Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Flatwoods Monster Postcard

This may look like an ordinary postcard of the original Flatwoods Monster drawing, but it is actually one of my most prized pieces in my paranormal collection.  While it's true that this is a normal postcard that can be purchased at the Flatwoods Monster Museum, if you look closely, you'll see that it is hand-signed by Freddie May!  Freddie May was one of the young boys, who along with his mother, brother, and some other fellas, were the original witnesses to the creature back in 1952!

Awhile back, I received a message from Andrew Smith, who runs the Flatwoods Monster Museum, asking me for my address.  And, a few weeks ago, I received this wonderful gift in the mail with a very nice letter.  I had been chosen to receive one of these autographed postcards for my work in promoting the museum and sharing the legend of the Flatwoods Monster.  I gotta say....I was quite humbled to be given such an honor!  If you follow this blog, or follow me over on Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page, you know that I love the Flatwoods Monster and I am so thrilled to have seen this huge surge in interest in this unique case in recent years.  To anyone with an interest in the paranormal, ufology, or just the weird side of history, the Flatwoods Monster case is just such a cool case to study, and it's awesome to see the museum acting as a localized center for collecting and sharing information. Mr. Smith has done an excellent job in curating a collection of artifacts, connecting with witnesses and researchers, organizing community events, and so much more.  If you're anywhere near the Braxton County area, I highly suggest popping in and checking it out! 

I'd also like to extend a huge thank you to Andrew Smith for sending me this treasured piece! It truly is an honor to have received it.  I'd also like to thank Freddie May for signing these postcards and choosing to talk about his experiences. And, I'd like to thank everyone else out there who is writing about, making videos or podcasts or art about, or is in any other way sharing the legend of the Flatwoods Monster and keeping it alive. West Virginia is lucky to have such a fascinating case in its strange history, and we're even luckier that there are so many people out there dedicated to sharing the story.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Krampus 2019

This past Saturday was a super busy day!  Luke was finishing up his first sleepover birthday party, then had to go to jiu-jitsu, and then had another birthday pool party later that afternoon!  Despite all that, we managed to make time for our annual family tradition: Pictures With Krampus!

This is our third year having our picture taken with Krampus at Mike Winland Studios in Charleston and every year we have a blast.  Mike is a wonderful photographer and his Krampus is the best I've seen!  Our pictures are always a great mix of creepy and hilarious and it really has become a fun, family holiday tradition to take Luke to see Krampus, who seems to remember him and is delighted to see him each year. I personally look forward to it even more than taking him to see Santa, lol.  This year, Luke showed some real bravery and even HUGGED Krampus before we left, which he talked about for days afterwards.  I'm proud of my boy, and I'm so happy that Mike and his staff have brought the opportunity to share a little spooky holiday culture with us, here in the tri-state!

Unfortunately, Krampusnacht 2019 is over...but if you missed pictures with Krampus at Mike's studio this past Saturday, you've still got a few other opportunities to meet Krampus!  Mike and Krampus will be at the Glade Springs Resort for the Fright Before Christmas haunted attraction on Friday the 13th!  Get tickets HERE.

There will also be pictures with a different Krampus available this Friday in Winfield, WV at Fear on the Farm's I'm Screaming of a Fright Christmas haunted attraction!

And lastly, Krampus will be making an appearance at the Sissonville branch public library on Thursday, December 19th from 6-8pm for photos! Check out their Facebook Event Page for more information. 

Krampus also made an appearance last Friday at Oddbird Gift Emporium in Charleston, but I had to miss it this year.  However, that was our very first Krampus experience back in 2016 and it was awesome.  Krampus and St. Nicholas arrived together and assured Luke that he had been a good boy that year, lol.  I'm really happy to see that so many locations throughout the Kanawha Valley are really embracing a little bit of history and culture, especially since I've got quite a bit of German ancestry myself. It's a nice change of pace from the usual Christmas activities and just a really fun tradition, at least in our family!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Making Spirits Bright: Paranormal Education Winter 2020

"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!" I'm going to be completely honest: as a child, this cartoon is pretty close to what I imagined that line, 'making spirits bright' actually meant! I know better now, but I still like the visual of ghosts going to school. I plan on keeping MY spirits 'bright' this winter by going back to school myself and taking a few paranormal courses.

Once again, the Parapsychology Foundation will be offering their completely FREE online parapsychology MOOC.  Registration begins January 13th, with the first two lectures going live January 18th and 19th.  You can sign up and learn more about the course and scheduled speakers HERE. I've taken this course for the past few years and its always really interesting.  There are some wonderful speakers lined up, covering some fascinating topics pertaining to the field of parapsychology.

I'm also hoping to take the new paranormal investigation course offered by WVGhosts.  This course is open to Patreon subscribers, so make sure you check out the link for more information on how you can sign up! Additional courses will be offered in the future.   And as always, I'll be reading anything and everything I can get my hands on pertaining to the paranormal, watching documentaries and lectures online, listening to podcasts, and attending as many conferences, conventions, expos, and other events as time and budget allows!  I'm a huge supporter of lifelong learning, and with a field as dynamic and as diverse as the paranormal field, there is always something new to learn or something to delve into a little deeper.

In addition to doing a lil' learning myself, I'm hoping to share the paranormal knowledge with all of you!  There will be some more educational-type articles and information posted on this blog and I plan on having a few days a month on social media dedicated to scientific-based articles, lectures, and other more academic based content.  If that's not necessarily your thing....don't worry.  There will still be PLENTY of haunted places, folklore, ghost stories, weird history, and all sorts of fun stuff posted on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

So, are you planning on taking any courses this year to enhance your knowledge of the paranormal field?  Are you attending (or speaking at) any awesome events?  Got any cool paranormal non-fiction books you'll be reading or shows you'll be watching?  Is there a special ghost, cryptid, or UFO related topic that you're hoping to learn more about in 2020?  Let me know in the comments below, or join me over on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook Page!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A Monstrous Christmas: My Favorite WV Cryptid Etsy Stores

I'm sure a lot of people have most, if not ALL, of their holiday shopping already done.  But, if you're like me and haven't even STARTED yet, there's still plenty of time!  To help you out, I thought I'd share some of my favorite Etsy shops selling cryptid merchandise, many featuring West Virginia monsters and ghosts, made by West Virginia artists!  This is just a tiny list of the great selection of artists showcasing weird and wonderful handcrafted merchandise, so if you are a shop owner, or have a suggestion for this list, please feel free to comment below or head on over to Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook page and share your favorite shop with us!  Let's get started---maybe you'll even find some ideas for what to ask Santa for yourself this year!

1. Liz Pavlovic Design (Keep On Creepin' On):  If you've been to any of West Virginia's local festivals dedicated to the creepy and bizarre, you may have met Liz and seen her awesome stickers, pins, t-shirts and other goodies featuring iconic West Virginia figures, such as Mothman and the Flatwoods Monster.  She has a wonderful array of both spooky and non-spooky designs, which are all hilariously adorable and very affordably priced.  I own a couple of pins myself and every time I wear them out in public, I get a ton of compliments!  Pick up your seasonal greeting cards to send to your friends and family this holiday, include a fun Krampus sticker with them, and strut around in your Keep On Creepin' On tee at your next holiday party!  These items make great stocking stuffers and unique gifts for everyone on your list.

Holiday Cryptids Greeting Card, $4

2. Wild and Weird West Virginia:  I've been following Ron and Joe on Facebook for awhile and I love seeing their original jewelry, sculptures, and other artworks!  Like Liz, you may have seen the guys of Wild and Weird at various events throughout the year, and you can find their merchandise at both the Mothman Museum and at the Point Pleasant Trading Co. New for the holiday season is a handmade resin Mothman ornament and handmade resin Mothman figure! I'm personally asking Santa for one of the Bigfoot print-cast keychains!  Wild and Weird West Virginia has a nice range of products and some beautifully unique jewelry pieces at a wide range of price points, making it another shop where you can find something awesome for just about everyone on your list...including yourself of course!

Mothman Ornament, $9.99

3. Burrito Princess (Pixels & Stitches): If you (or someone on your gift list) love pixel art, Burrito Princess has you covered.  This shop has headbands, magnets, picture frames, and just about anything you could think of that can be made in this medium available in a huge variety of themes, including of course...West Virginia's favorite monsters!  My absolute personal favorite item in this shop has to be the Mothman Christmas tree topper!  I have never seen such a unique piece before.  It's a little on the pricier side at $40, but where else are you going to find a hand-crafted MOTHMAN CHRISTMAS TREE TOPPER?!? This would go great with the Mothman ornament from Wild and Weird West Virginia!  You could probably do a whole Mothman themed tree.  Hmm...I think I just got an idea for next year, lol.

Mothman Tree Topper, $40

4. EgertronPuckArt (Fantastical Illustrations and Handmade Gifts):  Artist Kristen Puckett offters tons of prints featuring creatures from folklore, legend, and West Virginia/KY history, including some pretty obscure (well, obscure when going up against guys like Mothman and Braxxie) critters such as the Fireco Varmint. These prints, which are reasonably priced for the awesome pieces of art they are, would look fabulous gracing the walls of any researcher's office or den!  There are also t-shirts, coloring books, mugs, stickers, pillows, and just all sorts of things. The shop's unique 'anatomy prints' offer quite a different and fascinating look at some well-known and well-loved creatures.  Trust me: anyone receiving one under the Christmas tree this year will have never received anything like it before!  It was hard for me to pick one favorite item from this shop, but I have to say that I love the West Virginia Cryptozoology Map!

WV Cryptids Map, $17.50

Happy Holidays from Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State!  If you're looking for more gift-giving ideas, please check out my past blogs:

*Gifts for Your Favorite Squatcher
*Holiday Gift Guide: Fallout 76 Edition