We mentioned Yule briefly in the History Goes Bump Christmas Special in 2015, but we’ve never just focused on this set of beliefs, practices and traditions. On this episode we are going to peer into the darkness to find the light that will lead us into Spring. Because that is really what Yule is about for most people that observe it. This is an opportunity to take the time during the darkest part of the year and focus on the end of the year and what the future holds and to prepare for the rebirth that Spring brings. This is also a festival of rituals for which much of the traditions and practices of Christmas are rooted. Join us as we explore Yule! The Moment in Oddity was suggested by Mitch Riggs and features A Fateful Pair of Shoes and This Month in History features Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight.
Our lives are touched nearly everyday by the four elements. We breathe air, drink water, eat things fed by the Earth and cook or warm ourselves with fire. There are stories of ancient creatures that are one with these elements and we have come to know them as Elementals. Elementals show up in a variety of places from books to comics to legends of old. Is there any possibility that these mythic beings did actually or could actually exist? On this episode, we explore the history, stories and possibilities of Elementals. The Moment in Oddity was suggested by Jenny Raines and features Crown Shyness and This Month in History features Cicero beheaded.
Roadside apparitions have been witnessed by thousands of motorists and there seems to be a legend of a hitchhiking ghost in every state in America. Many countries around the world have these hitchhiking ghost tales as well. These tales are haunting and tragic. They usually involve a young woman standing on the side of the road, appearing to be in distress or in need of a ride and after being noticed or picked up in a vehicle, she disappears. There is a level of trust and intimacy in giving someone a ride in your car, particularly a stranger. In our modern era, it just isn’t save to be either the driver or the hitchhiker. And maybe that is why these types of tales are so prevalent. There already is a basic level of fear involved in the act of hitchhiking. This episode can’t possibly cover every single legend out there involving hitchhiking ghosts, but we will touch on several that include tales from across America and from several countries. Join me on the roadside as we search out the legend of the hitchhiking ghost. Moment in Oddity features Pumpkin Races and This Month in History features the calliope is patented.
Williamsburg, Kentucky is said to be the “Gateway to the Cumberlands.” This area is nestled in the foothills of Daniel Boone Country. It’s part of Whitley County with the Cumberland River running through it. Another city in this county is Corbin, which has stories of its own including Satanic activity. On this episode, Jamie Wolfe shares many legends and ghost stories from the Williamsburg and Cumberland Gap area in Kentucky. These include University of the Cumberlands, Highland Cemetery, The Independent School, Cumberland Inn, the Bird Man, the Mulberry Black Thing and Cumberland Falls. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Cumberlands. The Moment in Oddity features the Telling of the Bees and This Month in History features Legionnaires Disease outbreak starts.
The island of Taiwan is located between the Philippines and Japan, about 100 miles off the coast of China. The small island is inhabited by many people who were escaping from the mainland of China, a country that claims to be sovereign over the island. Many nations have held control over Taiwan over the years, from the Dutch to the Spanish to the Japanese to the Chinese. This is a land of indigenous groups that each seem to have their own mythical story of origin and there are many haunted locations. Join myself and listener Whitney Zahar, who lived in Taiwan for a time as we share the history, legends and haunts of Taiwan. The Moment in Oddity features ballet fans eat Taglioni’s ballet slippers and This Month in History features the birth of Thurgood Marshall.
The country of Japan does not usually cross the mind when castles are mentioned. But Japan does have castles and Himeji Castle is the largest castle in Japan. The magnificent structure sits at the top of Himeyama, which is a point 150 feet above sea level. The castle is made up of 83 buildings and referred to as White Heron Castle because of its coloring, which is a brilliant white and the curved roofs resemble a bird in flight. Today, the castle is the most visited castle in Japan and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is also considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Japan with stories of Okiku’s Well, the Old Widow’s Stone and the death of Sakurai Genbei. Join us as we explore the history, legends and hauntings of Himeji Castle. The Moment in Oddity features Pope Gregory IX declaring cats are of Satan and This Month in History features Tolpuddle Martyrs banished to Australia. Our location was suggested by listener Jenni Watt.
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.
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.
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.