Weird NJ claims to be a travel guide of weird and unique places in New Jersey that chronicle the “unwritten history” of local legends and folklore. When I first heard of it, I was at the same time jealous and excited. Jealous because it seemed like such an obvious idea that I was kicking myself for not doing it. Excited because now I could finally get to the bottom of these New Jersey mysteries. At least I always felt that folklore equals mystery. I want to know where it came from and what really happened. Upon picking up an issue of Weird NJ for the first time, I discovered that the writers and editors were not interested in the truth behind the folklore in any way, shape or form. Instead, their objective was to tell campfire stories and show some pictures of the places. The least you can do is some research to show your readers that you know a little more than they do. You can imagine my disappointment. Solving these mysteries is now my job. I am not trying to put down ghost stories, legends, or folklore. I just respect it enough to care if it is true.
I am not knocking Weird NJ, they are obviously very successful. They correctly assumed that a lot of people want to believe these stories, truth be damned. And the extensive list of places they have compiled is a true accomplishment.
Stay tuned for an ongoing series where I investigate the locations and sort the fact from the fiction.
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