Archive for the ‘Weird’ Category

Side Show Saturday Night

Todd Robbins is the Chairman of the Board of Coney Island USA and the Dean of the Coney Island Sideshow School, where he teaches how to do the things seen in the show. The Coney Island freak show is the last remaining permanent freak show (i.e. non-traveling) left in America. Todd Robbins has performed at Frightfest at Great Adventure, under the name Dr Zombini (this is how I discovered him, thanks to Marc Hartzman of Found on Ebay fame) The show features standard side show fare such as eating a light bulb, walking on broken glass, fire breathing, and sword swallowing. There is a lot of use of audience members, including the Flying Ebola Brothers, and the Madam Elektra act. He had this woman from the audience sit in an electric chair & enough current went into her to light a light bulb. To prove it wasn’t fake, he got sparks to come off her tongue which lit one of the torches he was swallowing.

The show begins at 1030, and lasts 90 minutes. The show is not for young children, so leave the kids at home…He typically has special performers, such as Twistina, the rubber girl, or Nippillini, a fellow who hangs heavy things from nipple rings. The show is located at 15 Van Dam St, New York








JFK’s face at the Great Falls

The Great Falls, located in Paterson, NJ, are the second largest waterfall by volume east of the Mississippi. Alexander Hamilton came up with the idea to create a dam to generate electricity for industry. The area was home to a large number of textile mills over the past 200 years and is currently under threat of development. It is a beautiful area, and if the plans go thru there will be a fully developed park & historic information center here.

This is the article from Weird NJ and you can see there is a resemblance, but it’s not easy to see from the falls themselves. To see them, go onto the bridge and find in the graffiti where it says Las Vegas. Look directly over the words at the falls and it’s on the left side near the top of the falls.



The strange kids swimming at RWJ Children Hospital

The façade of RWJ Children’s Hospital is warm and inviting. The hospital specializes in childrens care so it was designed with children in mind. Part of the outside decor is a large fountain, which the main driveway entrance encircles. The fountain features a half dozen mannequin children, playing and splashing in and around the water.

One child is frozen in the middle of undressing, one is halfway out of the pool/fountain, while others frolic near the spigots of water (that run during the summer). What makes this creepy is that during winter there’s no water running, and its rather unnerving to see a child getting undressed when there’s snow on the ground. Furthermore, parts of the children are painted silver, to mimic the effect of being wet, I presume. Unfortunately this gives them a robotic look, as if the T-1000 from the terminator movies gave birth to children who couldn’t fully form human shapes.






Create your own toy

The Mutt is perhaps the coolest toy ever because you build it yourself. Essentially it’s a … … umm…. Oh hell I can’t explain it. You know a wood carver takes a block of wood and carves something unique out of it? There ya go. except it’s not wood.

Temple for Hope & Knowledge suffers a fire, and is sued for fraud

I’ve come across several news articles that chronicle the end of the Temple for Hope & Knowledge. The church was sued successfully in 2001 for $200,000. The church then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In November 2003 the paper reported that “A sheriff’s sale of the Temple of Hope and Knowledge was delayed on Thursday for the second time. The sale was originally scheduled for October, but the temple’s owner, 92-year-old Sole Mio Balaam Nicola, was granted a postponement (Press of Atlantic City, NJ)”

I visited the temple in January 2004 and discovered that the temple has suffered a massive fire.

Follow the dates. The church gets sued, it declares bankruptcy as reorganization but is forced to sell the property, and now there’s a fire? Hello? Can anyway say “insurance scam”? The church settled a lawsuit accusing it of having scammed a man out of a lot of money, so if true, insurance fraud and arson aren’t an unreasonable assumption. Note: this all entirely speculation by me. I have no evidence other then two eyes and a brain.

As of January 2005 there is a for sale sign on the property.

Return trip to the Temple for Hope and Knowledge

I made a return visit & again no one was there. I saw a neighbor and asked if they knew anything. She said that the “church” met every Saturday in the early afternoon. They have healing sessions and pray to God, but “not god like you & I know it, not the Catholic or Christian god.”

I think I already had that one figured out…



The Temple for Hope & Knowledge




I saw this while we were driving near Atlantic City, stopped and I took these pictures. No one was around, and I wasn’t going to knock on the door. What I’m curious to know is whether or not the interior of these buildings are normal rooms, or if the inside is open to the roof, like the Luxor Casino in Vegas is.

The Weird NJ page about it features a statement from the TFH&K about their mission.

Virgin Mary Tree Stump


In Passaic, near the corner of Hope & Madison right as it goes under Route 21, drug users frequently would gather and shoot up behind the bushes. Local residents, fed up with the drug user going on out in the open, decided to clear the brush to take away the privacy it afforded the drug users. One teenager chopped down a thick tree and a left the stump and logs there when he was done. A few weeks later someone noticed that the stump resembled the Virgin Mother May. A protective shelter was erected around it and soon Catholics from all around were visited the shrine. People left candles, rosaries, and drawings of the Mother Mary. A fence was eventually erected to keep the crowds from getting too close.


It does appear to be a figure with sloping shoulders who is crossing his/her arms. But the Virgin Mother? I’ve seen Scooby Doo in cloud formations, it doesn’t mean I was watching cartoon network at the time. The human mind likes to see things in random designs in nature.


Although I’ve never believed that images of Jesus or the Virgin mary on toast are really, I did notice some interesting things about this particular sighting. 1) this occurred on Hope St. 2) it’s the month of the Holy Rosary in the catholic church. 3) if you walk back on Hope St perhaps 150 feet you can see over the highway and on a building on the other side someone painted the words “read the bible… Jesus is the future king.” This was painted years ago. (in the picture below you can see the building to the right of the sign post…) Coincidence or just another sign? That’s for you to decide…

Ed Geil, Elvis Impersonator


Edward Geil was never a fan of “the king” until he started doing war movies. And that’s when a 35 year passion began. He began doing Elvis impersonations on his front porch in Garfield and people began lining up causing traffic jams. His wife & the police objected to his performances, and “so I had to move on” he said. He soon began doing performances anywhere & everywhere, and Weird NJ caught up with him about 6 years ago, where they found him giving roadside performances off Fairfield Rd.

They were run off by the local Councilman who warned them they would be ticketed if they returned. He and his friend Delores bounced around looking for places to perform. Delores recounted the fact that he often would give performances on the anniversary of Elvis’s birth & death, and one year they had planned to perform up in Mountain View when a cop came by a few days before. He informed Ed that if he showed up that that he would be fined $1000 for disturbing the peace or some such nonsense. “But there are people who are expecting us. They’re going to show whether we show or not. Can we at least come by & then have the people follow us to another location?” Delores asked. “If you show up you will be fined,” the officer reiterated. So they stayed away. Supposedly a woman drove up from Florida to see him and was met by police who fined her! “But Elvis is coming!” she insisted. “Elvis is not coming, maam…”

I had read about Ed in an old issue of Weird NJ but had heard that he was nowhere to be found. I then caught an article in the Bergen Record about him and that he was playing at Garrett Mountain. I stopped by and caught his candlelight vigil on the anniversary of Elvis’s death. Arranging this was not easy because typically the park must be vacated by sundown. According to Ed they had special permission to play after dark, but apparently you had to be in the park already. It was a brief performance, and it was something I was glad to have seen & experienced in person.

He always holds a special candlelight concert on the anniversary of Elvises death, if possible.



Devil Worshipping Grounds of Palisades Destroyed

I received an email telling me that someTHING (emphasis theirs) had destroyed the fence at the devil worshipping grounds. Also the site had been wrecked. I scoffed but when I got there I saw it was true…




The email was correct. The entire site has been destroyed. The table top had been removed, the base destroyed (pieces and splinters), and the tv shattered. Whoever destroyed the gate was quite determined. At the time, nobody knew about this place. I hadn’t told anybody, & hadn’t posted in my journal or in my forums. It hadn’t yet been mentioned in the weird nj forums either. I don’t know when exactly the destruction occured, but something seems weird about it. The gate is 10 feet from the road, and there is really no feasable way to accelerate hard and ram the gate. I can’t picture anything short of a humvee other large SUV doing this.

What I want to know is why? Whoever destroyed the gate would have done considerable damage to their vehicle. I found pieces of headlight, and a lamp like you find on the top of jeeps and Humvees. Why damage an expensive vehicle like that? I can’t say if this is real satanists or not, but if it isn’t, someone went to a lot of trouble to convince folks that it is…. On a subsequent visit I saw that a chain was put across the entrance.