New Addition To The Museum: Blue Hole Salt & Pepper Chair

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This was clearly a souvenir from the Blue Hole, but for the life of me, I don’t get the connection between deep, blue water and seasonings adorned with roosters that can sit on a park bench together. But then again, that’s what makes this piece so cool! It’s a perfect example of how, back in the day, roadside attractions would throw their logo on just about anything and sell them as souvenirs.

So how about you? Ever been to the Blue Hole? Better yet, ever seasoned your food with official Blue Hole Salt & Pepper Shakers? If you have, let me know about it in the comments section below!

To see more Blue Hole souvenirs, as well as an assortment of other odd memorabilia, check out the Roadside Oddities wing of my Strange & Spooky Museum!

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Tokoloshe Prank Video

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For those of you still doubting the power of the Tokoloshe, check out this prank video. Filmed by a group calling themselves Theboys, the clip features two individuals approaching total strangers “in Africa” and telling them they’ve just spotted a Tokoloshe. After a brief conversation, a Tokloshe jumps out and frightens people away. Although in this video, the role of the Tokloshe is played by a wig with a plastic eyeball stuck to it.

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–via YouTube

So far, I’ve been unable to determine exactly where in Africa this video was recorded (and Theboys only list themselves as being “from Africa”). Regardless, I found the most telling part of the video to be when Theboys approach total strangers and tell them they’ve just seen a Tokoloshe. Not a single person asks what a Tokoloshe is, which would seem to prove that even if people in Africa don’t necessarily believe in the Tokoloshe, most of them are at least familiar with the creature.

Still got a hankering for some Tokoloshe? Visit my Tokoloshe Archive for more stories!

 

 

 

New Addition To The Museum: Blue Hole Papoose

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A gift from Ben Gillig and his family, this little gem is one of the stranger pieces I’m come across recently. It’s a tiny papoose attached to a piece of thin cardboard. There’s also a small paper shipping label of sorts hanging off of it which reads “Greetings from”, after which it has been stamped “Blue Hole, Castalia, Ohio”. And speaking of stamps, the shipping label also has a spot marked “stamp”, although I really don’t think you could just pop this thing into your mailbox and they would ship it for you. But who knows?

Stranger still are the words printed on the back of the card:

To say I haven’t had time to write
Sounds like a good excuse
But that’s the truth
And so
I’ll say hello with this papoose

I’ve done a little bit of research and have yet to find any connection between the Blue Hole and Native Americans…or papooses, for that matter. In fact, of all the Blue Hole memorabilia I’ve collected (and seen) over the years, this is the only one with a Native American theme. The piece doesn’t have a date on it, but it looks pretty old. So maybe back in the day, people exchanged tiny papooses as a way of saying “sorry I haven’t written”.

Finally, as much as I adore this piece, I don’t feel like I can trust it: it refuses to look me in the eye.

To see the Blue Hole Papoose in its new home at the Strange and Spooky Museum, visit the Roadside Oddities page.

ONW: Teens Using Burt’s Bees To Get A Buzz…Or Not

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BB_CorporateLogo This story is apparently “breaking nationwide”, but this report is coming out of Cincinnati, so I think it fits in the Ohio News of the Weird. Plus, this bizarre tale hits home for me in a strange and spooky way, which I’ll get to in a minute. But first, the breaking news:

For reasons known only to themselves, drunk and/or high teenagers are supposedly lathering Burt’s Bees beeswax lip balm all over their eyelids in order to intensify their drunken/stoned stupor. This bizarre ritual has become known as “Beezin”. According to the report, the peppermint oil in the lip balm causes a weird, tingling (some say, burning) sensation when applied to one’s eyelids. The report seems to go out of its way to clarify that it’s only “high school and college students” are doing this because, as we all know, no adult is drunk/high/stupid enough to try this stunt, right? Right? beezin26n-1-web As it turns out, maybe no one’s stupid enough to do this. There’s a recent article from NPR that believes the reports of beezin’ are perhaps more than a little exaggerated. So it would seem that for the most part, people don’t have to worry much about beezin’. That is, of course, unless you’re like me and have a cat named Bailey. Allow me to explain.

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Family’s Tokoloshe Keeps Neighbors Awake

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Even though it still remains, by far, the most popular search term by which people find my blog, things have been fairly quiet on the Tokoloshe front. That is, until now.

The Daily Sun reports that for some time now, a rather cranky Tokoloshe has been messing with members of the Phura family, who live in the South African township of Duduza.

Neighbors became suspicious when they started hearing the sounds of glass breaking coming from inside the Phura family home. Eventually, one curious neighbor, Sylvia Mahlangu, ventured inside the house and was shocked at what she saw. “The cupboard suddenly opened and cups and glasses started flying and floating in the air,” said Sylvia.

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–via The Sun

Frightened for the family, concerned citizens began showing up at the Phura residence, offering assistance.Tayitayi Nzolo, a neighbor, tried to lend a hand by bringing some impepho, a plant used to help communicate and appease spirits, to the Phura home. Apparently, that did nothing more than piss the Tokoloshe off as it reportedly stabbed Nzolo “with an invisible object.”

At present time, it’s unclear exactly what the Tokoloshe is after or why it’s making such a ruckus. When reporters from the Daily Sun showed up in Duduza, members of the Phura family refused to speak with them. This angered some of the area residence as they believed the Tokoloshe wanted its story made public. However, when a neighbor, Mmathapelo Sigaza, began to speak with reporters, she suddenly fell to the ground, screaming out that the Tokoloshe was beating her on the shoulders.

However, there is one man who believes he knows something about the background of this particular Tokoloshe. He’s also the man with a name guaranteed to give editors nightmares; Inyanga Ntsimb’edlezinye Ngema. According to Inyanga Ntsimb’edlezinye Ngema (sorry, couldn’t resist making you guys read that name again), he believes the Tokoloshe might belong to someone who died and is now hungry. “The Tokoloshe is not getting its meat and is eating food in the house or from the stomachs of the residents,” he surmised.

Read the full story from the Daily Sun here.

Can’t get enough of the Tokoloshe? Visit my Tokoloshe Archive for more stories!

 

Updated Bio Now Available

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Recently, I’ve gotten a few requests from people wanting my most recent bio. I’m guessing they need a bit more information in order to help them decide whether or not they want to be associated with a “weirdo”!

Regardless, the 2014 version of my bio is now available and links to it have been sprinkled throughout this site. But if you’re just dying to get a peek at it, go ahead and click here and in mere seconds, my giant head will magically appear on your desktop!

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ONW: Ohioan Brains Girl With Shovel, Becomes Internet Sensation

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What started off as an innocent afternoon of playing “let me show you my chicken coop before I attempt to give you a beat down” in Miami County, Ohio, came to a screeching halt when one combatant decided to brain the other with a shovel. As with every non-news story these days, there were multiple people who stood by gawking at the whole thing through their tiny camera phone lenses. The videos were eventually uploaded to YouTube, where they went viral with one girl now being known simply as Shovel Girl.

On May 4th, two teenage girls, Miranda Fugate and Emily Olinger, agreed to meet in Olinger’s yard for a good, old-fashioned fistfight. The exact reason why the girls were at odds with each other is still unclear, but reports are that it involved a boy and that the two had been engaged in a war of words for over a year.

Either way, Fugate and Olinger seem downright cordial to each other at the beginning of the video. Olinger even gives Fugate and her friends a tour of the Olinger family chicken coop (no, I’m not making that up). And when it comes down to Fightin’ Time, both girls agree to each other’s rules for the bout, which include “don’t hit me in the face”.  Olinger even proudly points out that she has decided to wear her hair up so as to help Fugate resist the temptation to pull it.

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The combatants, Miranda Fugate (l) and Emily Olinger (r) square off –via YouTube

Alas, after several jabs from Fugate find their way to Olinger’s face, the fight quickly disintegrates. Despite Fugate offering to wait while Olinger composes herself so that Fugate can “beat her ass some more”, Olinger wants no part of a rematch. She orders Fugate off her property, stating she will shoot her with a BB gun if she doesn’t leave. When Fugate refuses to vacate the premises, Olinger turns and makes her way towards the front door of her house. At this point, Fugate makes a decision she probably now regrets. Rather than walk away, she chases after Olinger. And that’s when the shovel comes into play.

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Final Specifics On The Ohioana Book Festival

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OK, so I’ve finally got all the specifics about this Saturday’s Ohioana Book Festival.

The entire Festival is free and runs from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm, although I am hearing rumors the doors might open up at 9:45. Not sure if that’s because they’re anticipating a crowd or what. Either way, all of the authors, myself included, will be at their tables with their books for the entire day, unless they are taking part in any of the many author panels during the day.

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Are UFOs Flying Over Ohio…And My Back Yard?

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This story has started popping up on various “alternative” news sites and is starting to spread. Seems that some time towards the end of last month, Greenville, Ohio residents starting noticing something strange in the night sky around 9:45 pm. One resident, John Maisel, stood outside with 20 or so of his neighbors, watching the weird lights darting around. As they  stared, the lights grew brighter and then disappeared, only to reappear seconds later. Maisel finally thought to take out his phone and start filming. Over 10 minutes later, he was still filming. Here’s a couple of screen grabs of what he captured on video:

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The grabs don’t really do the videos justice; these lights really do jump all over the place So check out the videos here (they’re not letting me embed them on my site, for some reason).

Now here comes the really weird bit: I’ve seen these very same lights, flying over my house. Really! In fact, I’ve seen them numerous times during the month of April. Like a dozen times! It’s not every night, but when they show up, it’s usually around 12:15 am. The first time I saw one of the lights, I was laying in bed watching TV when one appeared right outside the window.

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ONW: Man Hacks Into Cincinnati Baby Monitor, Tries To Wake Child Up

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Shocking, Earth-shattering news out of the Cincinnati area: if you hook something up to the Internet and don’t take steps to make sure it’s properly password-protected, people might try to hack into it.

OK, sarcasm button switched to “off” for a minute because this is sort of creepy. As Cincinnati’s FOX19 reported in one of their “Investigative Reports” segments, proud parent Heather Schreck was sleeping soundly beside her husband, Adam, when she woke to the sound of a man’s voice, coming from inside her baby’s bedroom.

Heather heard the man repeatedly saying “wake up, baby” and then yelling, as if he was trying to walk the child up. Frightened (and with good reason), Heather woke up Adam, who ran into their child’s room. Finding no one in the room (other than his baby), Adam was confused. That is, until he noticed that the baby monitor/camera was now turning to face him, apparently on its own. At that point, a man’s voice started yelling at Adam through the camera. It was then Adam realized that someone had hacked into their baby monitor/camera.

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–from FOX19

Like I said, that’s pretty creepy stuff and it would have freaked me out. But here’s the thing: the Schrecks are using a wireless system that can be accessed remotely from the Internet via everything from cell phones to other computers. So why weren’t they taking steps to prevent such things like, I dunno, maybe password-protecting it? Seems like common sense to me: if you can access something on the Internet, they other people can, too, so it needs a password. Hardly something that merits an “investigative report”.

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