In Maine, Ghost Camp 2 is a go for next summer. We’re home to Chicks with staying power.

And if Bigfoot is not here, might it be near?

We catch up on and update some of the Weird, Wicked Weirds of the last year.

More than a walk in the woods

In January, Animal Planet aired its first, and so far only, Maine episode of the reality TV show “Finding Bigfoot,” following the crew from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization as they interviewed witnesses here and scoured Maine woods for evidence.

BFRO has announced its public expedition schedule for 2017 and though none of the trips are organized for Maine, the schedule does circle the state.

You can book now to spend $300 to $500 for a weekend in the woods with researchers and fellow Bigfoot devotees in western Massachusetts, southeast Massachusetts, Vermont and Nova Scotia.

Conditions are rustic: Bring your own meals but not your pets. Bring machetes and pepper spray, and they suggest using a four-wheel drive vehicle that you can also sleep in just in case you don’t want to tent it. Because, the woods. The dark. And what just threw that rock?

Cheap models

Chicks named Ara, Cauna, Rhody and Red star in Julie Persons’ “Chicks in Hats” 2017 calendar.

The Norridgewock photographer’s work can once again be found as the New Year looms in Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.com.

The photo shoots all take place in her kitchen. This crop of models wore tops like wedding hats and nurse’s caps.

“We used some of my mother’s baby chicks and they are retiring with her as egg-laying pets,” Persons said.

Persons and her Chicks in Hats merchandise array that includes brooches, hairpins and even chick magnets will be at the Tidings Craft & Art Fair on Saturday, Dec. 10, at One Longfellow Square in Portland. Persons and a friend are organizing the first-time fair.

Mommy’s Juice Box? Maybe.

After Election Day, the baby came — and so did the orders.

Amanda Nelson, the owner of Long Winter Soap Co., due any day with her son, had been deluged with orders at the end of October after she’d put 40 tubes of Nasty Woman lip balm into stock to see how they’d sell.

Leading up to the election, she sold nearly 10,000 tubes in 10 days. After the election, she sold about 3,000 more and the orders keep coming.

Nelson and the soap company, run out of her Damariscotta home, had been featured in Weird, Wicked Weird a year ago for its then-bestseller, Unicorn Farts lip balm. 

“Unicorn Farts is still popular, but it never had a chance against Nasty Woman,” Nelson said.

Moose Farts has since joined the herd — a blend of chocolate, blueberry and cashew.

“Also popular at the moment are Reindeer Farts (peppermint and butter cookies), Puppy Kisses (peanut butter and pumpkin) . . . and Ahlan, our green-tea-and-mint answer to all the hostility Maine’s Somali refugees have caught this year,” Nelson said.

Ahlan means “welcome” in Arabic. All of its proceeds go to NuDay Syria, a charity helping families displaced by war.

Nelson’s son was born Nov. 20, giving her and husband Lucas McNelly a good jump on shipping and a forced break to catch their breath.

As for future flavors and scents: “We’re tossing around the idea of Mommy’s Juice Box,” she said. “It’ll be a blend of Merlot, black currant and the concept of five minutes of alone time. I say ‘concept’ because it’s not going to happen again for 18 years.”

Ker-thunk in the night

The first Ghost Camp, an overnight ghost-hunting experience at Fort Knox, was a hit.

Jamie Dube, whose group East Coast Ghost Trackers regularly leads tours of the fort and organized the overnight, said Ghost Camp 2 is being planned now for next summer.

The event was a fundraiser for Friends of Fort Knox and drew nearly 40 people.

“Everybody that went last year — they’re all coming back for Ghost Camp 2 — it was a heck of a night,” Dube said. “A lot of activity happened. Everyone went to bed around 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning and things were happening then. Something — and everybody was in their tents — something hit the railing on the very top of the fort, like really loud, with a baseball bat or something. It was very strange.”

He predicts a sold-out crowd next year.

“We’re going to fill it for sure,” Dube said.

Well, if it’s not filled already . . .

Hitting the road

This year, Tia Wilson, the Durham woman behind “Quest for the Unknown,” quested well beyond Maine to visit three iconic Chicago cemeteries.

In Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, she sat and posed on the “Madonna stone” where photographs have claimed to catch a look at the the Lady in White.

She also visited the Showmen’s Rest in Woodlawn Cemetery, home to the graves of 86 circus performers killed in a horrible train accident nearly 100 years ago.

“There (are) legends that they can hear elephants blowing their trunks during the night,” Wilson said. “The whole cemetery is surrounded by giant, concrete elephants. The funny thing is is no elephants were ever killed in the accident because the train carrying the animals was ahead of them.”

The third was Graceland Cemetery, which had a statue of a young girl, Inez, covered in a glass box. The story goes that she died in a lightning strike.

“The legend is every time there’s a lightning storm near the cemetery, the statue disappears. So they say they put the glass box around the statue to keep her from moving,” Wilson said.

She left flowers in all three sites during her visits in October.

She’d like to get back to Chicago to explore some more and in 2017, see more Maine.

“I like to just hit the road and travel and see what it will bring us as we go, and then explore things that way,” Wilson said.

Weird, Wicked Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, unexplained and intriguing in Maine. Send photos, ideas and strange tales to [email protected] 


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