In case you didn't know, today was Obscura Day. Honestly, I had never heard of it before, but David Plotz, who is one of the hosts of the Political Gabfest from Slate, is the CEO of the company and he talked about it quite often on the podcast, so I felt the need to participate by finding some event to go to. There were a few in DC, one in Staunton, VA, but they all cost money, and I wasn't honestly very interested in them. Then I saw that there was a celebration for the new Bigfoot statue at the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum in Littleton, NC. Littleton, NC, is a small town in Halifax County with a population of about 670 people. I had to go.
I arrived in Littleton and immediately noticed two things. Naturally, being a small town in rural America, they had to have their name painted on the water tower.
The second was that there was actually a grocery store called Piggly Wiggly. I'm going to be honest with you, ever since I had heard that name in "Driving Miss Daisy" I thought it was just a joke. I never thought these actually existed. It also appeared that everyone in the entire town was at the Piggly Wiggly because the parking lot was packed.
Driving through the rest of Littleton was honestly like going back in time. I should have taken more pictures, but I wanted to get to the museum, because that was my reason for being there.
I arrived at the museum and immediately knew I was in for a treat. The proprietors had set up a couple of pop up canopies, they had a few chairs sitting around, and Steve's wife was outside grilling. I approached her, she thanked me for coming, and I asked her about the museum. She told me the museum consists of two rooms of their house, and that they started it a couple years ago because of all of the paranormal activity going on in the house. They have heard voices, picked up EVP, and seen shadowy figures at various places throughout the house. In addition to the museum, they also do haunted tours around Littleton. The house is situated along an old carriage route, and the carriage route intersects with Butterwood Creek, which runs all the way through town, and they believe is a source of high paranormal energy. I asked her if she thought the house was situated along a ley line and she said that maybe it was. After chatting with her for a few moments, I entered the museum itself.
The museum currently consist of two rooms, one with some Bigfoot items, mainly casts of footprints, and various other cryptozoological items. Including some hoaxes, of course, like the Feejee Mermaid. Inside a glass case is a doll, a doll that Steve and his daughter will both tell you is possessed. The case is locked, but they have seen this doll, named Mrs. Beasley, move. She doesn't move very often, just every so often, but in the time that they have been living there she has made an entire 360º turn in her chair, and no one has touched her. They are currently working on opening a third room dedicated to the paranormal, and when they do Mrs. Beasley will be moved in there with a camera on her 24/7 so they can capture these events.
In the corner of the room is the reason for today's celebration, Bigfoot himself! It was quite an honor to be in the same room with such an illustrious figure.
Hanging on the wall was a map of Littleton with pins showing all of the local Bigfoot sightings!
In the second room, off to the right, Steve was giving a presentation about the Bigfoot sightings in the area and paranormal documentaries he has made in the past. Seated in the room was a couple and their two sons, listening to Steve's presentation. While I was sitting there, listening along to the presentation, the single most amazing thing happened. It was one of those moments where you have to ask yourself if what is happening is really and truly happening. There I was, sitting in a cryptozoology museum, when the man sitting in front of me in a very Appalachian accent says, "I seen Bigfoot…"
Internally, my jaw hit the floor. Externally, I sat up a little bit straighter and listened to this man's story. What is the likelihood that I would go to a cryptozoology museum and be in there at the exact moment when a man starts telling a story about his Bigfoot sighting?
Approximately 32 years ago, he wasn't sure if it was 1984 or 1985, he was walking through the woods near his house on Ruffin Collie Rd when Bigfoot attacked his dog. It was a large, shaggy creature with brown colored fur that walked on two legs and the creature hit his dog hard enough that the dog flew 20' through the air before landing, breaking a couple of the dog's ribs. He later had to tape up the dog's ribs with duct tape. Since this large creature attacked his dog, he pulled out his rifle and shot at the creature! This wasn't some small caliber rifle, either, like a .22, but was a 7.62mm. He referred to it as a sniper rifle. He said he shot Bigfoot directly in the chest and Bigfoot just stopped, looked at him, then slowly walked away, not even caring about having just been shot. His wife chimed in saying that her father had yelled at them for shooting at the house, but they explained that they had seen Bigfoot, and that he was shooting at Bigfoot! She said they pushed the couch in front of the door that night in case Bigfoot came back!
Steve went on with his presentation, talking about ghosts and other paranormal activity, then when it was complete, the other guest had more to say. Apparently he had heard that Bigfoot is the result of Cain slaying Abel. That was a new one on me. I never knew that Cain turned into Bigfoot as a result of wandering the Earth. He also told us about when he used to be a logger and how they would see these lizards running around all over the place that looked like mini T-Rexes! Honestly, I didn't know what to make of the man after that.
After the couple left, I chatted with Steve for a little while, learning about the history of the museum, his background, he used to be a journalist of the NY Daily News, and the future of the museum. I am pretty sure that, once they have the new paranormal room open, I'll be heading back to visit again.
I also got my picture taken with Bigfoot!