Archive for the ‘Feature stories’ Category

Weird Things Live: Hunting the Night Creeper

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Weird Things Live: Hunting the Night Creeper from Andrew Mayne on Vimeo.

Last Monday night in front of a live internet audience we set out to solve the mystery of the Night Creeper. Ghost? Frogman? Or something else? Although we’re pretty sure we figured it out, we haven’t definitively proved our theory. The mystery continues…

Running time 55 minutes.

Check out our photos of the scene on Flickr.

Join Us For The Quest for Houdini!

Monday, October 19th, 2009

This Halloween Weird Things and the James Randi Educational Foundation will try to make contact with the ghost of Houdini! Details to follow… Magic News, Magic Videos and Podcasts » Blog Archive » This Halloween: Mayne, Brushwood, Randi & Young Will Attempt To Find Houdini… Will You?

Show Us Your Weird!

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Remember that time you went to take a photo and when you looked at it your iMac screen mysteriously shown through your body as if you were an ephemeral spirit because deep down your souls are intertwined? I do.

Got a weird photo? Send it to JustinRobertYoung@Gmail with “Weird photo” in the subject line or upload it to Flickr and tag it #weirdthingscom.

I took this photo outside Disneyland. It’s of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. No retouching took place. This is exactly how the photo appeared!

The Ten Worst Cliches About Vampire Films From Folks Who Just Watched Hundreds

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Few people on Earth have watched as many vampire films over the past few weeks as the hard-working staff of the 2009 Vampire Film Festival. While they prepare to descend onto New Orleans October 23rd for a four day celebration of vampire-centric film, music and celebration they were nice enough to send Weird Things their 10 biggest pet peeves with the vamp genre.

poster_vampire.jpgThe search for a long-dead lover. It always ends in finding some poor girl who is the dead amours dead ringer, literally. That plot device had been overused to the point of being clichéd.

One bite transforms you into a vampire. Sorry, this would mean we’d be up to our eyebrows in the pesky things world-wide in about six months.

Vampires must kill regularly to feed. Anne Rice does this, but consider — three vampires in New Orleans killing at least once a night for sixty years. That is over sixty thousand corpses! In a city with a population of less than a quarter of a million! The Civil War was less devastating to the city!

Killer sun exposure. This device is not in vampire lore or Dracula but from the film Nosferatu. Vampires are depicted as an all-powerful, eternal beings but their Achilles’ heel is the sun. How can you be all-powerful if you can be bumped off by a suntan?

Sloppy eaters. I love cioppino, for example. Love it. But when I eat it, only a few drops might end up on my lips and shirt. Why would vampires be any different? Or if you use the analogy of addiction — do addicts spill cocaine? Not deliberately they don’t! In fact they’ll go to great lengths not to!

Flight. No offense but I’m a bit bored by vampires who can fly a la Superman. Or are associated with bats for some reason. Neither has any basis in folklore (well, some Asian vampires can fly…)

Secret vampire societies. Another overworked device that is a bit lame but takes care of one issue with vampires…how the hell do they make a living?

Vampire males who mope about being vampires. Okay we get it, you don’t like biting people for your next meal but please don’t push undead angst to the limit

Ancient juvenile delinquents. You have centuries to grow, to learn, to experience things. And in all that time all you end up becoming is a bully? Frankly, that is hard to believe. Some might atrophy, might go subtly mad as they coped less and less well with change, or become focused on individual obsessions, but wouldn’t others–given the time and the opportunities huge amounts of time provides–evolve into more interesting persons?

Bug-eating servants. Renfield was innovative in his day. Devouring live insects is no longer edgy, but cliche.

Other pet peeves include:

Weird Vampire Sounds. What’s Up with the hissing sounds the vampires make in films.

Letting it All Hang Out. The stupid face they make when they bare their fangs, is that really necessary?

Over stating the Myth. Garlic, stakes, crosses sunlight-one of these usually doesn’t work on vampires. Which ones varies. Usually it is accompanied by ” X doesn’t work!”

All Vampires Are Evil. How would that work, precisely? Even on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where a person’s soul is replaced by a demon’s when turned undead, vampires ended up with a wide variety of behaviors, including Spike (starting before the chip) and Harmony. I’m less displeased if some kind of justification is given, but usually there isn’t even a hint.

Oversexed vampire tarts. They are always played by played by big-breasted, no-talented actresses and the whole thing is tired…at least to the women in the audience.

If you are in the New Orleans area or just really love the idea of those dapper undead scamps please take the time to check out the Vampire Film Festival website. The fest begins October 23rd and runs for four days. We thank them for helping us out and would like to editorially note that we are quite fond of the oversexed vampire tart concept.

Doll’s Eyes Are The Weirdest Plant In The World

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Thanks to everyone for showing up to our Weirdest Thing In The World livestream including Brian Brushwood and Brett “Amtrekker” Rounsaville. Find out how Doll’s Eyes became our champion.

Part I

Part II

Adventures In Bigfoot Country: Shot Glasses, Civil Rights & Burgers

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Brett “Amtrekker” Rounsaville is an adventurous man who recently completed a journey whereby he had to tackle 50 life goals before returning home. Read more at He is a special reporter for Weird Things.

After nearly two years wandering America as a homeless vagrant I’m no stranger to the weird. Like a supercolony of Argentine ants poised to take over the world it stretches from one coast to another lurking just beneath the surface. Sometimes you have to dig down a few inches but EarlyBird.jpgmake no mistake, weird is everywhere, it’s all part of the same colony and sometimes… it comes up for air.

Willow Creek, CA

Willow Creek is only one small town in the vast area of Northwestern California known by locals and those looking to cash in on poor innocent cryptids as “Bigfoot Country.” Despite the fact that the only memorable thing to come out of Bigfoot Country in the last several millennia is 953 frames of grainy, questionable Cine-Kodak footage there is no shortage of speculation about Bigfoot in the area.

I would even venture to say a trip into Bigfoot Country is more likely to end in a sad death at the hands of a Bigfoot memorabilia avalanche than in an actual Bigfoot sighting, yet speculation runs wild and no one is afraid to show you their own representation of Mr. Henderson’s dear friend. So what is it that makes Willow Creek so interesting? Is it the Bigfoot Motel, Bigfoot Bookstore, Bigfoot Rafting Co., Bigfoot Contractor Supply, Bigfoot Dollar Store or (no joke) Bigfoot Podiatry?

Well, yeah, actually, it kinda is…


BUT, in an effort to stay on topic, I want to talk about the Early Bird restaurant. In a world where everyone is out to make a buck off of cryptozoology’s finest creation only the Early Bird is willing to step up and tell it like it is. Sure, they sell a two-patty, foot shaped hamburger…but look at these wall paintings!P8120095-1.jpg

Do you see anyone else willing to admit that it was the Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) who INVENTED fire roasted bagels and goose-stepping. (Which, by the way, has some very interesting “missing link” implications for Germany.) And check out that coffee percolator. You think Harry over there just walked into Wal-Mart and picked that bad boy up? Don’t be ridiculous. These are obviously VERY advanced creatures we’re talking about here.

Once my eyes were opened wide by the hallowed halls of the Early Bird I began to see all of the other establishments for what they truly were! Bastions of hate who would stop at nothing to keep the Bigfeet down; spurning what they don’t understand and spreading their message of species-ial inferiority! All the while, the Early Bird stands tall, convention be damned, ever fighting to bring Bigfooted civil liberties to the forefront of society. Starting a conversation, starting a movement!


Those are some effing weird murals in an already effing weird town.

I bought a milkshake and headed toward Oregon.

I’m done.

Click AFTER THE JUMP for a look at some of the Willow Creek’s finest Bigfoot collectables from shot glasses to children’s puzzles…


Doctored Pictures, UFOs & Sore Jaws: Top 5 Moon Landing Hoax Videos

Monday, July 20th, 2009

The Apollo 11 moon landing happened 40 years ago toady, or as 6% of the country believe according to a new survey, one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated hoodwinked the world at large.

Here are five videos that help document the intervening four decades dotted with controversy, analysis, British people and Buzz Aldrin’s devastating right cross.


Creepy Robot YouTube Megamix!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Robots will one day, systematically, dismantle humanity. Our cries for mercy falling on the literal tin ears of our vengeful creations. But until that time, they’ll settle for creeping us the hell out.

Join us and we take a walk through a rogue’s gallery of the creepiest robots on The Internet via this handy YouTube playlist. To toggle through the videos, please utilize the arrows on either side of the picture.

CLICK AFTER THE JUMP for the full tour. (more…)

So, You Want To Hunt Bigfoot? A Few Tips

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Bart Cutino works with the Bigfoot Field Researcher Organization as well as the Alliance of Independent Bigfoot Researchers. He made headlines with his claim that he came face to face with the creature during one hunt.

He offers you, the amateur hunter, a few hints on how to make your Bigfoot observation expeditions more fruitful.

skitched-20090708-152907.jpgKnow The Land Bart suggests learning the topography of the area you want to stake out in the light, before darkness falls. This not is not only a safety precaution but also allows you to mark the most likely traffic areas so you can focus your attention better.

Don’t Chase Sightings Find the spots where a predator of Bigfoot’s size would feed instead of place where it may have been spotted.

Tummy Rumbling It’s probably a good idea to eat a big meal before you leave so hunger doesn’t distract you. Just in case, Bart likes to bring along protein bars from Trader Joe’s and Muscle Milk.

Call Of The Wild No matter what anyone tells you, Bart reinforces, there is no recorded sound file of a Bigfoot call. However, there are clips of unidentified animals that many researches use to provoke a response. Among them, the 1994 “Ohio Howl,” and the “Tahoe Scream.” Even regular deer and doe grunts have gotten responses for Bart.

The Scent Of Fear Masking your scent is crucial. Elevating yourself helps, so do sprays or if you want to give yourself a natural musk simply forgo showering for a few days before heading out.

Don’t Stop The Party Bigfoot are curious creatures, so part of your expetition wants to set up camp and light a fire, let them. Seperate yourself from the group and “be in the range of where the most likely curious entry would be.”

Find The Highway Most apex predators hunt on the ridge lines and walk the same paths over and over again. If you can find these trails, you are getting closer.

Saturn’s Persistent Hexagon

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Saturn's North Pole

Saturn’s North Pole (Cassini-Huygens, 2007 and 2008)

In November 1980, planetary scientists eagerly examined transmissions received from the Voyager 1 spacecraft as it sped past Saturn. And with good reason! Amid those transmissions was the first image of Saturn’s North Pole – a region that’s virtually impossible to see from Earth, and, depending on the degree by which Saturn is tilted, can be cloaked in darkness for up to 15 years at a time (and you thought your last winter was never going to end).

What those scientists saw, and later missions confirmed, was a decidedly bizarre feature in the gas giant’s atmosphere directly above the North Pole: a 15,000-mile-wide hexagon.


Is this the ultimate weapon for the inevitable Terminator: Salvation robot apocalypse?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Preparing for the inevitable Terminator: Salvation robot apocalypse a five part series

We here at Weird Things aren’t just committed to telling you about all the weird things going on in your world, we’re here to do something about it! As every day brings us closer to the robot apocalypse envisioned in the Terminator saga, we’ve been preparing ourselves for a fighting chance. Our editors (actually just this one; the others looked at me funny when I suggested this) decided to design the ultimate weapon to use in the front lines of the man versus machine war.



Making Star Trek Possible: Warp speed without the warp drive

Friday, May 8th, 2009

A five-part series that tries to explain how to make the science of Star Trek real…


Probably the most fascinating idea that Star Trek popularized was the idea of a warp drive. This was a concept from golden age sci-fi that went mainstream via Trek as space-age audiences became sophisticated enough to realize that NASA’s fastest rockets wouldn’t take you very far in a human lifetime. Even going the speed of light wouldn’t work for a show that tried to visit more than one star system in it’s 3 season run (due to time dilation your characters could visit those places, but their friends back on earth would be long dead). What was needed was a (plot) device that allowed you to visit distant planets in the time it takes to drive to the next state.

Since Star Trek, warp drive has become a part of public consciousness. It’s a theoretical form of technology that some feel is as inevitable as AI and teleportation.

There’s one big catch; while AI (or something that acts like it) seems to be a problem solved at some point on a graph projecting the development of intelligent systems and teleportation seems to be more of an energy problem, there’s not a viable theory for how a warp drive could work (exotic matter, worm holes, Alcubierre drives etc.) that doesn’t violate the laws of physics (as we know them) or result in some equation balancing phenomenon like a “quantum scream” (an obscure term used in an equally obscure paper on the subject).

Making Star Trek Possible: The Humanoid Problem

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

A five-part series that tries to explain how to make the science of Star Trek real…

Separated at birth?

In an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation called the “The Chase” a long running problem in Star Trek was finally solved – Why do all the aliens in Star Trek look humanoid. The answer was not “budget”. It was that a race that lived 4.5 billion years ago seeded the galaxy with its DNA. Humans, Vulcans, klingons etc., all got their imprint from them. We kind of look like each other because we all look like some alien race from 4.5 billion years ago. Problem solved. But is Intelligent Design really a satisfying answer?

If we find aliens that look like us, what other explanations could account for them?

Having to deal with a slightly more sophisticated audience that grew up watching Star Trek, the producers of Stargate and the producers of the television series had to come up with a simple explanation for there being humans all over the galaxy in present day time. Their solution was a popular one in sci-fi literature: We were kidnapped. Over the last 100,000 years humans have been relocated to the distant corners of our universe. Once there, they go about their business. Building monuments to their gods (Star Trek and Stargate) or becoming thriving interstellar civilizations more advanced than us on earth (Iain Banks’s The Culture).

Ian Banks Matter


Making Star Trek Possible: Practical Time Travel

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

A five-part series that tries to explain how to make the science of Star Trek real…

Time Travel stories generally suck. There are some noteworthy exceptions – specifically stories that deal with the problems of time travel and not just time travel as a plot device (Primer, Back to the Future, to name a few).


Star Trek has done some great and some very bad time travel stories. Story merits aside, there’s one big problem with most time travel stories; Transmitting people back in time (information) has no theoretical basis: It’s impossible. For every worm hole propped open with exotic matter or giant Tippler tube, someone always finds an equation to show how the universe corrects itself with quantum screams, bubbles or other annoyances that get in the way of us correcting that horrible thing that happened in 6th grade or saving the whales.

Assuming for a moment that the killjoys at MIT and Princeton who relish in pointing out that time travel as we understand it is impossible, then what? How can we tell scientifically literate time travel stories? (more…)

Making Star Trek Possible: Mind melding and ESP

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

A five-part series that tries to explain how to make the science of Star Trek real…

Spock's early failures at mind melding

An important part of the Star Trek mythos is the idea of mind-to-mind contact. Spock uses this to probe other people’s minds and even transplant his entire consciousness. Counselor Troi used it to read the feelings of other species. It’s a wonderful concept that has fascinated people since at least the 1800’s. Unfortunately, we’re no closer to it being real now then we were back then.

We can imagine all sorts of technology assisted ways to make this real, but there’s nothing sexy about your Vulcan girlfriend asking you to step into an fMRI so she can read your voxels (okay, maybe a little sexy). What we need are some organic solutions or explanations for brain to brain transmission that make the concept a little more plausible. (more…)

Making Star Trek Possible: 5 methods for non-quantum teleportation

Monday, May 4th, 2009

A five-part series that tries to explain how to make the science of Star Trek real…

Spock teleporting

The transporters in Star Trek are an exciting concept. Recent developments in quantum physics have made the possibility of teleporting matter a theoretical possibility while warp drive still remains a fantasy concept. However, the amount of energy required to move a person and all the other problems that go with it (engineering and ethical) leave quantum teleportation a bit to be desired for practical use. Crazy things can happen, but in the event that quantum teleportation doesn’t scale up or people are upset by the idea of their atoms being destroyed so copies can take their place, here are some slightly (we think) more practical solutions for teleportation that use way less energy and preserve your atoms: