It's the most wonderful time of the year...It's time for our annual Christmas Show! Joe and I have scoured the multiverse to find you some fun and weird Christmas traditions and hope to fill your listening stocking with these interesting finds.
Have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the show! -Joe and Jen
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from Team Wanderlust | 07 December 2021
Forget the Chrthe istmas turkey. For many Japanese, traditional Christmas dinner is Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Due to a combination of tiny Japanese ovens and a clever marketing campaign convincing locals that fried chicken is a traditional American Yuletide feast, reservations have to be made to eat at a KFC on Christmas Day.
During the run-up to Christmas, Colonel Sanders statues outside KFC’s Japanese outlets wear Santa gear. The chicken is served in special holiday packaging.
Demand is such that an online service has been created: order your Xmas Family Bucket in advance and have it delivered.
Norwegians believe that Christmas Eve coincides with the arrival of evil spirits and witches. It is only logical then, that Norwegian householders hide all their brooms before they go to sleep.
After all, nothing spoils Christmas quicker than finding your broom in broken pieces at the foot of a tree, trashed by some joy-riding witch.
In the week leading up to Christmas, Venezuelans attend a daily church service called Misa de Aguinaldo (Early Morning Mass)
Indeed, so widespread is the practice, many roads in the capital are closed until 8am to provide Christmas worshippers with a safe passage.
In Austria, St Nicholas has an evil counterpart called Krampus. He is the bad cop to St Nick’s good cop, a demon-like creature with one task: to punish bad children before Christmas.
Men dressed in devil costumes roam the streets, carrying chains and a basket for abducting especially bad children and hauling them to hell.
It's certainly one way to keep the kids off the streets.
5: Catalonia: Pooping their way through Christmas
Locals in Catalonia create a character out of a log, drawing a face on it and giving it a hat. Then they spend a fortnight 'feeding' it fruit, nuts and sweets.
On Christmas Eve, the entire family beats the log with sticks and sings a traditional song that translates to 'if you don't crap well, i'll beat you with a stick' until the log excretes all its treats. It's hard to comprehend why this tradition hasn't caught on elsewhere.
They also decorate their nativity scenes with small, pooping, ceramic caganers (figurines). Usually well-known characters, often drawn from that year's news, the figurines always have their pants around their ankles.
Next time you find yourself complaining about granny's festive brussel sprouts, spare a thought for the poor tykes in Greenland.
Each Christmas, they have to tuck into mattak – raw whale skin with a little blubber – and kiviak, which is made by wrapping an auk (a small arctic bird) in seal skin, burying it for several months and eating its decomposed flesh.
In Guatemala, cleanliness really is next to Godliness. Locals believe that the devil and other evil spirits live in the dark, dirty corners of your home.
Therefore, they spend the week before Christmas sweeping up, collecting rubbish and then piling everything in a huge heap outside. Finally, an effigy of the devil is placed on top and the whole thing is set on fire.
It's called La Quema del Diablo, the 'Burning of the Devil'. The idea for Guatemalans is to burn all the bad from the previous year and start a new year from out of the ashes.
In addition to the standard tinsel, fairy lights and baubles, Ukrainians like to throw an artificial spider and web on the tree as well.
The tradition has its origins in an old tale of a poor woman who couldn't afford to decorate her tree and woke on Christmas morning to discover a spider had covered it in a glorious, sparkling web.
It’s for good luck. It's not about poor housekeeping.
During consoda, the traditional Christmas feast in Portugal, families sometimes set extra places at the dining table for deceased relatives.
It's thought that the practice will ensure good fortunes for the household. In some areas crumbs are left on the hearth as well. And you thought feeding all your living relatives was hard enough.
Unable to conclusively prove the existence of Santa, the Vatican decided to throw its weight behind something they'd had countless dealings with: an old witch called La Befana who delivers presents to kids in Italy.
The story goes that the three wise men invited the witch to accompany them to see the baby Jesus. She said she was too busy and the legend was born.
On Christmas Eve, unmarried Czech women stand with their back to the door and toss one of their shoes over their shoulder.
If it lands with the toe facing the door, it means that they’ll be married within the year.
If it lands with the heel facing the door, they’re in for another year of watching Bridget Jones movies. Perhaps it's better than marrying a heel, though.
On the evening of 5 December, German children leave a boot or a shoe outside their bedroom door.
In the morning, if they've been good, they will wake to find the shoes filled with sweets. If they have haven’t, they will find only a branch.
Obviously, it is best to leave out the newest pair of shoes you own – preferably, fresh out of the box.
Here's one for the New Year. In Spain, it is customary to wear red underwear on New Year's Eve.
The small town of La Font de la Figuera has taken the tradition one step further: a New Year’s Eve run with the runners wearing just red underwear.
Coincidentally, the town has the highest incidence of pneumonia in the country.
New Jersey's own Eleanor Wagner, author and paranormal podcaster guests today on the 222 Paranormal Podcast. She is the author of "Sussex County Hauntings" With 20+ years of experience, Eleanor shares some of her most haunted encounters and spooky investigations.
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Eleanor Wagner’s first book, "Dream A Little Dream", a psychological thriller with a romantic edge has garnered a five-star rating. Released on Halloween 2019, "Sussex County Hauntings and Other Strange Phenomena" is her first non-fiction novel which inspired her to start a paranormal team. "Sussex County Hauntings and Other Strange Phenomena: Part ll" was released on Cinco de Mayo 2020. Warren County Hauntings and Other Strange Phenomena was released in October 2021. Sussex County Hauntings and Other Strange Phenomena: Part lll released in October 2022. Her first children's book, "Jeanine Beane Meets Mavis the Camel," part of a Second-Grade reader series, is due to be published in 2022. She's currently working on her second fiction supernatural romance. She is the host of her own podcast, "Eleanor Wagner's Strange and Scary World" out of the Paranormal UK Radio Network and a LIVE show, "Eleanor Wagner's Creepin' It Reel" streamed through her Eleanor Wagner YouTube channel or wherever you get your podcasts. She has served twice on the Romance Panel and once on the Paranormal Panel for the Milford Authors and Writers Festival and presented at the Boonton Book Festival in Fall of 2021. She was named on Fran Briggs Best of Winter Reading 2019 List and featured on "Paranormal Caught on Camera" in November 2020 discussing her investigation of the Sterling Hill Mines in Ogdensburg, New Jersey.
U.K. Radio Network
Best of Winter Reading 2019 list
Sadly, the paranormal community lost one of its own recently. Linda Godfrey, author of Weird Michigan and The Beast of Bray Road, left us way too soon. So, we decided this show to her contributions to the paranormal community and continue the quest to find out more about Dogman and other paranormal cryptids.
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The Beast of Bray Road, also known as the Bray Road Beast and the Wisconsin Werewolf, is a purported humanoid wolf-like creature allegedly witnessed in or near the rural community of Elkhorn, Walworth County, Wisconsin. It has since become a part of Wisconsin folklore and has been the subject of multiple books, documentaries, and a 2005 horror film.
Named for the farm road in which it was first purportedly sighted, reports of the creature in the 1980s and 1990s prompted a local newspaper, the Walworth County Week, to assign reporter Linda Godfrey to cover the story. Godfrey was initially skeptical, but later became convinced of the sincerity of the witnesses. Her series of articles later became a book titled The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf.
Reports of a similar creature in the neighboring state of Michigan also tell of an alleged wolf-like humanoid, the Michigan Dogman.
Lake Winnebago Water Monster – Lake Winnebago
Ever taken a good look at a sturgeon before? They are some massive prehistoric fish that can be very intimidating up close and in person. This combination of its size and roots makes for some creative folklore, such as inspiration for the Lake Winnebago Water Monster. Some say it’s a sea serpent. Others say it’s a colossal sturgeon. If there’s one thing we do know it’s that there is a lot of mystery shrouded in this beast, many fishermen continue to track the creature in hopes of catching it one day and proving its existence.
. Rocky of Rock Lake – Lake Mills
Moving just east of Madison lies the community of Lake Mills and Rock Lake. The curious thing about Rock Lake is that if you dive down in certain parts of the lake you can find small pyramid-like structures. These mounds were believed to have been created by the Aztalan natives when the lake’s water levels were much lower. Amongst these ruins and the vegetation, one can supposedly discover Rocky, a large serpentine reptile. Rocky is said to dwell amongst the deeper sections of the lake and reappear near the surface occasionally. Many reports occurred during the late 1800s of fishermen who would have violent encounters with the beast. These locals would encounter Rocky by their boats and along the shore where they would be traumatized once sighting the incognito beast hissing at them.
For centuries the lore and legend of giant skeletons swirled around the archeological and paranormal communities. Tales of mound builders and mound destroyers finding enormous skeletal remains hidden deep with the small to massive structures have popped up in over 1,500 newspaper articles in the late 1800's to early 1900's and even into modern times. Who were these ancient ones who roamed North America and beyond? How did they get here? Why did the Native Americans fear and revere them? Why is Ohio the center of for all of the mounds? Tune in to hear Joe and Jen tell you why on this the 335th episode of the 222 Paranormal Podcast.
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Other information in this Episode.
Workmen in the employ of the Fergusson Construction Company excavating for the new Toledo and Ottawa Beach Railroad, a little beyond the city limits of Toledo, Ohio, unearthed three skeletons, evidently relics of some great race, as they were about seven feet in length. Just where the ears should be on the head are singular bony protuberances which curl forward. The finds were made in solid yellow clay about eight feet below the surface. The cut is through a large mound, not half of which has yet been torn up. Several stone tomahawks of large size have been picked up in the locality.
A mound near Toledo, Ohio held 20 skeletons, seated and facing east with jaws and teeth “twice as large as those of present-day people” and beside each was a large bowl with curiously wrought hieroglyphic figures.
The Hocking sentinel. Logan, Ohio, April 28, 1898, pg 2 Toledo 3 Giant Skeletons Research done by Rephaim23
Alexandria Gazette, Alexandria D. C. October 26, 1895
Cayuga Chief, 30 April 1898, pg 1.
American Antiquarian, Volume 3., 1880. ‘twice as large”.
TIFFIN, Nov. 18. — While engaged in excavating a cellar on Webster Street the workmen exhumed a mammoth
skeleton, indicating that the individual who formerly possessed the osseous frame- work was over seven feet in height Whether it was that of a white man or an Indian could not be definitely ascertained, as most of the bones crumbled soon after being exposed to the air, and before they could be examined by those conversant with the methods of distinguishing the skeletons of the
aborigines from those of their white brothers. Certain it is that the remains had been interred so long as to spoil
every chance for a sensation based upon some half traditional or wholly mythical tragedy.
Springfield, O., April 7.—A giant skeleton of a man has been unearthed on the Woolverton farm, a short distance
from Tippecanoe City. It measures eight feet from the top of the leg to the ankles, the feet being
missing. The skull Is large enough to fit as a helmet over the average man’s head. This skeleton was one of
seven found buried In a circle, their feet being pointed toward the center. Crude implements were near. The
skeletons are thought to be those of mound builders.
According to Northern Paiute oral history, the Si-Te-Cah, Saiduka or Sai'i are a legendary tribe whose mummified remains were allegedly discovered under four feet of guano by guano miners in what is now known as Lovelock Cave near Lovelock, Nevada, United States.
Although the cave had been mined since 1911, miners did not notify authorities until 1912. The miners destroyed many of the artifacts, but archaeologists were still able to retrieve 10,000 Northern Paiute artifacts from the cave. Items included tule duck decoys, sandals, and baskets, several dating back over 2,000 years.
According to the Northern Paiutes, the Si-Te-Cah were a red-haired band of cannibals. The Si-Te-Cah and the Paiutes were at war, and after a long struggle, a coalition of tribes trapped the remaining Si-Te-Cah in Lovelock Cave. When they refused to come out, the Paiutes piled brush before the cave mouth and set it aflame. The Si-Te-Cah were annihilated.
Sarah Winnemucca, daughter of Paiute Chief Winnemucca, wrote about what she described as "a small tribe of barbarians" who ate her people in her book Life Among the Paiutes: Their Wrongs and Claims. She wrote that "after my people had killed them all, the people around us called us Say-do-carah. It means conqueror; it also means 'enemy.' My people say that the tribe we exterminated had reddish hair. I have some of their hair, which has been handed down from father to son. I have a dress that has been in our family for a great many years, trimmed with reddish hair. I am going to wear it sometime when I lecture. It is called a mourning dress, and no one has such a dress but my family." Winnemucca does not mention giants.