The Balkans historically has been a place of violence and for this reason, its borders are very fluid. The main countries that generally are accepted as a part of the Balkans are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo, Romania, Macedonia and parts of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Hungary. This Peninsula of land is named for the Balkan Mountains, which in Turkish means “a chain of wooded mountains.” The superstitions and legends of the region are rich. The legends that people are most familiar with from this region are those regarding vampires, but there is so much more here. Our listener Chris Klimovitz, who has been living in Albania, returns to the podcast to share his first-hand accounts of the legends surrounding cemeteries, witches and ghost in the Balkans. The Moment in Oddity features the mysterious sinkholes of Mt. Baldy and This Month in History features the eviction of the Bonus Marchers and their shanty town burned.
The Philippines is made up of thousands of islands. Together, they are an enchanting country of beautiful beaches and enchanting opportunities for outdoor adventure. The Philippines was under Spanish rule for 350 years and much of the country is Catholic because of that beginning. The influence is still seen today in the numerous historic churches and in the Spanish colonial architecture. The people of this land embrace spirituality and there is a rich culture of mythology and folklore here. The Philippines Pantheon is vast and there are dozens of creatures that are found in the local lore. Some seem silly, while others are truly terrifying. Our Filipino listener April Garaci joins us to share stories of folklore and some haunting experiences that she has experienced. Join us as we explore the legends of the Philippines! The Moment in Oddity was suggested by History Dweeb’s Tim Scott and features a mother who believes her son is reincarnated Lou Gehrig and This Month in History features President William Henry Harrison dying in office.
A belief in Faeries has existed for centuries and stretches all around the world. Early stories of faeries originate in medieval Western Europe and this is where we get the term “Fairy Tales.” The roots of the oldest tale of fairy creatures comes from a folktale named “The Smith and the Devil.” Some fairy tales are thought to be up to 6,000 years old. Stories of faeries traveled with the colonists to America and are still strong in Appalachian and Ozark lore. There are many theories as to what faeries may be and because of this, they take many forms in folklore. And while most people believe that faeries are not real, the belief in these creatures is very real. And there are tales that go beyond superstition and leave open the possibility that faeries may just exist. Join us as we explore the folklore about these fascinating beings and examine some of the tales that are told about them! The Moment in Oddity was suggested by listener RachelThomson and features Mother Ludlam’s Cave and This Month in History features the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach. Our topic was suggested by listeners Vicki Luther and Amy Harris Martinez.
Study a map of the world with a focus on name places that carry the word “devil” in the name or some derivative thereof, and you will literally find hundreds of them. What is the fascination with using the devil’s name? There are some who believe these places have been named this way because they harbor some kind of evil. Some of them are located at places thought to be crossroads. And it would seem that some of these places do have strange legends or supernatural activity connected to them. These places could be considered the Devil’s Tramping Grounds. On this episode, we are going to focus on a handful of these locations that have some very strange or nefarious happenings connected to them. Join us as we explore the Devil’s Tramping Grounds! The Moment in Oddity features the Dover Demon and This Day in History features Constantine’s vision of the cross Locations were suggested by listeners Konda from Germany, McKenna Wilson, Steven Pappas, Bob Sherfield and Whitney Land.
Many people are aware of the Salem Witch Trials in America. And while these trials and these alledged witches get most of the attention, these were not the only people accused of witchcraft. It is generally understood that these people were not really practicing witchcraft, but that does not mean that there were not really witches in America. Witchcraft has long been practiced in America and Wicca is an accepted religious practice in our modern era. On this episode, we are going to explore other witch hunts and discuss some possible real witches, including the Bell Witch of Tennessee and Pat Fitzhugh joins us to discuss that entity. Join us as we explore witches in America. The Moment in Oddity features a suggestion from listener Zoe Zimmerman about a crewless blimp falling from the sky and This Day in History features Japanese Kamikazes being used for first time. Our topic was suggested by listener Molly Farquhar and we had research help from Kristen Calderon.
This topic was suggested by our listener Miranda Hofer and she joins us as special co-host to talk about the Djinn and her personal experiences with these entities. Many people’s only experience with the creatures called Djinn are through stories about genies. We’ve been lead to believe that these creatures live in lamps and can only be released by rubbing the outside of the lamp. Once released, the genie promises to fulfill three wishes of the person who has freed it. The actual legends about Djinn are something quite different. The Djinn can be very frightening entities and have abilities that make them dangerous. They have gained in popularity and moved out from Islamic lore into the pop culture. The Moment in Oddity features The Azores Mermaid Hoax and This Day in History features the premiere of the Disney Movie Dumbo.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a well known piece of fiction written by Washington Irving in 1819. Many of us first heard the story in our youth and the tale fueled our imagination with images of a headless horseman chasing a man through the forest, carrying a fiery pumpkin that represented his head. It was a terrifying tale. But is this just a piece of fiction? Is there some truth to the story? Headless figures seem quite common in the world of the paranormal, so it’s not too hard to believe that some may ride horses. And what of this place called Sleepy Hollow? There is a town that does indeed bear this name, as does a cemetery, and both are reputed to be haunted. Join us as we explore the legends of the headless horseman and the history and hauntings of Sleepy Hollow! The Moment in Oddity features the Disappearance of Solomon Northup and This Day in History features the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio being founded. Our topic was suggested by listeners Lexi Goober and Seth Nathan. We had research assistance from Melissa Cabic. Our cover art is by artist and listener Sara Otterstatter. Check out her website at http://www.sara-otterstaetter.de.
There are desolate roads in America that inspire sweaty palms, goosebumps and fuel the imagination with images straight out of a horror flick. These are roads where no sane person would want to have a breakdown in a car occur. Some of these roads have inspired tales of ghost lights. These are lights that seem to move of their own accord, always staying just out of reach. Legends have spawned about headless ghosts swinging lanterns as they search for their heads. Some people believe that these lights could be attributed to UFO activity. The Bragg Light in Texas and the Paulding Light in Michigan, are two of these ghost lights. The roads where they are seen are walled by thick forests. Both have haunting tales that claim that a ghost or possibly something worse, are responsible for the lights. And both have had skeptics claim that it is nothing more than swamp gas or light reflecting from something else. Are these natural phenomenon or is something supernatural going on here? Join us and our special guest, listener Summer White, as we explore the history and haunting of these ghost lights! The Moment in Oddity was suggested by Bob Sherfield and features the Ma’nene Festival in Indonesia and This Day in History features the Okeechobee Hurricane in Florida. Our show topic was suggested by listener Summer White.
From the Aztec Sun Stone with the sunken eyes of Tonatiuh, the Aztec sun god, peering out from the center of the stone to the Alley of the Kiss to the Devil’s Alley, the country of Mexico is rich with legends and superstition. On this episode, we are joined by our Research Assistant Kristin Swintek who is going to share some of the legends of Mexico with us. There is La Llorona, the Ironed Lady and the Monster El Cucuy. Bring along a little salt, violet petals, sage, or ginseng to help keep unwanted ghosts away. Join us as we explore these Legends of Mexico. Moment in Oddity is by Bob Sherfield and features Highwayman Dick Turpin and This Day in History is by Jessica Bell and features the Titanic hitting an iceburg.
There are Christmas trees and reindeer and candy canes, but Santa Claus is probably one of the most familiar images intertwined with Christmas. Most of us as kids were raised with the warning that you better be good, for goodness sake, or you would end up on Santa’s naughty list and thus receive coal in your stocking. But as we trace back the various traditions associated with the holiday season, we come upon a character that has been around longer than good old St. Nick and the warnings that came with him, were far more dire. On this episode, we will explore the origins, history and terror that are a part of the legend of Krampus. Moment in Oddity features the Dragon’s Triangle and This Day in History features the abandonment of the Mary Celeste.