128 – The House of Mary Surratt – Washington, D.C.

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On episode 128, Brett is limping his way to Washington, DC, while Harley fails at laughing and/or offending anyone. Why are we headed to DC? The House of Mary Surratt is a conspiracy haunting….it’s a two-fer.

We went light on the DC tourism details…because it is a bottomless pit of interesting and entertaining places and things to do and ain’t nobody got time to cover them all.

The House of Mary Surratt is a location of significance in the Lincoln assassination and it may just be haunted by the ghost of a wrongfully accused co-conspirator. From ghostly footsteps to phantom apparitions, this place has had thousands of people report paranormal activity.

Who was Mary Surratt?

How was she involved in the assassination of our sixteenth president?

Can ghosts melt snow?

Do politicians really eat babies?

If want like the night life, but not the afterlife, may we suggest The All Night Art Show?

Did you know Washington DC is known for chili? Ben’s Chili Bowl is home of the Legendary “Half Smoke” and Brett will hop on one leg to get some.

Washington, DC
Surratt Museum
Spooky Washington Post News Stories
Ben’s Chili Bowl
Art All Night
Outro
Outro Musician

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127 – The Conewago Screamer – Conewago Township, PA

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On this week’s episode, Harley and Brett are feeling the heat, literally it’s 110 degrees in Oklahoma, so we are excited for some cooler adventures in Conewago Township, PA.

Brett may give up grilling for the team in exchange for a dip into one of Pennsylvania’s cool rivers.

The Conewago Screamer may be kissin’ cousins with The Mothman or maybe a dragon, but either way it’s seven foot tall and has glowing red eyes. We found a scary story from Lon Stickler about the Conewago Screamer, also known as the Conewago Phantom, and we have a new found respect for Lon.

What did Lon Strickler see in the woods in 1988?

Is there a Boy Scout badge for not crapping your pants when you see a seven foot tall, red-eyed phantom in the woods?

What is the temperature in Pennsylvania right now and if it is less than one hundred, can we come over?

If want to see some seven foot behemoths that aren’t cryptids, may we suggest The Weightlifting Hall of Fame in York, PA?

Mangia! Mangia! is a great Italian restaurant in Hershey, but they have a BYOB policy which makes them one of the greatest of all time.

Conewago Screamer story by Phantoms and Monsters
Conewago Township
Weightlifting Hall of Fame
Mangia! Mangia!
“Happy” – Pharrell Williams (BadWolf 3 Piece) Feat. Cameron Bruce & Hannah Foster
BadWolf

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126 – Elsie the Lake Monster – Lake Elsinore CA

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On episode 126 Harley and Brett are headin’ back to Callie to revisit a town with a perfect climate, blue sky, clean air, world-famous thermal winds for aerial sports and, the crowning jewel, a sparkling 3,300 acre recreational lake, Lake Elsinore, California.

We found a new oddity in an old town. Not only does Lake Elsinore have a haunted highway, but it also has its own lake monster, Elsie.

When was Elsie spotted?

Is Elsie a dinosaur?

Not interested in a monster hunt? Maybe you could check out The Cleveland National Forest. This place has top notch hiking, biking and even bird watching.

If you are feeling more adventurous, check out Skull Canyon for some extremely high zip line fun(?).
No Episode of the Travel Oddities Podcast would be complete without a place to grab a bite, and The Lake House Elsinore may be just what you are craving.

Can’t get enough Lake Elsinore? Check out Episode 98, where we discuss the Haunted Ortega Highway and a lot more about Lake Elsinore.

Mysterious Universe – Story of Elsie – Brent Swancer
Lake Elsinore
Lake Elsinore Chamber of Commerce
Skull Canyon Zip Line
The Lake House Elsinore
Cleveland National Forest

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125 – Odon Fire Poltergeist – Odon IN

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On episode 125, Harley and Brett have a most excellent adventure exploring Odon, Indiana.

Odon may be small but it has quite a few things to offer the bachelor on the move. Odon has a two thirds female population…

The Odon Fire Poltergeist is a most baffling mystery and the town of Odon has haunted by the tale since the 1940s.
What could cause a house to catch fire over twenty times in a day in front of numerous witnesses? A G.D. Fire Poltergeist!

How can you deal with a poltergeist?

Do the movies have it right when it comes to ghosts?

Want something a little darker? How about a cavernous canoe ride in the Bluespring Caverns?

We cannot vouch for the cooking skills of the Odon Fire Poltergeist, but Smokin Jim’s BBQ knows what to do with the flames!

Odon Fire Poltergeist
Movie Poltergeist
Blue Springs Cavern
Smokin Jim’s BBQ
OKC River Sports
Music by Mike Masse
Outro Music

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124 – The Hollywood Vampire – Richmond, VA

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On episode 124, Harley and Brett are dusting off the history books to explore the city of Richmond, Virginia.

Richmond has been called the Best River City to live in by, the city with the best street art in the entire world,
the Best Affordable Place To Take A Vacation, the “most fun and affordable U.S. city, 2014’s Best Destinations, and the Best U.S. Historical Destination.

The Hollywood Vampire is a legend that has haunted Richmond, VA and the historic Hollywood Cemetery since the 1920’s. Local residents claim that the mausoleum of W. W. Pool holds the remains of a vampire.

Where can you find the Hollywood Vampire?

Do you show the signs of being a vampire?

Is Brett Manzer a vampire?

With all of the accolades thrust upon Richmond, you would think there would be loads of entertainment and you would be right.

If you interests are more literary than Anne Rice, we suggest you check out the Edgar Allan Poe Museum. This museum celebrates the grim author’s life and work with one of the largest collections of letters, manuscripts, and artifacts related to the writer. They also have is socks, which seems to be a little stalkerish to us.

When you are ready for give your dogs a rest and grab some food…Unleashed – Gourmet Hotdogs can’t be beat!

Hollywood Vampire
Are you a vampire?
Richmond, VA
Poe Museum
Unleashed Gourmet Hotdogs
Outro Music

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Blame it on the Rain

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Another Monday has come and you are wondering….where is my new episode of the Travel Oddities Podcast. You can blame it on the rain….this is your power outage psa. We lost power at a critical point and we have zero shows for you this week.

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123 – Mystery of the Spider Rocks – Baird, TX

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On this week’s episode, Harley and Brett are feeling a little rusty, but excited about a little place called Baird, Texas.

Brett doesn’t believe in the thrill of the hunt, but he does believe in the power of antiques.

The Mystery of the Spider Rocks is all about Coronado’s mythical stash of gold from the seven cities of Cibola or about the gold of the Spanish conquistadors from the early 1700s.

The Spider Rocks are not giant spider eggs nor do they have anything to do with Spiderman.

Where should you start your hunt for the gold?

Baird TX is hot, but there is still a lot to do in the area.

If you aren’t on the hunt for treasure, Frontier Texas! is a world class interactive museum and visitor center located in downtown Abilene, Texas.

Lytle Land and Cattle Company may be the treasure you have really been looking for…..Texans know their steak.

Mystery of the Spider Rocks
Baird, Texas
Lytle Land and Cattle
Frontier Texas
Emily Road – “Life Is a Highway” cover – Tom Cochrane

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122 – Puckwudgies – Anderson IN

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On this week’s episode, Harley is back from his trip to Florida and he and Brett use the frequent flyer miles to visit Anderson, Indiana.

Brett got to revisit one of his worst fears…little things.

Puckwudgies are knee high(an average knee high) forest spirits with a taste for blood and apparently the Mounds State Park has been overrun.

What is Puckwudgie?

What can you do to increase your chances of a Puckwudgie encounter?

Do Puckwudgies like Skittles?

From festivals, museums, hiking, and theatre to shopping, racing, and a casino, Anderson, IN has something for everyone all year long. There is a reason that it is called the Pittsburgh on White River.

Puckwudgies weren’t scary enough? There is more…Indy Scream Park is rated one of the scariest Halloween events in the country.

You don’t have to have your black belt to eat at Ninja of Japan, but maybe something with an elastic waist might help.

The Top 5 is not Muppet friendly.

Indy Scream Park
Visit Madison County
Puckwudgie
Puckwudgie Reddit story
Ninja of Japan
Indy Scream Park
Outro Music

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121 – Caddo Lake State Park Bigfoot – Uncertain, TX

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On this week’s episode, Harley and Brett kick off summer right with a trip to Uncertain, Texas. Yes, we are sure.

Harley had a great interview with Ken Gerhard, a cryptozoologist and field investigator for The Centre for Fortean Zoology. We discuss the Caddo Lake State Park Bigfoot and the similar sightings in the area including some outings with Lyle Blackburn and the Fouke Monster.

What is Bigfoot?

What can you do to increase your chances of a Bigfoot encounter?

What is the Devil’s Elbow?

What project is Ken working on?

Uncertain, TX was originally called this by the surveyors, because they were Uncertain to whether this place was in Texas or Louisianna. The local sheriff was quoted as saying, “You’ve got to either know where you’re goin’ or be lost to find it.”

Need more Bigfoot? The Texas Bigfoot Research Center runs the Original Texas Bigfoot Conference just down the road in Jefferson, TX. Check it out and you just might meet. Bob Gimlin, Dr. Jeff Meldrum, Lyle Blackburn, Ken Gerhard, Nick Redfern, or Shelly Covington-Montana.

The Shady Glade Cafe may be the only restaurant around, but that hasn’t stopped them from making some crazy good country cookin’!

The Top 5 is bigger in Texas.

Ken Gerhard
Ken’s Books
City of Uncertain, TX
Texas Tourism
Texas Bigfoot Research Center
Shady Glade Resort
Outro Music
Outro Music by Jade Bird

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The Witch’s Grave – Skiatook, OK – Video

Demon possession. Unexplained accidents. Death. These horrors and more plague those who dare to violate the witch’s grave of Skiatook, Oklahoma. Watch as Brett, Harley and Ninja Matt dare to tempt the witch’s ire and ultimately pay the price.

Hillside Cemetery in Skiatook Oklahoma dates back to the 1800’s. It’s surrounded by pastures and farmland in one of the most desolate parts of the county. But something evil lurks in the darkness.

The old folks say a beautiful witch once stalked this lonely plain in hopes of resurrecting her one true love. When the handsome Abel Parkhill fell ill, his loving witch tried every spell she knew to make him better. But she failed……and when he died she used her spells to try to bring him back to life…….. The townspeople buried Abel under an old Oak tree but our incredibly inept wicked witch dug him up and took him home. After several attempts at burying the dead husband only to find an empty grave in the morning, the towns people poured concrete over his final resting place to keep the witch from digging him up again and forever entombed poor Abel in his lonely grave.

The words scratched on each side of the tomb were allegedly etched by the witch herself……..using only her fingernails.
Samuel 12:23 “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

So the boys head out into the heat of the Oklahoma summer to find the witch and tempt fate with their cemetery antics. It’s easy to be a skeptic while the sun is blazing, but as darkness creeps over the quiet prairie and the night comes alive, the hardened resolves of our brave legend trippers will be tested. Will they survive unscathed? Is this just an old urban legend? Or does a witch truly haunt those who dare to violate the grave of Abel Parkhill…..

TRIGGER WARNING: This video contains bad acapella Christopher Cross duets, excessive man sweat and a severe case of the heeby jeebies. Consider yourself warned.