what was sold, though "he" doesn't tell them. 

It is said that when the town aches, the Swinster Pharmacy aches with it, and that lies bounce off its windows like spinning discarded tops.

The pharmacy is closed on weekends.[1]


  • Very few people seem to enter the establishment; the only known visitors are an out-of-town policeman, a woman illustrated with an umbrella who "went in once and came out fifteen minutes later wearing the exact same outfit,"[1] Lois Dressing, and Lemony Snicket, the latter of whom did not stay for long.[2]
  • It is said there are four secrets about the Swinster Pharmacy, though nobody knows what they are.[1]
  • Late one night, strange music came out of the Swinster Pharmacy, but it turned out to be a radio.[1]
  • Three pets went missing within a block of the Swinster Pharmacy in the last fourteen years; as illustrated, a brown-and-white dog, a black cat (who frequently appears in other illustrations), and an orange fish.[1]




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