Tea’s Weird Week: The World According to Gorb

On this week’s podcast episode I caught up with my old friend “Gorb.” We used to co-host a pirate radio together, called “Gorb & K-duck in the Morning.” I had previously done a couple other shows, one was called “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” The station was 104.5FM, the Wireless Virus. On our show, me and Gorb played music, made jokes, and talked about random topics. We did it early Sunday mornings (not a typical time for pirate radio broadcasters) and when the show was done, I’d walk from the Sydney Hih building (a legendary counterculture complex of apartments and studios) downtown up to the Brady Street Pharmacy to work the morning shift.

The last incarnation Wireless Virus was shut down in an FCC raid on the Sydney Hih building in 2001. Pirate radio was sort of the precursor to podcasts with the added thrill that the FCC might bust your ass and confiscate your radio broadcasting equipment. I have fond memories of being on the air with Gorb at Sydney Hih and doing my other shows in the previous station location, which was located right on Center Street in the basement of a short lived venue called Canada World. I met a lot of cool people through the station. I loved creating my own media, and I still do, I’ve just switched to blogging and podcasting rather than a pirate radio show and photocopied zines.

Thanks for joining in the adventure, Gorb!

Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep09: The World According to Gorb: I asked Gorb ten big questions, plus our Clip-O-Rama contest, weird news, trivia, and a track by Mandy Cappleman, “Spinning Wheels.”
Listen here: teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/tea-s-weird-week-s4-ep-09-the-world-according-to-gorb
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My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Quest for the Weirdest Movies

There’s a Tea’s Weird Week Facebook group that is a clearinghouse for weird news that we often get our Tea’s Weird Week podcast news from. With the Oscars approaching this weekend, I wondered who would take the Oscar for best weird movie of all time. I decided to set up a poll in the Facebook group and as of this writing, there’s over 60 nominated films.

The frontrunners in the poll as of this writing:

1) Eraserhead, David Lynch’s 1977 weird masterpiece, his first film. I haven’t seen this one in many years, but I do remember seeing the trippy, dream-like black and white film. I also nominated my favorite Lynch movie, 1990’s Wild at Heart. But every Lynch movie could be on this list.

Eraserhead (1977)

2) Tatsuo the Iron Man. I haven’t seen this one– Billy (who also nominated Eraserhead) says this 1988 movie, by Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto, is like “Eraserhead crossed with Terminator and Akira in the body horror style of David Cronenberg.” Yikes! Akira also made it to the 10 spot of this poll.

3) Howard the Duck. Long before the Marvel Universe became a million jillion dollar juggernaut, there was this incredibly strange 1986 adaptation of a Marvel property. Andrew, our podcast sound engineer, nominated this one, which was directed by Willard Huyck (and executive produced by George Lucas). It was a commercial and critical bomb, but has been quickly rising in out poll.

Howard the Duck (1986)

4) Swiss Army Man. Stephen nominated this 2016 film directed by Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. I haven’t seen it and only know that it stars Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe, the latter of whom plays a corpse.

5) a tie between Terry Gilliam’s beautifully weird 1985 film Brazil, nominated by Alicia and Todd Browning’s taboo 1932 movie Freaks, which starred actual sideshow performers, nominated by Christina.

Freaks (1932)

So there’s the top noms if want a weird movie night. I’ll be announcing the poll winners in the Facebook group when red carpet coverage starts for the Oscars on Sunday.

Please Clap Dept.: Thanks Bubbler Talk for tapping into my expertise on extraterrestrial parking structures/ It’s a fun and interesting short piece: Art? Landing site for aliens? The story behind the giant metal circle at Milwaukee’s Cupertino Park | WUWM 89.7 FM – Milwaukee’s NPR

UFO landing pad?

SEE ALSO: More weird film related writing on the wild life of Werner Herzog: TWW: High on the Herzog.

Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep08: Quest for the Weirdest Movies: I set up a Zoom with the people who nominated the top weird movies in the poll, me and Heidi discussed more weird film and other news, a Psycho trivia question from Miss Information, and a closing track by Xposed 4heads, “Suggestion Box.”
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep08: Quest for the Weirdest Movies (podbean.com)
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Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Rollin’ with Baba Yaga

For this week’s TWW podcast me and my co-host Heidi Erickson wanted to talk about some war mythology/ folklore. We’ve already seen these stories emerge from the war in Ukraine– some based on truth, others that are at the least greatly embellished. There is, for example, the video of a Ukrainian woman offering Russian soldiers sunflower (Ukraine’s national flower) seeds to put in their pockets so they can sprout from them when they die. ICE COLD (and caught on video)!

Then there’s the story of the “Beastmaster of Kyiv” who is allegedly a former Kyiv zookeeper that is stalking the warzone with one of the zoo’s panthers or tigers, ambushing Russian soldiers. I couldn’t find anything that would substantiate this as a true story, but as I said on the podcast, in times like these people need this kind of folklore, propaganda, whatever you want to call it, to steel their resolve. Vastly outnumbered, outgunned, it’s easy to see why a story of a fearless maniac and his tiger companion ripping through the Russian forces would become popular.

Meme circulating about the Beastmaster.

Another similar tale is the “Ghost of Kyiv,” an alleged rogue fighter pilot, flying his MiG-29 solo against Russian Air Forces, who has since taken out six Russian fighter planes. True or not, the Ghost has become an Internet myth.

Online fan art celebrating the Ghost.

Me and Heidi discussed these Ukrainian war folklore stories as well as ones from wars past– the Nazi “Werewolf Division,” those pesky Gremlins, and Wojtek, the Polish war bear. For the show open, Heidi took a step back and told an old Slavic tale of folklore– Baba Yaga (aka Baba Jaga or Baba Roga), a story shared throughout Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and other surrounding countries. Baba Yaga is a powerful sorceress who lives deep in the woods in a hut (often depicted as having chicken legs).

SEE ALSO: I wrote this piece on Milwaukee’s Lakefront Brewery, which has raised over $50,000 (and counting) with their “Putin is a Dick” crowler and T-shirt for Ukrainian refugee aid: 
How Lakefront Brewery’s Showing Support to Ukraine After Years of Selling Beer There (milwaukeemag.com)

Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep07, Baba Roga: Heidi Erickson tells the story of Baba Roga. In the TWW News segment, Tea and Heidi talk about modern war folklore like the “Beastmaster of Kyiv” story circulating on social media. Plus new trivia from Miss Information and we close with a trad Irish song from Wendy Lynn Markus, “The Lilting Banshee.”
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep07: Baba Roga (podbean.com)
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Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Hey, I Invented a Batman Villain Based on an Obscure Myth About Bingo

This column, as many Tea’s Weird Week columns tend to be, is just another ride on the Universal Randomizer. My friend Vonnie messaged me about her group, the Milwaukee Pagan Unity Community, hosting a Bingo and benefit raffle night. I really wanted to play Bingo with the pagans BUT I had to get to Door County for an article I’m working on (that’s a whole ‘nother story). Dammit! Next time, Vonnie.

It’s been many years since I’ve played Bingo, but it reminded me of a random “fact” I read many years ago.

In 1929 a toy salesman named Edwin Lowe was developing playing cards for Bingo, a game he was basing after he saw people playing a similar game called “Beano” at a carnival (which was in turn, probably inspired by an Italian game named Lotto). To make the cards, according to an article titled “The History of Bingo“:

(Lowe) commissioned an elderly mathematics professor named Carl Leffler and requested the professor create 6,000 new Bingo cards with nonrepeating number groups. The cards were increasingly difficult to produce as the number combinations dwindled. By the time the task was completed, Professor Leffler had gone insane.

Good story– if it’s true. The Wikipedia entry for “Bingo card” says this story is a “myth” and I didn’t find anything that would add credence to this, just the same line recycled over and over without a source. But does this not sound like the origin story of a Batman villain? I think it does, so I took the liberty of creating one. Good timing, too, with that new Batman movie everyone is talking about!

Here’s the backstory: Prof. Carl Leffler is under a tight deadline to find 6,000 Bingo card combinations by the end of the week for the game release. As he stares at the cards filled with dots containing numbers spread throughout his office, they begin to swirl around his head, overcoming his brain. The hallucinations of rolling numbers overtake him and he decides to give himself electro-shock treatment to try to get them out of his head, but the shocks push him over the edge.

Breaking into the toy manufacturing plant who hired him to create the Bingo cards, Prof. Leffler, now calling himself BINGO MASTER, creates giant Bingo balls of death, a stunning Bingo stamp gun, and a giant flying Bingo card that he rides like a flying carpet. After a crime spree of robbing museums (and Bingo halls) he is caught by Batman and Robin and sent to Arkham Asylum, which he breaks out of periodically with relative ease (as all Batman villains do).

My friend David Gloyd II mocked up some art of the Bingo Master in action (he based it on the cover of Detective Comics #140 (1948), the Riddler’s first appearance).

The Bingo Master! Art by David Gloyd II.

It’s a no-brainer, right? DC, if you’re reading, I’ll sell you the character rights for 1 million dollars. And hey, I’m not a greedbag like Bob Kane, I’ll pay David half for the character design. Let’s make it happen!

Please Clap Dept.: The Shepherd Express reviewed my book Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches, comparing the tone to a Tom Waits song. Hey, I’m not drunk, the piano is! I’m currently working on an audio version of the book. Author Tea Krulos Remembers the Brady Street Pharmacy – Shepherd Express

Tea’s Weird Week Season 4 ep06, Scenes from Paranormal Chicago Con: Me and Heidi Erickson report live from the Paranormal Chicago Conference, interviewing paranormal investigator (and conference host) Jack Chavez, tarot reader Coco La Bruja, author Dan Guzman, Dale Kaczmarek (Ghost Research Society) and Bob Anderson (Bob After Dark). Plus weird news, trivia answers from Miss Information, and we close with a track by our sound engineer, FlatlineAudio138, “Fatal Error.”

Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep06: Scenes from Paranormal Chicago Con (podbean.com)
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Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Famous Ghosts of Chicago

Tea’s Weird Week is going to be on the scene at the Paranormal Chicago Conference next weekend, March 6 (www.facebook.com/events/1067747297402289). If you’re not familiar with my lifestyle, I do seasonal work as a tour guide for American Ghost Walks here in Milwaukee. I love it– the tours are a nice mix of history along with sharing some firsthand stories from people who have said they’ve hand ghostly encounters. Oftentimes after the tour, people will share their own supernatural encounters with me.

In advance of the Chicago conference, I thought I’d talk to one of my colleagues, Tony Szabelski, who leads tours for American Ghost Walks in Chicago. Chicago, as you can imagine, is rich and dense in ghostlore, a legacy of serial killers (including “America’s first,” H.H. Holmes, as well as John Wayne Gacy and Richard Speck), gangsters (Al Capone, Chicago was also where they finally got John Dillinger), and famous disasters (the Great Chicago Fire, the Eastland Disaster). I talked to Tony about some of these cases as well as Resurrection Mary (a classic Chicago ghost story– Mary’s stomping grounds are near the Chicago conference), the Joliet Prison, and the Congress Hotel in the latest TWW podcast.

I’ll be revisiting more Chicago weirdness later this Spring/ early summer when I’ll be reporting on the Chicago Mothman cases for Fortean Times. I love Chicago– I always have sort of a pulp noir image of it in my head– the El rattling by above your head, a crumpled copy of the Chicago Tribune blowing in the wind down the street, vendors selling Chicago style dogs…it’s a great place to visit.

SEE ALSO: I wrote this article on Chicago ghost experts Ursula Bielski and Dale Kaczmarek for Scandinavian Traveler in 2019: Meet the real-life ghostbusters | Scandinavian Traveler
This early TWW column from around the same time talked about the ghost of Al Capone: Tea’s Weird Week: Chasing the Ghost(s) of Al Capone and a Rant About Geraldo | (teakrulos.com)

Tea’s Weird Week S4 E5, Famous Ghosts of Chicago: I talked with Tony Szabelski, Chicago ghost guide, about some of Chicagoland’s many ghost stories. We discussed the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, Resurrection Mary, the Congress Hotel, and other ghost lore. Me and Heidi discuss weird news about a Canadian pillow drop, Tea’s Illuminati invitation, and da UP’s own glowing rock, Yooperlite. Plus trivia with Miss Information and a track by Time Thieves, “Road.”
Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep05: Famous Ghosts of Chicago (podbean.com)
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Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Illuminati Super Bowl Party

Did you catch that Super Bowl half time show? I did. As an original gangsta nerdy white kid who thought he was gangsta cause he listened to The Chronic, I enjoyed it. Dre! the Snoop D-O-double G! Mary J. Blige! Eminem, 50 Cent hanging upside down, Kendrick Lamar! Sippin on gin and juice, laid back, with my mind on…the subliminal messaging of the Illuminati.

Yes, the Illuminati. But by Illuminati, I should specify the ILLUMINATI NEW WORLD ORDER DEEP STATE REPTILIAN DEMOCRAT SATANIST CHILD-TRAFFICKING CABAL. Since Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl performance, a theory has steadily snowballed in the ten years since that the half time show is a powerful ritual bankrolled by the Illuminati.

“The high profile ritual known as the Super Bowl Halftime Show presents itself every year and this guide will break down how the ritual is conducted, and why we’re being subjected to such a sinister display of occultism,” reads the description of an ebook I found titled Super Bowl: An Analysis of the Occult and Illuminati Symbolism Ritual by Isaac Weishaupt, who also runs a site called IlluminatiWatcher.com. I was hoping to get a clearer idea of the reasoning behind the theory and well…here we go.

For the 2012 Super Bowl Madonna shared the stage with CeeLo Green, LMFAO, M.I.A., and Nicki Minaj. It was quite a performance and conspiracy theorists collectively flipped their wigs. Madonna wore a horned helmet upon a throne! SATAN! There were ancient Egyptian style costumes and “Saturnian black robes,” according to the Super Bowl ebook. The Illuminati are Saturn (aka Satan)-worshippers.

Conspiracist comparison of Madonna (left) and old hornhead, the Baphomet.

In 2012, I was in regular contact with Richard McCaslin, main subject of my book American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacker American Consciousness. Richard, inspired by Alex Jones, had raided a place called the Bohemian Grove. He saw deep conspiracy symbolism everywhere, in anything triangle or pyramid shaped, anything that looked like an eyeball (both of these illuminati symbols), skulls, owls, reptiles, anything with horns, and numbers like 33 (a Mason number) or any 6 repeating (the number of the beast). He often emailed me with his theories. Here’s part of an email he sent a few days after Madonna’s performance on Feb. 8, 2012:

I saw clips of Madonna’s performance on the news. From what little was shown , it definitely had a lot of pagan symbolism, which ultimately means Reptilian. I’ve read that she is somehow related to the British royal family, which once again means Reptilian. CeeLo Green is definitely a NWO tool. Notice that he’s wearing a (sequined) cleric’s robe at the Super Bowl. When somebody like Madonna has ‘WORLD PEACE ” in their show , that actually means ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT. 

With the 2012 performance solidly established in conspiracy theorist’s minds as an Illuminati power ritual, the symbolism was extracted from performances in almost every year that followed. In 2013 Beyoncé’s performance included fire and a stage that featured a couple of sort-of Illuminati Eye of Horus eyes on it. But the smoking gun, was her “flashing an Illuminati symbol” at the end of her performance.

Beyoncé flashes her Illuminati cred…er something.

According to the Super Bowl ebook, there’s maybe three reasons why the Illuminati carries this massive, powerful ritual:

One. “The Illuminati are seeking to draw energy towards their deities in order to demonstrate their abilities,” and in exchange, the author says, will bestow more power unto them.

Two. The energy is to give sustenance to the “Reptilian shape-shifters.”

Three. The rituals are to prepare the masses for an “Evolution of Consciousness” that transforms us from living beings to a digital, Matrix-like existence.

Again, these were all theories that Richard McCaslin told me about over the years. A lot of it came from one of his conspiracy gurus, David Icke.

After Madonna and Beyoncé, these “rituals” carried on with Bruno Mars (2014) who had a black pyramid design as part of his show, plus his guest performers were the Red Hot Chili Peppers (um, hello, Blood Sex Sugar Magick?). In 2015, Katy Perry’s show included “extraterrestrial summoning and the Great Whore of Babylon.” In the Book of Revelation Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the Earth (or Ms. Babylon as I call her) is depicted riding a many-headed beast, which conspiracists say is what is happening here:

The Great Whore of Babylon rides into the Super Bowl. Also, balloons.

Coldplay, with past “Illuminati” Super Bowl performers Beyonce and Bruno Mars took the field in 2016, Lady Gaga terrorized conspiracy theorists in 2017, Justin Timberlake was dismissed as an Illuminati stooge in 2018, Maroon Five had guest Travis Scott in 2019 (subject of his own Illuminati sacrifice ritual conspiracy when his Astro World show in Houston turned deadly last year). In 2020 Jennifer Lopez and Shakira co-headlined and among many other symbols, conspiracists said children appearing in cages was an endorsement of child trafficking (it was actually to draw attention to children detained at the border). And in The Weeknd’s 2021 performance, conspiracists saw a black mass with fallen angels and a bottomless pit.

Kids in cages: part of J. Lo and Shakira’s 2020 halftime performance.

Note how the biggest freak outs are over these “evil” performances by women and people of color.

Ok, but what about this year? I watched carefully and didn’t see anything pentagram shaped, no horn headgear, children in cages, or Whores of Babylon. Had the Illuminati lost control of their power ritual? No. The next day I saw this circulating on a conspiracy page I follow:

Ah, ok. The FEMA camp conspiracy suggests that various emergency shelter camps being built by the government are actually designed to hold political “patriot” prisoners. It’s a pretty old theory by this point. A Reddit thread also had people speculating on the Super Bowl meaning. One poster wrote:
“Aside from the concentration camp pods…As the show turned dark ( as it always does) they blew a power generator up and suddenly a bunch of hood wearing youths rush (riot) towards the explosion.. Next scene the hood wearing rioters are now prison uniform wearing dancers. Dre flashes devil horns at end.”

Super Bowl: An Analysis of the Occult and Illuminati Symbolism Ritual explains this style of message as “predictive programming,” a way they Illuminati subliminally shows you their future plans for humanity while you bop out to Snoop Dogg. They say it’s a light brainwash to acclimate you to the future, where subversive people will be rounded up and forced into “FEMA concentration camps.”

The Super Bowl, of course, is a ritual, but not some Illuminati-Satan power ceremony. With your average Super Bowl ticket running around $6,000- $9,500 (and some much higher than that) and 30-second commercial spots for the game costing $7 million, it’s just your normal greedy capitalist worship of the Almighty Buck, no Baphomet needed.

Please Clap Dept.: My article “Fishy Business” from the February Milwaukee Magazine is now available online here: www.milwaukeemag.com/inside-the-wisconsin-sturgeon-generals-illicit-caviar-ring
Earlier this week this I was a guest on Lake Effect (a local Milwaukee show on NPR affiliate WUWM) to discuss the article, you can give it a listen here: www.wuwm.com/2022-02-14/what-could-wisconsins-caviar-trading-scandal-mean-for-worlds-largest-wild-sturgeon-population

Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep04, Illuminati Super Bowl Party: Me and Heidi talk more about the Illuminati Half Time Show experience, plus news of UFO sightings, a flock of birds suddenly crashes, and more. Plus trivia from Miss Information and we close out with a track from

Listen here: teasweirdweek.podbean.com/e/tea-s-weird-week-s4-ep04-illuminati-super-bowl-party
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Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: Paranormal Real Estate Mogul

For this week’s TWW podcast I talked to my friend Crystal Schmidt, who is a Tea’s Weird Week Facebook group moderator and was a guest on the TWW podcast back in season one to discuss wrestling and politics (Crystal has a podcast called Wrestling Public Radio, which is absolutely great). Crystal is also a realtor, so I thought it’d be fun to talk to her about something that always captures my curiosity– paranormal real estate. We talked about when you might have to disclose a ghost or murder in your home and some properties that are (or were recently) on the market.

Here’s some notes on these deals that will get scooped up by me after I win a million billion dollars in the lottery and become a PARANORMAL REAL ESTATE MOGUL.

Property: Earlshall Castle
Selling for: unlisted amount
Notes: A 34-acre estate with a 10-bedroom, 6 bath 16th Century castle (and the world’s oldest golf course) visited by Mary, Queen of Scots, and owned by relatives of Robert the Bruce. Also comes with a ghost, “Bloody Bruce,” the ghost of the Baron Andrew Bruce, whose ghostly footsteps can be heard walking up and down a spiral staircase. Sellers don’t want to talk ghosts but obvs it would make the ultimate haunted AirBnB.

Property: Village of Lawers
Selling for: $172, 859
Also from Scotland– an entire haunted village, or at least the ruins of one. Stone ruins are all that are left, part of the three acres of property includes a beachfront on Loch Tay. The Lady of Lawers has been haunting the land since the 1600s– while alive she was a well known soothsayer who accurately predicted local catastrophes and the coming of the railroad. As I discussed with Crystal, the fairly low investment doesn’t take into account building something on the property with running water, electricity, etc. It would well if you could gently maintain the ruins and make a small camping ground/ cabins with a new central building that had showers, a kitchen, etc.

Property: Lizzie Borden’s House
Sold for: $2 million

This Fall River, MA property sold in Spring of 2021, and it looks like it went to the right hands. The home where Andrew and Abby Borden family were murdered with an ax Aug. 4, 1892. Daughter Lizzie Borden was charged, but acquitted. The house has operated as a bed and breakfast and museum since the 1990s, and will continue to serve that function under new owners. They will be adding one new feature, though– ax throwing.

Property: The Conjuring House

Selling for: $1.2 million
This Rhode Island farmhouse is the basis for the story that inspired The Conjuring. It was a story spun by ghost hunter couple Ed and Lorraine Warren, and although their investigation was problematic (see my column “The Conjuring: 1992 Sally Jessy Rafael Edition” for a taste of the insanity) there’s no doubt the house is now a paranormal and horror landmark and as such a good investment to rent out to paranormal researchers and horror fanatics.

Property: Area 51 Ranch

Selling for: $4.5 million
Notes: This 80-acre cattle ranch borders Area 51, so close that the cows often wander in to the mysterious base’s property. Four and a half mill is a lot of dough, but a good investment if you want to run a cattle ranch and have a side hustle of setting up a UFO research center with some observation towers so people can skywatch to look for crafts flying in and out. Also, prostitution is legal in Nevada, so you could open an extra-terrestrial themed brothel. SOLD.

Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep03, Paranormal Real Estate Mogul: I talk to Crystal about paranormal real estate and what I’ll spend my (theoretical) billions on, then me and Heidi discuss weird news, including a check in on the Dallas QAnon cult, a galldang book burning, Grimacecoin, and more. New trivia from Miss Information and we close out with a track from Mini Meltdowns, “I Wanna Die (feat. Psychey Ikey) [Electronic Remix]”

Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep03: Paranormal Real Estate Mogul (podbean.com)
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Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: High on the Herzog

This column started when I was perusing the excellent stock of books at Lion’s Tooth. A graphic novel, Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? jumped out at me. The book is written by Harld Schechter and illustrated by Eric Powell (The Goon). Hellllll yeah, SOLD. I’ve been morbidly fascinated with the Gein case, which took place in my home state of Wisconsin, and I love Powell’s art. Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? is highly recommended by me, it’s a great combination of researched work mixed with some scenes that speculate what life was like in the Gein household with Gein’s overbearing religious mother, Augusta who saw nothing but sin and corruption in everyone and around every corner.

The whole graphic novel is interesting, but I sure did laugh out loud toward the end of the book when the author’s described Gein’s legacy on pop culture. Among the stories, they describe how the man, the myth, the German film director (and Mandolorian actor) Werner Herzog almost dug up the corpse of Ed Gein’s mother. That is just SO HERZOG.

Herzog, apparently, along with his documentary filmmaking friend Errol Morris, were quite fascinated with the Gein case. One enduring mystery in the Gein story is whether or not he robbed the grave of his own mother. It certainely seems possible, but her grave was never exhumed to find out. Herzog wanted answers — and not by filing for an exhumation, but by doing it Gein-style with a shovel under the moonlight. In 1977 Herzog was in Plainfield to shoot scenes of his film Stroszek and he and Morris set a date for the dig. Morris dismissed the whole thing as a joke.

HERZOG AIN’T JOKING. He showed up at the Plainfield Cemetery and I love the image of Herzog standing alone with a shovel in the dark, swearing in German at Morris for being a no show. He didn’t attempt the dig.

Illustration by GRACE KILLY/ DENSITY DESIGN


At author Q and As people sometimes ask what writers have been influential on me. That’s a fair question, but I sometimes think about other influences on my work– music, art, and film have all informed my writing. One documentary that inspired my storytelling was Herzog’s Grizzly Man. His storytelling of a relatively unknown character (Timothy Treadwell) with a strange dream that led to his death was definitely in my mind while working on my book American Madness and the strange journey of Richard McCaslin.

Digging up Augusta Gein is just one in many crazy Werner Herzog stories. Here’s a few more of my favorites.

(1.) “Klaus was one of the greatest actors of the century, but he was also a monster and great pestilence”: Herzog Pulls a Gun on Klaus Kinski. Probably the most legendary story is Herzog’s love/hate collaborations with German method actor Klaus Kinski. Over the course of their work together, both Herzog and Kinski allegedly plotted to murder the other. Of the mood on set, Herzog says:

“My crew would almost mutiny when they heard that Klaus was on board. They would say, ‘How could you do this do us? We can’t take this man a minute longer’. I don’t like the term wild man, but Dennis Hopper was in the kindergarten compared with Klaus. I remember scenes where Klaus was attacked, and how the other actors used to take such pleasure in punching and kicking him. He was often quite badly hurt.”

Things reached a boiling point while working on Herzog and Kinski’s first collaboration, Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). When Kinski threatened to walk off the set, Herzog allegedly pulled a gun on him and told him he would shoot him and then himself if he didn’t stay to finish production. Herzog says the story has been exaggerated into an urban myth, but after reading through the rest of this list…I dunno. Seems like it might be understated.

Frienemies: Herzog (left) and Klaus Kinski.


(2.) Herzog Saves Joaquin Phoenix from Dying in an Inferno. In 2006 Joaquin Phoenix was completely fucked up, speeding and weaving through traffic, when he hit an embankment, which shot his car into the air and flipped it upside down. Herzog witnessed the crash and approached the vehicle. He saw a man, hanging upside down, “deathly pale” and attempting to light a cigarette. Herzog recalled in a later interview:

“I recognized him; it was Joaquin — I said to him, ‘Man, relax.’ And he said, ‘I am relaxed.’ And I said, ‘Can I have your cigarette lighter?’ And he wouldn’t give it to me, so I distracted him, snatched it away, because there was gasoline dripping all over the car.”

Phoenix also confirmed the incident: “There’s something so calming and beautiful about Werner Herzog’s voice. I felt completely fine and safe. I climbed out.”

(3.) Per Agreement, Herzog Jumps into a Cactus Patch. Accidents typically followed Herzog on his productions. During the shoots for his 1970 film Even Dwarves Started Small, which starred an all-dwarf cast, one actor was hit by a car and another accidentally was lit on fire. Herzog made an appeal to the cast and crew– if they could get through the rest of the production without an accident, he would leap into a thorny cactus patch. After production wrapped without further incident, Herzog made good on his word and leapt onto a cactus, wedging spines into his knee sinew. In the video below, Herzog says the incident was just to give the cast “a little bit of fun.”

(4.) Herzog Gets Shot During an Interview. While doing an interview with the BBC in 2006 (to talk about Grizzly Man) on the streets of LA, Herzog was randomly shot in the abdomen by someone with an air rifle. Unfazed, Herzog moved the crew indoors, showed the wound off, then continued with the interview.

“It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid,” Herzog explained. It was caught on camera:

(5.) Per Agreement, Herzog Eats a Shoe. Herzog is a man of his word. Herzog told filmmaker Errol Morris that is he finally finished the documentary he was always talking about, Gates of Heaven, he would eat his shoe. Morris finished the film, released in 1978, and Herzog ate the shoe live onstage, which was filmed and turned into the documentary short Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (directed by Les Blank, 1980).
You can watch that doc here: Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe – video Dailymotion

By the way, this is not a completist list. I didn’t even go into the craziness of filming Fitzcarraldo (1982). But I think this top 5 is a good start in exploring Herzog lore.

Please Clap Dept.: I wrote the “big story” or maybe “big fish story” is a better way to put it for the February Milwaukee Magazine. “Fishy Business” is about the February sturgeon spearfishing season on Lake Winnebago, and an investigation into the DNR illegally engaging in bartering sturgeon caviar. It’s on newsstands now, and I’ll share a link later in the month when it’s available online.

Tea’s Weird Week S4 Ep02, High on the Herzog: I read this column, weird news with me and co-host Heidi Erickson, trivia from Miss Information, and we close out with a track worthy of Herzog’s anarchy– “MAYHEM” by Mistaloo Meff.

Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 ep02: High on the Herzog (podbean.com)
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My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: “Chosen One” to Cops: Take Me To Your Leader

Tea’s Weird Week kicks off 2022 with a story of yet another person pushed over the edge by conspiracy theory. And thanks to Tim Demeter for designing the 2022 TWW masthead. You can see more of his work at Quixotronic.

I’m back for 2022! The first column of the new year is a good place to introduce myself to new readers. I’m a freelance journalist and author of six non-fiction books. I like to write about a wide range of topics, but am maybe most known for writing about strange subcultures and social movements, and conspiracy, paranormal, and folklore. I love weird shit. I live in Milwaukee.

Plenty of weird stuff has happened over the last month or two over since TWW went on break. But one story in particular caught my eye because when I saw it my thought was oh shit, here’s yet another guy that reminds me of Richard McCaslin. Richard was the main subject of my book American Madness. He fell into a conspiracy rabbit hole, raided a secret society camp called the Bohemian Grove in 2002 and eventually took his own life. That’s the short version, you can find my book here: American Madness | (teakrulos.com)

Since then there’s been many other examples of stories like Richard– the Pizzagate Raider (Edgar Maddison Welch), the Nashville Bomber (Anthony Quinn Warner), the Mason Lodge Arsonist (Benjamin Kohlman), and I would say even the Jan. 6 Q d’etat are similar stories.

Here’s the scene of the latest– December 8, a limousine crashes through the fences of McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Matthew Ray Hancock, 36, is the driver and proceeds to do some donuts in the limo in a parking lot before driving onto a plane ramp to cruise by several airplanes, stopping near a parked jet. Employees confront him and see that he’s wearing a clown mask.

“I’ve got a fucking bomb! I’m going to blow this place up!” Hancock tells the employees.

Matthew Ray Hancock, man with a limo, clown mask, fake bomb, and nothing to lose.

Police showed up and quickly arrested Hancock. He asked them to refer to him as “the Chosen One,” and told them his plan was to hijack a jet and fly it to Area 51, the legendary secret Nevada base which is alleged to be a repository of extra-terrestrials and their technology. It’s a classic pillar of conspiracy theory and Hancock says he wanted to go there to “look for aliens.” Whatever goes down there, it is true that an unmarked plane with the call JANET leaves McCarran daily to fly employees to Area 51. In 2019, there was a viral “Raid Area 51” Facebook event, which suggested that a large number of people could overtake the base and see the hidden ETs inside, however, only a small crowd actually showed up and gathered peacefully outside the gates.

Hancock had a homemade bomb of sorts in his limo– an oxygen tank and fire extinguisher tethered together on a piece of wood with some other pieces of metal, decorated with Christmas tree lights. When questioned, Hancock also made the claims that he had a high level security clearance, was also a member of the mob, and that someone owed him millions of dollars.

Police charged him with misdemeanor trespassing, and felonies for making a terrorist threat and dispersal with a hoax. I will be keeping tabs on any developments in this story.

Please Clap Dept.: Over the break I was a guest on the Shorewood Library podcast, Shorewood Stacks. I love libraries! Great conversation, mostly about my book American Madness. You can listen here: Episode 5 American Madness: An Interview with Tea Krulos (podbean.com)

Tea’s Weird Week podcast, S4 Ep01: Our guest Zelia Edgar talks about her first book, Just Another Tin Foil Hat Presents, which is a collection of classic paranormal case studies out now. Zelia told us about the mysterious lore of Platteville, the Loveland Frogmen, and Wisconsin’s favorite UFO story– Joe Simonton and his space pancakes.

Then me and Heidi talk about our January travels and discuss Matthew Ray Hancock’s limo ride, escaped lab monkeys, and a “Trump prophetess” who visited heaven and saw John Wayne filming a new cowboy flick. Plus new trivia from Miss Information and we close out with a bangin’ track, “Bigfoot, Take the Wheel,” by IfIHadAHiFi.

Listen here: Tea’s Weird Week, S4 E01: Serving Space Pancakes (w/ guest Zelia Edgar) (podbean.com)
Spotify//Soundcloud//Google Podcasts//iHeartRadio//PlayerFM//Apple//Stitcher//Pocket Casts

Follow me on: Substack//Facebook Group//Twitter//Instagram

My latest books are:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021, Vegetarian Alcoholic Press)
American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Tea’s Weird Week: I Kicked 2021’s Ass (or Maybe it Kicked Mine)

The 2021 Tea’s Weird Week columnhead, designed by Addo Workman/ Cut it Out Studios

This is the last Tea’s Weird Week column of the year before I take a holiday break from it. Well, what can I say–2021, like 2020 was a pretty insane, surreal year overall. I mean, 6 days into it and there was a violent, conspiracy-fueled mob who stormed the Capitol. There were challenges for me, personally, but it was also one of the best years I’ve had as a writer.

One thing that was spectacular was that it was a year that I expanded the mediums I work in and this also involved collaborating with other people, more so than I’ve done in a long time. Writing can be a very lonely art, so it was great to work with others on a podcast, documentaries, and events.
Here’s my 2021 highlights!

January: The launch of the Tea’s Weird Week podcast. My great crew for the show includes my co-host Heidi Erickson, sound engineer Andrew (aka Android138), and our trivia master, Christen (aka Miss Information). For our first year we recorded 36 episodes as well as a couple specials and bonus tracks. We did some fun stuff like getting live interviews at Midwest Haunters Convention and UFO Daze. You can catch up on Tea’s Weird Week here: Tea’s Weird Week Podcast | (teakrulos.com)

The Tea’s Weird Week crew at Milwaukee Paranormal Conference

April: I returned as a walking tour guide for American Ghost Walks, running tours for the rest of the year. The “Ghosts of Christmas Past” tours this weekend and next wrap up the season. More tour info: American Ghost Walks | Haunted History Tours and Ghost Walks

May: I was honored to receive a gold Milwaukee Press Club Award in the “Best Short Hard Feature” category for an article I wrote for Milwaukee Magazine about citizen journalists titled “Reporting Live from the Street.”

June: I also won a National Indie Excellence Book Award in the “Current Events” category for my book American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness.

July: Also American Madness related– production begins on a documentary adaptation of the book. Eric and Kim Hayden are producers. The Haydens have been great to work with and we’ve been slowly and steadily getting interviews and other material to tell a great visual version of the book.

Me with the Haydens and members of the California Initiative at Superhero Desserts in Alameda.

September: After a virtual only event, Milwaukee Paranormal Conference returned Sept. 24-26 with events at Faklandia Brewing, Alverno College, and a variety of locations on Sunday’s Activity Day. It was great to be back and see familiar faces.

October: I wrote an article for Milwaukee Magazine on Kenosha area “horror hosts” titled “Terror on the Tube,” and that article is being adapted into a documentary short. Alicia Krupsky is director, me and Christopher House are producers, several other talented people are involved in the production, too. Production began in October. I also took a trip for about 5 days to California to help shoot interviews for the American Madness doc.

The horror host doc crew with Dr. Destruction.

December: Milwaukee Krampusnacht returned Dec. 5. Organizing that event is a lot of work and this year was especially challenging. But it looked like everyone had fun, so it was worth it.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dec. 9 was the official release of my book Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches, a collection of short stories I wrote about a drug store/ greasy spoon diner I worked at in my youth. It’s published by Vegetarian Alcoholic Press and you can order here: Tea Krulos • Brady St. Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches — Read the Future (vegetarianalcoholicpress.com)

Here’s a TWW Pharmacy episode: Tea‘s Weird Week, S3 ep 10 (Finale): A Brady Street Pharmacy Fever Dream (podbean.com)

Release party was at Lion’s Tooth, a great independent bookstore here in Milwaukee. The owners asked if I could cover a few shifts working there in October and of course I said yeah, cause they are awesome.

Me at the Lion’s Tooth release for Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches

What a year! The Tea’s Weird Week column and podcast will be back sometime next month, mid-January. Between now and then, I’m going to try to take it easy. I’ll be working on a couple articles for Milwaukee Magazine and the documentary projects, but also hoping to catch up on some reading, movies, and enjoying some holiday time. If you’re reading this, congratulations on living through another crazy year and I hope you have a lovely holiday season. See you in 2022!

My books make a good gift. here’s the best links to order each one:
Brady Street Pharmacy: Stories and Sketches (2021)
American Madness (2020)
Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020)
Apocalypse Any Day Now (2019)
Monster Hunters (2015)
Heroes in the Night (2013)