Cult of Weird will be bringing the historical weirdness to the Windigo Fest dark art exhibit in Manitowoc this year.
Windigo Fest, Wisconsin’s largest Halloween festival, is happening this October, and I have the honor of showing a selection of photos at the dark art exhibit. Curated by artist Matt Lombard, The Heart of Darkness will feature bizarre and disturbing works by local and international artists. The 3-day festival in the heart of downtown Manitowoc (a town you may recognize as the epicenter of the Steven Avery case from Netflix’s Making A Murderer) is billed as a “festival of folklore, freaks, and all things Halloween.” So I decided to bring some Cult of Weird-brand folklore and dark history.
I’ll be showing three photos from different locations with unusual stories Cult readers will be familiar with because I’ve been visiting, researching, and writing about these fascinating stories for years. But for many who call Wisconsin home, these histories are completely unknown but for fragments passed around in local legends.
See the photos and read the stories at Windigo Fest – October 4-6th, 2019. There’s more than just grotesque art, too. Stick around for macabre fun with sideshow performances, live music, Halloween parade, the actor who played Gage in the original Pet Cemetery, the killer car from Christine, hearses, vendors, and more.
The Heart of Darkness dark art exhibition
The week before Windigo Fest I’ll be in California standing up in my best friend’s wedding, which will be equally bizarre. Elusive, hairy, and strange, we’ve long suspected him to be an actual yeti. I guess we’ll know for sure when the wedding photos turn out blurry.
It’s been 20 years since my last visit to Los Angeles, so I’ve got my list of cemeteries, murder houses, and other morbid destinations at hand if there’s time. I’m sure he’ll understand when I’m late for the ceremony because I had to make a stop at the Museum of Death.
A selection of the strangest and most fascinating headlines in science, history, archaeology, travel, and more from last month:
- John Dillinger’s body to be exhumed
- Face of tortured 18th century vampire witch revealed
- Double hand transplant
- Who betrayed Anne Frank?
- $20 million Nazi Porsche may not be a Porsche
- Why the brain-eating amoeba is so deadly
- Bridge building requires human sacrifice
- Device can hear the voice inside your head
- New England vampire was likely a farmer named John
- Man goes in for botox, leaves with circumcision
- Crashed lunar lander spilled tardigrades on the Moon
- Giant prehistoric cannibal parrot
- Snow White gravestone on display
- Species of self-cloning lizard discovered at Vietnamese restaurant
- Poppy seed bread contained dangerous levels of morphine
- Ed & Lorraine Warren’s research continues
- Man discover’s his penis is turning to bone
- London’s first DIY coffin club
- Bear escapes through wall like Kool-Aid man
- Drunk man gets injured bird an Uber
- Swingers mansion hits the market
- Inside the search for Amelia Earhart’s plane
- TV head leaving televisions on porches
- 512-year-old shark found
- Trove of sorcerer’s charm found in Pompeii
- Human-sized penguin fossil discovered
- Prison where doctor performed 10,000 human experiments
- New organ discovered under our skin
- Plague-infected prairie dogs in Denver
- Teen is turning to stone
- World’s largest water slide was a terrible idea
- Air raid siren so powerful it could induce rain
- Titanic wreck is in bad shape
- Coroner confirms Dairy Queen burgers are not made of human flesh
- Doctors find brown recluse spider in woman’s ear
- Florida man performing home castrations
- Skull of oldest-known human ancestor discovered
- World’s first car crash victim
- MIT researchers create brain-burrowing robotic worm
- Chernobyl on the Seine: France still cleaning up Marie Curie’s nuclear waste
- Surgeons save man’s hand by attaching it to his groin
- TSA bans Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge soda bottles
- Radar finds lost cemetery beneath Tampa apartment complex
- World’s largest Ouija board will be unveiled in Salem
- First look inside the wreck of the HMS Terror
HEADLINE OF THE MONTH: Don’t Lick Sexy Pavement Lichen
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The crypt of Wisconsin's little-known incorrupt priest Father Ambrose Oschwald, who was removed from his position in a church in Germany's Black Forest for "mystical and heretical works." He and some of his congregation, which have been referred to as a "Catholic mystic cult," left the country for America in search of religious freedom and arrived in Wisconsin in 1854. There, Oschwald and his followers claimed a white heifer lead them to the sacred ground where they would make their new home – a small rural community known today as St. Nazianz. The night of Oschwald's death in 1873, people throughout the town reported ghostly knocking on the walls of their homes. Since his death, Oschwald's body has been viewed three times, once more than 50 years since he passed. Each time it was noted that, like the incorrupt saints of Europe, his remains bore little sign of decomposition and had no smell. Today, some believe certain hardships the community has endured in the years since Oschwald's passing are the result of a curse Oschwald placed on the town while on his death bed. A now abandoned Catholic school and Salvatorian seminary on the grounds near Oschwald's crypt is believed to be haunted by past students and teachers alike who have had strange experiences in the building. This was my first visit here since 2012 and my @cultofweird article about the town's peculiar history. Finding Oschwald's crypt open was like Christmas morning. #cultofweird #oddities #paranormal #occult #wisconsin #weirdwisconsin #stnazianz #jfkprep #haunted #hauntedplaces #cemetery #cemeterylovers #crypt #wisconsinhistory #onlyinwisconsin #travelwisconsin #explore #exploremore #cemeterylife #wisconsinlore
Share your oddities and weird adventures by tagging your photos #cultofweird
When the inaugural Windigo Fest was announced in 2017, an alarmed Manitowoc-based Christian group petitioned the city council to ban the event, saying it would welcome Satan into the community. To support their claims, they noted the dates the festival would be happening that year – October 6th and 7th – added up to the number thirteen. If that wasn’t enough, the Halloween parade was sure to summon the devil by going backwards down 8th street.
If Satan was going to be there, I knew I had to get involved in Windigo Fest somehow.
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