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Mothman

Does the strange flying creature have a normal explanation, or is something else going on here? This week, we’re heading north to West Virginia, looking out for glowing eyes in the sky and a winged individual who’s taken a place in American lore.

The facts seem to be pretty straightforward with regards to the events surrounding the appearances of the Mothman. It all began on November 12, 1966, in a Clendenin West Virginia graveyard. Five men were on the task of digging a grave that night, when something strange happened. Someone flew by overhead, clearly a man with a distinguishing feature: wings.

Whoever he might have been, he stuck around for a few days. I twas on November 15, 1966, when he was seen again. This time, the Mothman chose an old TNT plant in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The witnesses this time were four friends driving together near the plant, wings on his back and eyes glowing. Whoever he was, he moved with an unnatural speed, somehow managing to keep up with the car when the driver sped up.

There were other sightings, one in which he terrorized a woman outside of her car.

Of course they called the police. Wouldn’t you?

But he escaped.

The next year, on December 15, 1967, the Silver Bridge collapsed into the Ohio River. The mysterious Mothman, was linked to the tragedy, mostly because he wasn’t seen again.

So who was he?

Perhaps you wonder why I am using “who” and “he” as though there might be some ordinary explanation available.

That’s because I believe there is.

Certainly, the legend of the Mothman is strange and colorful and a little spooky. The idea of his possibly otherworldly origin feeds the imagination.

But what if it was just a man?

What if the Mothman was just some guy trying out a glider? What if his eyes didn’t glow? Even if they did seem to do so, what if that had an explanation based firmly on Earth?

It’s interesting to consider the possibility. That Mothman was there all along. That he was a neighbor, with an unusual hobby, and maybe a thick pair of glasses.

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Future Posts and Other Things

To cut right to the point, I had plans to totally change the name of this blog and the Twitter and Facebook accounts associated with it. After a little looking around, I decided not to, with the exception of turning the abbreviation of “NC” into “North Carolina” on the Facebook page and here on the blog.

But I am hoping to introduce some new stuff in the future. I will be doing my best to post on the blog once a week, probably on Fridays. I’d like to feature more photos, if I can. I’d also like to have some postings on YouTube, as time allows. I’ll update you as I get closer to having something to offer.

So that’s it for this week. I spent a little time doing some research one night this week, and I’ll be posting again next Friday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Weird World: They Hid Their Secrets Here

Is there a mystery? What’s going on?

I’ll stay online this time, with a look at a strange Tumblr I’ve discovered.

The title of this Tumblr is “They Hid Their Secrets Here.” It first came to my attention some months ago, and I shared it on my Facebook page in May. It’s not updated very often, but it caught my attention simply because its method of update seems a little out of place on Tumblr. It has few photographs, save for a couple that were reblogged from other Tumblrs. About half of the material is made up of short, enigmatic posts, some of which play off the post titles. The rest of the posts are longer, with personal anecdotes and what seems like it might be a transcript. Two of the stories reference a location in North Carolina, one of them being so specific as to mention Wilson County.

Whoever is writing this, it looks like they are willing to publicly answer questions submitted to them. It’s something I might try. The only thing is, I can’t figure out how the information on the site fits together. Is it an art project? Something more? It could be a community forum, but of what, I don’t know.

If anyone has any ideas, leave them in the comments. Also, it looks like it might not hurt to ask questions of the person or people who are writing They Hid Their Secrets Here.

Again, below is the link for the Tumblr. I look forward to your ideas!

http://theyhidtheirsecretshere.tumblr.com

Our Weird World: Pieces

Perhaps it’s a strange curiosity you see along a new route you travel, or maybe you’ve passed it many times, but never enough for your brain to quite reconcile the utter oddness of those pieces left behind in such strange ways.

I can’t say that it is only one place that has me thinking of this topic. There are a few places I know well enough that it caused me to take a little more notice of lonely chimneys and a random houseless stoop that borders a sidewalk. It’s also not uncommon, here in the South at least, to see the side of an old barn or even an old house peeking through trees, the structures left to fall apart on their own. They usually do, if they aren’t simply torn down by the owner.

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This barn once stood in Wilson County. It has since been torn down or fell on its own, though the land is still actively farmed.

The latter do not concern me all that much. 

What really gets me interested are the places such as I’ve seen near South Hill, VA. There is one spot I’ve passed there before where there are two chimneys (or perhaps one) and no house beside. In another town, quite literally, there are three steps leading into an empty lot. A place once dwelt in. I believe (and I may be getting the exact location wrong, though I have seen this) that on the road between Wilson NC and Raleigh NC, if you go through Knightdale, there is a single, small stone structure that appears to have been a fireplace. 

What are these places? Of course, they were once homes, but why was so much erased, only for tiny pieces to be left? Were they actually erased? Might something truly strange have happened there? Logic asks us to simply believe that a wooden wall is simply more easily conquered than stone.

Perhaps it is as easy.

But first, consider any exception to how we believe the universe behaves. What about the vanishing house in Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery? The strange noises and unsettling frequencies that mimic hauntings? Or perhaps the disappearances of whole people groups

There might be a mundane explanation for each and every example.

But what if there wasn’t? What if the universe utterly refused to play by the rules that we decided must apply?

It’s a truly interesting question, indeed.

 

Midwestern Weird: Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery

Can strange activity in abandoned places truly be ghosts, or is our universe proving to be just that much stranger?

First you see it, then you don’t, as we head north to Chicago for a visit Bachelors Grove Cemetery.

Haunted graveyards are the grizzled old veterans of the ghost story and urban legend world. Many a tale of ghostly women and phantom lights persist, stemming from cemeteries often abandoned save for those visitors drawn by the historical significance of such places. (I wrote once before on one cemetery in particular, to pass along an experience from a reader, in this post. In addition, I’ve expressed my beliefs and hesitations on “haunted” places here and here. I believe providing this information to you, the readers, gets things out in the open and lets you know that this site isn’t only dedicated to ghost stories.

So why write about a haunted cemetery?

Cemeteries are places that are, by nature, quiet. And they should be. Cemeteries are meant to be places where people might feel comfortable laying loved ones to rest. Places where one can return to visit for peaceful reflection, maybe to remember the times when a family member or friend was still among the living. But often, as family lines fade away, or generations forget the wearing names carved into granite, the greenery encroaches, and drooping headstones become little more than scenery.

In a place so quiet, stories can spawn from anything less than silent, anything that seems out of the ordinary. The shadow from a branch waving in the sun might evolve into a woman who wanders in mourning, a hundred years past the point at which she should have stopped. Another brave soul, just hidden from view by a thicket of trees and the shadow of night and the fact that both parties are trespassing might be mistaken as some ghostly visitor.

Wikipedia’s page for Bachelor’s Grove (for the sake of quickness) has the following to say:

Besides orbs and phantom vehicles, there have been additional reports of supernatural events at the cemetery, including:

The white lady (or “white madonna”); she walks the grounds during a full moon while carrying an infant.
Phantom farmhouse; a ghostly farmhouse which is purported to shimmer, float, and then vanish, mostly reported during the 1950s. There are also reports by witnesses of the house shrinking as they approach it, then disappearing altogether.
A Farmer and his plow-horse; both victims of a plowing accident—having been dragged to their deaths into the nearby slough.
A two-headed ghost; near the same slough.
Religious monks; as late as 1984 witnesses reported seeing multiple figures dressed in monk’s robes emerging throughout the cemetery.
A black dog; witnesses in the 1990s reported seeing this manifestation at the cemetery’s entrance. It would disappear when they approached it.
The “Woman sitting on the Grave;” a notable photograph which ran in the Chicago Sun-Times, purportedly showing a transparent woman sitting on a tombstone; the apparition was not apparent at the time the photograph was shot.

Women in white, unfinished business, and mysterious photographs. While intriguing, tales of this sort aren’t unique to Bachelor’s Grove.

The house, however, seems to be, somewhat. In fact, though I was able to find other tales of disappearing buildings (here, for example) it’s truly not something I’d heard of before, other than in the story of Seven Bridges Road. Read the comments on that one, though. It seems to have a rational explanation.

Not featured among what I’ve copied above is another feature of this odd dwelling. The house, in fact, may be a trap for anyone who is able to reach it, open the door, and enter. Beware, for you may end up trapped forever.

Don’t worry, though. No one’s actually ever reached the house. It always vanishes, unfindable and unreachable for anyone who’s trying.

Funny thing is, my personal beliefs lead me to the conclusion that the phantom house of Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery has a logical explanation, because our universe is not a logical place as we see it. Something is obviously going on here, but what? And what about the dog, which no longer appears, or the monks, treading on ground that has never featured a church or monestery? Are they truly phantoms, or just the rules of the universe being broken? What’s going on that we can’t see?

I find myself quite unsatisfied, once again, because Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery and the ground it inhabits doesn’t appear to be abiding by the normal rules of how a universe should operate.

Find out more on Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery by starting at this link.

The Brown Mountain Lights

Is there a good explanation for the way they rise into the sky, or do the years of sightings point to a deeper reason?

Westward bound, yet again, for Brown Mountain, and the lights named for them.

To be honest, I debated whether I should bother covering this topic, since it’s been done probably countless times before, in its status as a staple NC happening. It is, however, a part of the weird folklore in North Carolina and the world. I felt it deserved a place in the admittedly random and disjointed narrative that I’ve tried to make here.

If you haven’t heard of what exactly the Brown Mountain Lights are, I’ll cover that, because knowing what exactly goes on is necessary to really examining them.

On very dark nights, with all headlights and flashlights and lanterns covered or cut off, the lights will appear. First they slide into view, and begin to move upward, into the sky, where they hover.

Then they fade.

And that’s it.

As captivating as the Brown Mountain lights are to people, how they work is very simple. They come from no visible origin, rise up slowly, and then they’re gone. It’s a nice, spooky story.

Legends of their origins abound. The one I heard from my dad was that the lights were lanterns in a desperate search by the wives of dead warriors, still without closure so many years later. And of course, there are legends of fierce battles and people long before us and long gone now. Perhaps, some believe, they are UFOs, the nature of which may be completely alien (since, of course, “UFO” does not necessarily mean extraterrestrial, despite having that connotation). There is a movie, Alien Abduction, that follows that story exactly.

Skeptical explanations are sure to follow. Cars, trains, some perfectly regular, normal cause, all of which are logical, and may be true.

Whether the lights are mourning ghosts, the oddest aliens in the universe, or just evidence of humanity, the reality is that they’re there, and no one has definitively explained them yet, to my knowledge.

Figuring it out is a fun mystery, and they could probably be called a “must see” if you’re in the area. A cool story, maybe nothing more.

But I’m not really satisfied with that. The Brown Mountain lights are almost teasing us. Taunting us to come closer and really figure them out.

Maybe, one day, someone will.

A Not-So-Weird Announcement

What do you get when you combine the strangeness of our world with someone who loves to talk about it?

Videos!

That’s right, folks. Weirdly Awesome NC is going to be posting some Youtube videos in the very near future. Some of them might be me talking (perhaps in disguise?) and some of them might be just me behind the camera. I’ll let you know all the details once I have everything set up.

Until then, keep it weird.