The Oddities and Curiosities Expo

Sup, y’all! I have some interesting (I think) things to show you on this fine day.

If you know me well, you probably know that I have a small collection of dead things, mostly bones and fossils. I won’t run through all the fossils, but I will mention the bones: deer skull, bear skull, racoon skull, small jar of mouse skulls/bones, red-tailed hawk skull (which I have not yet cleaned), and a mummified flying squirrel that I’m terrified to try and process.

So when I saw that the Oddities and Curiosities expo was coming, I was in. For the record, I also like weird stuff. I didn’t just go to the expo for the bones.

I took some pictures. Want to see them? Of course, you do. Otherwise, you would’ve stopped reading by now.

So this was the first thing the children and I saw when we walked in.

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Aw, yeah, baby. That’s my scene. #gothgirl4ever As you can see, this fantastic display was for a brewing company.

This next masterpiece was the 2nd thing we saw.

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CAN you feel the magnificence of this, fam-squad? We have a very cool steampunk-style blimp. Let’s get a closer look at the…uh…bottom part? I don’t know what that’s called, but let’s look at it.

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O.M.G. Those are tiny skeletons. Most of them looked like rodents, but if I remember correctly there was at least one that looked like a small bird as well. I wish I had gotten a better picture, but it was a very hectic environment. The place was mad crowded.

Here are a few random shots.

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Good times.

We caught a few seconds of a magic show, but it was very crowded.

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We saw many, many dead things, horror-themed art, dolls, jewelry, fake eyeballs on forks. This Stranger Things Ouija Board!!!!!

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If I were a less responsible human, I would’ve come home with this beauty

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or possibly the one caribou skull I saw.

The only thing that really bugged me was the incredible number of dead things. Finding a single skull in an antique store is one thing, but these legions of creatures couldn’t have all been ethically-sourced. I thought about that a lot as I walked around. The number of bats really got to me. So. Many Bats.

I did end up buying a couple of things. I got this sweet mounted cicada.

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I’m not overly fond of the frame. I might switch that out or paint it or something eventually. The children also bought insects. The boy got a wet grasshopper specimen, and the girl bought a magnificent bell jar display with moths and a skull.

I also scored a cool palmistry poster, which I have not yet framed.

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Below is a link to the website for the expo. I will warn you that if you decide to watch the video, you will see a lady hanging by hooks through her leg skin. Me no likey.

https://odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com/

 

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Skeleton Coast

I don’t remember where I first read about the Skeleton Coast. It was several years ago; I can tell you that. And it actually ended up in my list of random tidbits in my book ideas binder. This was the picture that really stuck in my mind.

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How fantastically eerie is that? It’s a picture of a building in a diamond mining ghost town called Kolsmanskop. Here’s another shot with a bit more detail.

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I think the village is technically south of the official “Skeleton Coast” area, but it shares the coastline and certainly has the same otherworldly vibe.

As for the official Skeleton Coast, Wikipedia has this fantastic intro: “The Skeleton Coast is the northern part of the Atlantic coast of Namibia and south of Angola from the Kunene River south to the Swakop River, although the name is sometimes used to describe the entire Namib Desert coast. The Bushmen of the Namibian interior called the region ‘The Land God Made in Anger’, while Portuguese sailors once referred to it as ‘The Gates of Hell’.”

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O.M.G…The Gates of Hell?

It’s a scenic and sandy landscape at the edge of the ocean and is littered with abandoned buildings, shipwrecks, and bones. What kind of bones? Oh, not much: seals, turtles, whales, human.

Here are a few more pics for your viewing enjoyment.

 

So, how does all that stuff and up there? The short/easy explanation is that the Benguela current in the Atlantic ocean pushes stuff like shipwrecks and dead things onto the beach.

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You’d like to visit, you say? Me, too! However, that might be easier said than done if nothing has changed since this 2013 CNN travel article. Here are a couple of quotes.

“The territory extends from just north of the city of Swakopmund to the Angolan border in northwest Namibia, taking in 500 kilometers of shoreline and 2 million hectares of dunes and gravel plains. It forms a national park, divided by rivers.

Independent travelers can apply for permits for day trips but only to the south — and it’s the northern extremes, the Skeleton Coast Wilderness, that most people want to see. Visitors to the latter part of the park are restricted to around 800 a year to preserve the fragile environment.”

“The only way to reach the north is to join a fly-in safari — an exclusive, if expensive, experience. A typical four-day trip costs around $6,000 per person.”

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/namibia-skeleton-coast/index.html

So, a visit might be slightly out of reach. Luckily, there are plenty of pics online.

Sources and further reading

This link has a great slideshow: https://www.ifly2017.com/en_us/48

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolmanskop

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeleton_Coast

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/namibia-skeleton-coast/index.html

 

haunted housing: Indiana Fields of Fear

I had no movie post yesterday because the fam and I were off to Lafayette for media night at Indiana Fields of Fear in Lafayette, Indiana. We got to experience all three attractions. I pasted a description I stole from their official website below.
“FEAR IS ALIVE! Indiana Fields of Fear offers 3 haunted attractions for the 2012 season (October 5 – October 28). Our haunted attractions include The Gallows, Creature Cavern, and Hogs Hollow Farm.
On December 11, 1816, Indiana became the 19th state. The fields of Indiana were filled with rich soil, bringing good fortune to those that settled here. As the state grew in population, predators began to feast on the innocent. Torture and death lurked in the darkness. SO, come join those that have come before you and meet your fate in three of the Indiana Fields of FEAR!”
Fields of Fear is fun! Three haunted houses, each with its own story.
We headed into Hogs Hollow Farm first. It began with a short stint in a boxcar in which a crazy lady gives you the rundown on some tasty meat the people at the farm served her. Visitors then venture deep into the realm of crazy country people, ma and pa in the farmhouse, their livestock nearby. All the while, all is dark, but you aren’t alone. There’s a cacophony along the entire path, screaming, creepy characters emerging from the scenery to scare the crap out of you.
The same is true of The Gallows. A ghastly mortician in a top hat ushers visitors into a hellish afterlife through a funeral home and a large coffin-shaped doorway. Along this second path, the tormented deceased express a desire to leave. Meat and bodies hang in various spots throughout.
Last but certainly not least, we headed into The Creature Cavern. Wow. This thing is nuts. I don’t want to insert any spoilers, but this was unlike any other haunted house experience that I’ve had. The entrance and at least one other part were…unnerving, which is the whole point of a haunted house. AmIright? If you’re not a fan of a small spaces, this section will freak you the funk out. It’s not all claustrophobia, however. Creepy crawlers lurk in corners of swampy scenes, devouring victims and such.
It was a very fun time. A combo ticket for all three attractions is only $17, plus I think discounts are available. It’s a bit of a drive from Indy, but it’s a leisurely one up 65.
Here are some pics of the children and me and various creatures from the cast after our run through the houses. Everyone was really nice. And yes, I am aware that I look completely sloshed in this picture. Let me assure you that I was not sloshed, just geeking out. lol

Here are some links if you would like more information.

http://indianafieldsoffear.com/

http://www.facebook.com/IndianaFieldsOfFear