I’m Baaaaaack!

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And you missed me, didn’t you?

Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that it traditionally goes “dark” every October since I am usually out running all over Ohio with presentations and appearances. This year was no different, but the blog remained dark through November and December.

Why, you ask? Well, even if you didn’t ask, I’m going to tell you.

Simply put, I had an end-of-year deadline to submit the manuscript for my next book to the publisher. Yup, there will be another James A. Willis tome heading your way for 2017. What’s it about? Well, I’m supposed to keep it a secret for now. But I can tell you that the focus will be on central Ohio and will contain Weird Ohio-type stories that you all seem to love so much. In other words, I’ve spent the last few months chasing down leads on Central Ohio serial killers, legendary locations, and even a UFO or two. No worries, there’s a couple of ghost stories in there, too.

More on the book as it develops, but for now, here’s a couple of outtake photos from the book to whet your appetite:

path

“The Path”

leather

“The Memorial”

gates

“The Gate”

graves

“The Graves”

carriage

“The Carriage House”

tower

“The Tower”

So now that I’m back, what can you expect from this site? Well, for starters, we’re going to finally finish up the remaining Crybaby Bridge locations. I’ve got a whole mess of personal experiences about a bunch of the bridges that you’ve sent me, so those will start being added, too.

The Strange & Spooky Museum has gained quite a number of new pieces and those are in the process of being catalogued and photographed. Expect to start seeing those popping up on the site, too. There’s even a couple of pieces that are supposed to be so haunted that a mere glance at them will cause people to experience all sorts of bad luck. Not sure if that means you can’t even view them over the Internet, so perhaps I need to have everyone sign a Virtual Waiver before looking at these “cursed” objects!

Finally, I’m going to be embarking on something really strange and spooky this year and you’ll have the chance to come along. So get ready because in a few short months, we’re going monster hunting!

Stay tuned!

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The Top 10 Strange And Spooky Of 2013

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Happy new year!

One of the things I enjoy doing on New Year’s Day is looking back at the stats for my blog. I really get a kick out of seeing not only what people were typing into search engines to end up here, but also which stories were the most popular. For the most part, stats for particular pages will be really high right out of the gate and then decline over time as it becomes “old news”. Same with the search terms. Still, for every random The Tokoloshe He Eat My Dog, there were several terms and phrases that kept popping up time and time again.

So here they are (in reverse order to build suspense): The Top 10 Search Terms for 2013:

10.    Mothman
Over 1,000 people landed on my site searching for Mothman, which is interesting to me since apart from a   couple of mentions of my appearing at various Mothman Festivals over the years and the Mothman Plush in my Museum, I don’t have that much stuff on my blog about Mothman.
 
9.     Eggshelland
Still can’t believe that Eggshelland is gone. 
  
8.     Paul Is Dead
Since this conspiracy is well over 40 years old, it makes me smile to see that so many people are still intrigued with it!
 
7.     Ghost Sightings
With all my strange and spooky stuff, good to know people still come to me for what started it all: ghosts.  
 
6.     Strange And Spooky World
There was a huge number of hits from this term in October, no doubt caused by my presentations and public appearances. 
 
5.     Amanda Berry
When the whole Amanda Berry/Sylvia Browne thing blew up, I couldn’t keep up with all the hits to my site. It died down shortly afterwards, only to spike again when Browne passed away later in November of 2013. 
 
4.     What Is A Tokoloshe
I’m still asking myself that very question!
 
3.     Fiji Mermaid
I get at least 5 e-mails a month from people asking me if the mermaid I have in my museum is real. I simply tell them I can see it sitting on my shelf, so of course it’s real!
 
2.     Tokoloshe
To be honest, I was a little surprised this wasn’t #1. And it wasn’t even close.
 
1.     Big Butter Jesus 
Guess it doesn’t matter if you call him Touchdown Jesus, Cream Cheese Jesus, Terminator Jesus, or even the 5-Dollar Footlong Jesus. Folks just can’t get enough of that giant weird statue alongside I-75 North.
 

So what were the top 10 stories/posts from 2013? Glad you asked! BTW, you can click on them if you need to do a little catchup reading.

10.  The Final Eggshelland

eggsignsnow

9.    Roadside Oddities

Centralia Road

8.    The Museum

Ghost Town Assayer Office

7.    My Books

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6.    The Boy With The Boot

boy with boot figure stamp

5.    The Paul McCartney Death Clues

OPP Badge

4.    ONW: In 2004, Sylvia Browne Told Amanda Berry Mother Her Daughter Was “Not Alive

psychic_6824

3.    My Strange & Spooky World Is Coming To Oxford, Ohio

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2.    What Magical Spell Did Ghost Adventures Cast Over Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery?

--via the Travel Channel

1.    Behold the Power of Hug Me Jesus

Apparently, Jesus will even welcome highway speeders with open arms. (via Fox 19)

And there you have it. Happy 2014! Hope it is a strange and spooky one!