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Tea’s Weird Week: A Tale of Two Chupacabras

There are two types of Chupacabras within you. Let’s discuss.

Well, actually, maybe I should back up. When my book Monster Hunters was released in 2015, I decided to celebrate by creating a Milwaukee Paranormal Conference. We needed a snappy logo and I decided on a Chupacabra. But why– Chupacabras has no connection to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, right? It’s legend is found in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Colombia, and southern states like Texas and New Mexico.

I’ll tell you why. Chupacabras are 100% certified badass, that’s why. That’s it. Plus artist David Beyer had drawn an incredibly badass Chup for Monster Hunters, for a chapter titled “The Slaying of the Chupacabras,” so we recycled that art into the logo. I wanted to switch up art every year, so subsequent MPC Chup logos were designed by artists Catherine Palmeno (2016), Alex Groh (2017), Tim Demeter (2019- we skipped’18), and Estephanie Mendoza (2021- we had a virtual event in 2020, that year we had a Sasquatch/UFO designed by Margot Lange).

I happen to love the word, story, and imagery of CHUPACABRAS. In fact, I have a long delayed fiction that has a trio of Chupacabras in the storyline. I would love to work on that some day (but it won’t be some day soon).

The first Chupacabras reports can be traced back, specifically, to Puerto Rico (let’s call it Chupacabras puertoricanus). In his book Tracking the Chupacabra: The Vampire Beast in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore (University of New Mexico Press, 2011), researcher Benjamin Radford lays out a compelling case that the original Chupacabra case stems from a Puerto Rican woman who had just seen the movie Species (1995) and shortly after claimed to have seen a similar creature on her property. Like the creature in Species (which was designed by the great artist H.R. Giger), this monster was described is looking somewhat like a hunched over Grey alien with rows of long spines on it’s back; later depictions also included bat-like wings and fangs.

A Chupacabra sketch based on the first eyewitness account in Puerto Rico,

The news grew bat wings on the island and soon people were talking about US experiments gone wrong and the creature was blamed for reports of livestock allegedly found drained of their blood. Chupacabras translates to “goat-sucker.” As my TWW podcast co-host Heidi likes to say: “Chupacabras: they really get your goat.”

The second style of Chup comes from the Mexico-US border area (Chupacabras texmexus) some years later. These reports, it was quickly determined, were not of supernatural creatures, but rather of poor dogs, foxes, and coyotes suffering from bad cases of mange. Mange causes animals to lose their fur. Imagine driving under the moonlight on a rural road and your headlights happen upon this poor devil lurking on the side of the road:

A “Chupacabra” spotted on a golf course in South Carolina. The poor critter is a fox or coyote with mange.

The southern Chupacabra has taken on a life as it’s own and sometimes you’ll see a crossbreed of the two– a canine-like animal with spines down the back and extra-terrestrial black eyes. Ah, the life of a Chupacabra breeder.

So now, as we begin planning stages of Milwaukee Paranormal Conference 2022, I asked artist Jill Zgorzelski to design this year’s logo. She asked if I was looking for the Puerto Rican or Southern version, and although our previous artists have gone with the Puerto Rican, I told her either is acceptable, because we need to let all Chupacabras into our hearts and minds. She’s going for the Southern fried version and I know she’ll do something great.

SEE ALSO: My book Monster Hunters is still available here: Monster Hunters | Chicago Review Press

Keep an eye out for the new art and Milwaukee Paranormal Conference updates on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Check out Jill Zgorzelski’s art page here: Jill C. Zgorzelski | Facebook

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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: What the Rougarou Do

Tea’s Weird Week, Season 3 starts today! Our previous two seasons were 13 episodes long, this time we’re doing ten episodes (but also a couple special episodes, like a holiday “Radio Krampus” special). This is our first autumnal season, so we got plenty to do and talk about– ghosts and monsters and much more. We’ll be recording live at the Milwaukee Paranormal Conference, September 24-26 and if you’re in the area hope to see you there: Milwaukee Paranormal Conference Returns Sept. 24-26, 2021 | Milwaukee Paranormal Conference (milwaukeeparacon.com)

We’re kicking things off this episode with a talk with Lyle Blackburn, a Texan author, musician, speaker, and narrator of documentary films for Small Town Monsters, a great independent production company that has created a series of documentaries on cryptozoology and other paranormal cases. Oh, and he’s also started his own line of handcrafted hot Monster Sauce!

Lyle Blackburn

Lyle has specialized in writing about cryptid cases from the South, documented in his books like Lizard Man: the True Story of the Bishopville Monster, Sinister Swamps: Monsters and Mysteries from the Mire, and The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster, among others. That last title, about a Bigfoot-like creature stalking the Boggy Creek area of Arkansas, led Lyle to his first collaboration with Small Town Monsters. He’s since narrated several of their documentaries, include their new film, Skinwalker: Howl of the Rougarou. It’s out September 14. Here’s a trailer for the film:

As the trailer mentioned, the Rougarou is a tale of Cajun folklore from Louisiana. The word is derived from loup garou, the French word for “werewolf.” It’s said a curse can be placed on you that will transform you into a Rougarou under the moonlight in the Louisiana bayous. Some people have even claimed to have encountered this terrifying wolf creature.

Lyle told us more about the Rougarou legend, his work on the documentary, and the low down on some of the other projects he’s got going on, and let us know about a new destination on the Tea’s Weird Week bucketlist– the Rougarou Fest, which happens every fall (Oct. 22-24 this year) in Houma, Louisiana. It featues live music, delicious Cajun-style food, and they crown a Rougarou Queen– Oooooowooooo!

This episode also features me and Heidi Erickson trying to figure out this week’s weird news– people horsing around with Ivermectin, Christians Against Dinosaurs (“Big Paleo,” LOL), demons sending text messages, an expensive porno stash, and more. Plus original music by Android138, a new trivia question from Miss Information, and we close out with a track from Lyle’s hellbilly band, Ghoultown, “Night of No Tomorrows,” off their latest album, The Curse of El Dorado.

Tea’s Weird Week, S3 Ep01: “What the Rougarou Do,” Listen here: Tea‘s Weird Week, S3 ep01: What the Rougarou Do (podbean.com)
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art by David Beyer

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Check out my latest books:

American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theories Hijacked American Consciousness (2020, Feral House)

Apocalypse Any Day Now: Deep Underground with America’s Doomsday Preppers (2019, Chicago Review Press)

Wisconsin Legends & Lore (2020, History Press)

Tea’s Weird Week Trivia: Round 1

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I had a fun first round of Tea’s Weird Week Trivia this last Saturday. Congrats to Sharon who was the overall winner and Estephanie who won the Cursed Objects round and picked out a category for this week– “Famous Missing Persons Cases.” Other rounds will include the man vs animal “Animal King, Dumb,” classic “UFO Files,” and stories about “Xtreme Social Distancing.” Prizes will include books (authored by myself and others) and other weird swag. This Saturday, 5pm (central), on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/theTeaKrulos 

Here’s the questions from last week if you didn’t get a chance to play. You can get a feel for the trivia and host your own trivia session with your roommate.  Answer key is way at the bottom of the post. For this week, I am encouraging that trivia players send donations/ shop at the International Cryptozoology Museum: www.cryptozoologymuseum.com

Special thanks to American Ghost Walks to providing tickets for a prize!

(You can see the video of the trivia session and see how people did here: https://www.facebook.com/theTeaKrulos/videos/511195046147212/)

Cryptozoology

1.) In the late 80s/ early 90s there were several sightings in Bishopville, South Carolina of a cryptid commonly called:

A. the Bishopville Dogma
B. the Bishopville Lizardman
C. the Bishopville Octopusman
D. the Bishopville Birdman

2.) A classic examination of cryptids is the 1970 book Strange Creatures Out of Time and Space. Who was the author?

3.) Where is the International Cryptozoology Museum located? City and state. 

4.) This Australian animal was thought to have gone extinct after the last one died in captivity at the Hobart Zoo in 1936, however cryptozoologists believe it might still be alive. You can give the scientific or common name.

5). One of the big cryptozoology stories this month are pictures circulating that purportedly show a Sasquatch peeking into a couple’s mobile home. Scott Yeoman reports that the couple smelled something he described as a mix of “rotting animal flesh, vomit and excrement” before spotting the cryptid and snapping photos of it. Which state did this happen in? Picture in comments.
A. Colorado
B. Idaho
C. Washington
D. Wyoming

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Conspiracy Theories in the News

1.) In a Tea’s Weird Week column last month, I reported that at least 24 people had launched 2020 campaigns for Congress that follow what conspiracy belief?

A. That Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer
B. QAnon
C. Flat Earth Theory
D. 9/11 Truthers

BONUS: Which two states have the most candidates? 

2.) Alex Jones of InfoWars was issued a cease and desist by the New York attorney general for trying to sell what product he claimed would “kill the entire SARS-corona family at point blank range.” when used. Was it: 

A. A hand cream
B. Toilet paper
C. Toothpaste
D. Condoms

3.) Pour one out for “Mad Mike” Hughes, a daredevil who died when he bailed out of his homemade rocket and his parachute malfunctioned on Feb.22 outside of Barstow. What conspiracy message was written on the side of his rocket?

A. Epstein didn’t kill himself
B. Birds don’t exist
C. Trump is a Reptilian
D. Research Flat Earth

4.) Last month Trump retweeted a publication that was founded by a Chinese American spiritual movement called the Falun Gong. The publication has endorsed QAnon and other conspiracies and through sockpuppet accounts spent over 9 million dollars on pro-Trump ads. What is the name of the publication?

5.) During a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans last month a float depicted Jeffrey Epstein being strangled by what politician?

Cursed and Possessed Items

1.) Murder, car accidents, gangrene, drug overdoses, and house fires, are just a few of the stories associated with this gem that is currenly on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of National History.


2.) This Raggedy Ann doll is supposedly possessed and was kept in a glass case by demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. There’s a recent movie series based on the doll. What’s the name of the doll?


3.) The Curse of the Chicago Cubs supposedly was set in place in 1945 after a tavern owner was kicked out of Wrigley Field with his smelly pet. What type of animal was it?

A. An alligator
B. A skunk
C. A billy goat
D. A pig

4. A mass produced painting popular across England in the 1980s was said to be cursed. Supposedly a series of  house fires left only the paintings behind. What did the painting feature?

A. A crying boy
B. A girl playing the violin
C. A child peeking out from a red door
D. A 3 toed sloth hang gliding with a portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald in its claws

5. Zak Bagans Haunted Museum in Las Vegas allegedly has a haunted or cursed mirror that belonged to which horror icon?

A. Stephen King
B. Edgar Allan Poe
C. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark
D. Vincent Price
E. Bela Lugosi

Epic Social Distancing Champions of History

1.) This actress known as the “Swedish Sphinx” who once said in a movie “I vant to be alone” retired in 1941 at age 36. She refused to do autographs, interviews, award shows, or fan mail and lived alone in Manhattan. 

2.) In the 1970s this musician mostly stayed at home in bed getting high and recording music known as the “Bedroom Tapes.” Though he would sometimes be spotted at night at LA clubs in his robe and slippers. 

3.) This writer had a famous novel published in 1951. After his last story was published in 1965 in the New Yorker the already reclusive author secluded himself in a cottage in New Hampshire. 

4.) After forfeiting his world champion title in 1975, this chess player became reclusive, disappearing from the public for long periods of time until he died in 2008 in Iceland. 

5.) Tristan da Cunha most remote populated place in the world, over 1300 miles from their nearest populated neighbor, located between south america and africa. A mail ship stops by only once a year.  2019 estimated population was: 

A. 99
B. 3
C. 246
D. 500

Answers below!

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My upcoming book American Madness features a journey through conspiracy culture. It’s out August 25, 2020 from Feral House. To pre-order: CLICK HERE

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Having just returned from the grocery store during an official pandemic, I’m reminded to highly recommend Apocalypse Any Day Now, from Tea Krulos, who went way down the doomsday prepper rabbit hole. Fun and unfortunately highly relevant. Do it.” — Brent Gohde, Cedar Block/ Science Strikes Back

 

ANSWERS (click on highlighted answers to see more!)

Cryptozoology: 1. B. Bishopville Lizardman 2. John Keel 3. Portland, Maine 4. Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger 5. A. Colorado

Conspiracy Theories in the News: 1. B.QAnon, BONUS: California and Florida 2. C. Toothpaste 3. D. Research Flat Earth 4. The Epoch Times 5. Hillary Clinton

Cursed or Possessed Items: 1. the Hope Diamond 2. Annabelle 3. C. billy goat 4. A. a crying boy 5. E. Bela Lugosi

Epic Social Distancing Champions of History: 1. Greta Garbo 2. Brian Wilson 3. J.D. Salinger 4. Bobby Fischer 5. C. 246

Tea’s Weird Week: Strange Birthday Adventures

TeaWeirdWeek

Some of my birthdays have been memorable and others mundane. I had a birthday yesterday, and I spent it doing what I love doing best– sitting around in pajamas, drinking coffee, reviewing a manuscript I wrote. I have a book out next year from Feral House titled American Madness. It’s a non-fiction that tells the action-packed story of a conspiracy theorist I met and the prevalence of conspiracy culture in America. There’s still work to be done, but a lot of progress has happened on the book over the last few months.

Sitting at home reading over my work was great, but my really fun birthdays have been getting out in the field. Here’s two memorable examples:

2013: I spent my 36th birthday in Portland, Maine where I interviewed cryptozoologist and author Loren Coleman at the International Cryptozoology Museum. What a wonderful place to be! I wrote about the experience as the first chapter of my book Monster Hunters, titled “The Monster Hunter and His Museum.” Loren named the book as the top of the “Best Cryptozoology Books of 2015” list and told me that the chapter was “required reading” for new staff, volunteers, and docents.

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I took this picture of Loren Coleman at the International Cryptozoology Museum.

2017: It was two days after my birthday, but I spent my 40th birthday preparing to voyage out to the desert to attend Wasteland Weekend, a post-apocalyptic festival. One of the most fun experiences I’ve had. I witnessed music, Thunderdome fights, a post-apocalyptic swimsuit contest, and much more, which I wrote out for a chapter of my book Apocalypse Any Day Now titled “Wastelanders.” I’ve really wanted to go back ever since, but this year my travel budget is tied up for a trip I’m doing to Dallas in November. Hopefully, in 2020 I can return to the Waste.

Wweekend

My selfie at the 2017 Wasteland Weekend.

If you’d like to support me on my birthday and help me go on more wild and crazy adventures, the best thing you can do is buy or support my books:

Heroes in the Night

Monster Hunters

Apocalypse Any Day Now

And look for links in 2020 to my new books. Wisconsin Legends & Lore is going to be a cool little book out from History Press and American Madness: The Story of the Phantom Patriot and How Conspiracy Theory Hijacked American Consciousness will be out August 2020 from Feral House.

You can also buy me a birthday coffee here: www.buymeacoffee.com/TeaKrulos

And follow me on social media: Twitter: @TeaKrulos Facebook: facebook.com/TheTeaKrulos

Monster Hunters “Best of the Year” at CryptoZoo News

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This is a wonderful Christmas present and a great honor personally and as a writer. Every year author, researcher, teacher, and museum director Loren Coleman selects his list of top books on the subject of cryptozoology, the science of examining unknown animals.

My book Monster Hunters took the top slot on “The Best Cryptozoology Books of 2015.”

There are many interesting titles and authors on the list. You can read it here: www.cryptozoonews.com/czbks-2015/

At the end of the post you can find out how to support the International Cryptozoology Museum, one of my favorite places on earth.

Many thanks to Loren and the ICM staff. I am humbled and flattered by this recognition.

Loren Coleman Reviews Monster Hunters!

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Here’s a photo I took of Loren at the International Cryptozoology Museum, which appears in the color photo section of the book.

When I began work on Monster Hunters, I had a few ideas of people I’d like to meet and write about. My two major ideas were, man, I got to meet a group of local ghost hunters and follow them around. My other idea was, man, I got to meet the zen grandmaster of cryptozoology. Party A ended up being the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee. I found Party B in Loren Coleman, who has actively been pursuing cryptozoology since the 60s and is the founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum.

Visiting his museum while working on the book was a fantastic experience and he humored me by allowing me to interview him as I wandered around taking in the collection of unique artifacts.

Monster Hunters has begun to circulate and Loren got a copy this last week. He wrote a review on his website and I am extremely flattered and honored by it. He says I write with “humor, sensitivity, and insight,” but the best compliment by far is that he says: “Krulos’ first chapter will be mandatory reading for every new staff, and current & future docents/ volunteers at our museum, now.”

That is just about the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. I’m also pleased to say that arrangements are being made so copies of the book will be available at the International Cryptozoology Museum’s gift shop, so buy a copy when you stop in.

A huge thank you to Loren and the ICM staff!
Loren’s review is here: www.cryptozoonews.com/tea-review/
ICM website: cryptozoologymuseum.com/
Monster Hunters ordering info: www.chicagoreviewpress.com/monster-hunters-products-9781613749814.php