UFO activity in Dundee, Wisconsin from a photo at Benson's Hideaway

I Visited a Local UFO Hotspot During the Annual Gathering of Tinfoil Hat Enthusiasts

UFO enthusiasts have been gathering in this Wisconsin town for 30 years to share their experiences and catch a glimpse of something strange in the sky.

There are three small Wisconsin communities that claim to be the UFO capital of the world, but the most compelling is the unincorporated town of Dundee about 20 minutes from Cult of Weird headquarters.

10,000 years ago, the last glaciers tore through the area, leaving behind a devastated landscape that is now the picturesque Kettle Moraine State Forest. When the glaciers receded, they left behind a 250-foot pile of sediment called Dundee Mountain. It’s not an actual mountain, but it is the highest point in the area.

And locals will tell you there’s something suspicious going on there.

Related: Mark Borchardt’s UFO Daze documentary

Strange lights and unidentified objects witnessed in the sky over Dundee Mountain and nearby Long Lake have left residents puzzled for decades. So much so, in fact, that in 1988 tavern owner Bill Benson and some friends decided to host a gathering for those who had experienced something in the area.

Bill’s bar, Benson’s Hide-a-Way, is the self proclaimed UFO headquarters. It sits on the north shore of Long Lake, providing a clear view of Dundee Mountain’s tree-covered peak to the south. The bar is a kitschy backwoods nightmare, and that’s why it’s amazing. The walls are covered in images of little green men. A model of a UFO hangs behind the counter. A small grey figure with large black eyes floats in a jar of cloudy liquid. It is said to be from Area 51.

30 years since the first gathering was held, the annual UFO Daze event seems more like an excuse to wear goofy aluminum foil hats and drink the spiked green alien punch, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something going on. Behind the bar Bill keeps a binder of photos documenting unexplained activity in the area, from blurry lights in the sky over Dundee Mountain to the bizarre 1995 occurrence when a large patch of reeds in the lake near Benson’s became flattened and interwoven so thickly that residents could walk on it without falling through into the water.

A crop circle in the lake.

Photos UFOs in Dundee, Wisconsin
Photos of UFO activity around Dundee Mountain and Long Lake

Last weekend Cult contributor J. Nathan Couch and I set out to uncover the secrets of Dundee’s UFO activity at the 30th annual UFO Daze. We didn’t succeed, exactly, but we did see a few aliens (inflatable ones tied to boats) and some pretty amazing tinfoil hats.

Read about it here: Searching for aliens at the 30th annual UFO Daze

Ghana fantasy coffin

Stream this Documentary About Ghana’s Most Celebrated Fantasy Coffin Maker

Paa Joe is working to revive his once thriving business of producing fantasy coffins to Ghana’s deceased, as well as collectors worldwide.

Paa Joe creates the kind of art that is intended to be six feet under with a dead body inside. But this coffin artist makes more than just a pine box, and his work can be found in private collections and museums around the world.

The 2016 documentary Paa Joe and The Lion following Paa Joe and his son Jacob’s work to revive the once thriving business is now available to stream on Amazon Video in the US.

From the film’s website:

Paa Joe dreams of his bygone days — bringing money home in briefcases and work being shipped to galleries the world over. Now, he sleeps as the cars hurtle passed. There are no customers, no tourists — there are no coffins to make. His son, Jacob, dreams too, he dreams of returning his father to his glory days and rebuilding the family legacy together. Over the next four years they stand side-by-side, conquering love and death and embracing a life changing opportunity to travel to the UK to undertake an artist residency. It is the start of their future together — master and son… Paa Joe & The Lion

Death is celebrated in Ghana, where Paa Joe once made a living on this unique tradition of sending the deceased off in extravagant coffins that represented their lives.

“It reminds people that life continues after death,” Jacob told The Guardian in 2016, “that when someone dies they will go on in the afterlife, so it is important that they go in style.”


Watch Paa Joe and The Lion now on Amazon Video.

Featured oddities

Friday Featured Oddities #4: Lake Monster, Haunted House Spray, and Skeletal John Wayne Gacy

Today’s gathering of weird art and morbid oddities for sale.
John Wayne Gacy by History Bones
John Wayne Gacy by History Bones

Happy Friday the 13th! Today’s featured oddities come from a couple of my favorite artists, Cait May and Lee Harper. I also recently discovered the macabre scents of Seance Perfumes. Well, I haven’t actually smelled them yet, but I like the look and sound of it.

As long as they live up to the musty old corpse smell I imagine, they’ll be perfect.

Lake Monster print

Lake Monster by Cait May
I had the honor of meeting the incredibly talented Cait May at the 2016 Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, and desperately wanted a print of her lake monster. Sadly, I had already spent my money on a sasquatch footprint cast and diecast Dragula signed by Eddie Munster. Someday I will have one of these on my wall. Prints are available in Cait’s shop right here.

Haunted House Spray

Seance Perfumes Haunted House spray
This Haunted House room and body spray from Seance Perfumes is sure to awaken some lingering spirits with its “sweet smell of fine cognac and butterscotch candies.” Grab a bottle right here.

Skeletal John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy diorama by History Bones
Artist Lee Harper uses tiny skeletons to recreate history’s darkest moments in intricate detail. This piece features Chicago serial killer John Wayne Gacy applying the greasepaint he used to become Pogo the clown. Get this deranged, one-of-a-kind original piece right here.

Since it is Friday the 13th, I’ve decided to include one more…

Camp Crystal Lake Candle

Camp Crystal Lake candle by Sick Wix
Hey campers, this Camp Crystal Lake triple wick candle is handmade by the deliciously creepy Sick Wix, and comes in red (Campfire Carnagefragrance) or green (Tortured Woods fragrance) to enhance your macabre summer camp experience. Get this candle right here.