Mysterious explorations through my camera roll

January 2019 Newsletter: Mysterious Explorations from my Camera Roll Vol. 1

A look back at some of the strange adventures of 2018 that never made it to Cult of Weird.

I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve. We just got the first real snowstorm of the winter here in Wisconsin. After dragging my kids outside to watch them shovel while I pelt them with snowballs, I’ve retired to my hive for some wine-fueled contemplation. I’m wearing a pointy black and gold HAPPY 2019 hat from Walmart and drinking a cheap bottle of Apothic because I like the label design. But the wine is almost gone and I just missed the ball drop on TV, so the situation is bleak.

As we enter 2019 (and Cult of Weird’s ninth year in operation) my resolution is to publish a new monthly series of “newsletters” here on the site. Because new years are all about new failures, and this idea will surely end up as roadkill in the ditches of the information superhighway by February or March. But until then, it should be fun.

I’d like to say there are BIG things in the works, but I’m not that optimistic. Rather, I just hope to maintain the same level of mediocrity in the new year that you’ve come to expect.

More 2019 goals:

  • Go vegan
  • Fail miserably at going vegan
  • Find the human remains that I’ve misplaced in my house

2019 here we come!

Also of note: My daughter turns 16 this month – on Peculiar People Day, incidentally. She was just 7 when I started Cult of Weird. What have I been doing with my life?

Here’s a look at some of my 2018 adventures as seen through the raw, unedited lens of my camera roll, presented here with minimal context:

Ar Rest coffin screw
Added this coffin screw to the collection

Bigfoot statue at M. Schettl Sales in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Found Bigfoot

Butch Patrick at Windigo Fest in Manitowoc, Wisconsin
Hanging with Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) at the Windigo Fest halloween celebration

Calvary Cemetery crypt in Milwaukee
Just one lone priest was entombed in this crypt under the chapel, and no one knows why.

Cook electrically 1957 cook book
From an electric company-sponsored 1957 Christmas cookie cookbook

Curious junk at M. Schettl Sales in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Curious junk

Ed Gein grave
At the unmarked grave of Ed Gein

Grave of a Vietnam veteran
Grave of a Vietnam veteran

Holy hand grenade at Holy Hill basilica
Holy hand grenade

Holy Hill basilica
This is as close as I get to the inside of a church

Holy Hill cemetery
A cemetery of clergy in the woods of Holy Hill Basilica

The grave of Joseph McCarthy
Beatniks performed an exorcism here in 1968

Searching for UFOs at Long Lake
Strange lights were filmed over this lake the night before this photo was taken


Newhall House Fire memorial
Memorial to the 76 lives lost in the 1883 Newhall House fire in Milwaukee. Sideshow performers General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren were rescued from a sixth floor window. Thumb died 6 months later.

Old Barton Cemetery
Old Barton Cemetery

Pet Cemetery
Pet Cemetery

Remains of a house on the shore of Lake Michigan
Remains of a house on the shore of Lake Michigan

Science fiction author Raymond Z. Gallun
Science fiction author Raymond Z. Gallun was born here in 1911

Ancient spring in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
In the late 19th century Dr. George E. Swan claimed this spring had been used by Native Americans for medicinal properties, luring visitors from around the country to his resort that once stood here.

Steel woolly mammoth sculpture
Life size woolly mammoth made from 3.5 tons of steel rebar

Tallmadge family graves in Rienzi Cemetery
The Tallmadge family, prominent spiritualists in the mid-1800s, buried on the land where they used to commune with spirits

Basement of the Historic Downtown West Bend theater
Basement of an historic (and reportedly haunted) theater

Vaudeville theater dressing room
A dressing room left over from the theater’s vaudeville days

Searching for UFOs at Benson's Hide-a-Way
Hunting down UFO stories at the self-proclaimed “UFO Capital of the World

Inter-space communicator at UFO Daze
An inter-space communicator on display at the annual UFO Daze gathering

Tinfoil hats at UFO Daze
Tinfoil hat enthusiasts at the 30th annual UFO Daze

UFO photos
Bill Benson’s collection of UFO photos taken in the area

Winnebago asylum cemetery on Oshkosh
Hundreds of unmarked graves in an old asylum burial ground

Witch Road
Witch Road, a local legend

Ziriya talking board
Acquired this 1970s Ziriya talking board

January Observances

January 6 – Holy night of Berchta, pagan Alpine goddess of winter and witchcraft
January 10 – Peculiar People Day
January 19 – Edgar Allan Poe was born 210 years ago in 1809
January 28William Burke was executed 190 years ago in 1829

Send questions, photos of your favorite oddities, or share share your strange or unexplained experiences to be included in the next newsletter. Use the contact form or email

Cult of Weird

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