Friday, April 29, 2005

I talked with Charlie Carlson about Weird Florida

Here's some of the stuff I talked about with Charlie...

* The Florida Skunk Ape: The giant hairy Sasquatch-like creature roaming the backwoods of the Sunshine State. If Florida were ever to declare an official paranormal mascot, it would be the infamous skunk ape. Each year a skunk ape festival is held in Ochopee, Florida. The most popular legend in the state... or perhaps it's not a legend??

* The Interstate-4 Dead Zone: A quarter-mile section of the interstate in Seminole County, known for its high number of traffic accidents and alleged paranormal activity.

* Spook Hill: A gravity-defying hill in Lake Wales where cars roll up hill. Tourists love this place.

* Coral Castle: Florida's own Stonehenge in Homestead where Edward Leedskalnin carved, transported and placed huge coral rocks weighing tons to create a lasting memorial to his lost love. He claimed to use the secrets of levitation that ancient Egyptians employed in building the pyramids.

* Solomon's Castle: The big castle in Ona that Howard Solomon created from junk.

* Florida's Lost Volcano: Local lore of a now extinguished volcano in the Wakulla swamp.

* New Smyrna Beach mysterious ruins. A bizarre fort-like structure that may be proof of a Spanish settlement pre-dating St Augustine.

* Gibtown the very unusual home of traveling show people.

* Cassadaga: A small town where all the residents are mediums and psychics.

* The World's Smallest Police Station: It's a phone booth! In Carrebelle, on the North Gulf Coast.

* Xanadu: The abandoned house of the future in Kissimme.

is a folk-historian, author, and explorer of unexplained phenomena. He has appeared in several television documentaries and has played a folklore historian in the Curse of the Blair Witch on the Sci-Fi Channel. He is a tenth generation Floridian who has never been to a Central Florida theme park, but has visited Yeehaw Junction more than thirty times. As an enthusiast of Florida's past, he has served on the boards of several historical organizations and is a past president of the Seminole County Historical Society. He resides on Florida's east coast with his wife, Dot, and a small menagerie of dogs, cats, and pet squirrels.


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