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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Bigfoot Sightings, A Haunted House, and A Museum

In Littleton, North Carolina, there's a man who lives in a supposedly haunted house, and who also is a Bigfoot believer. Over the years Stephen Barcelo has collected enough stuff to start up the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum.

The News & Observer reports:

"LITTLETON - Over the past eight years, Stephen Barcelo has slowly assembled enough blurry photographs and plaster footprints to open his own Bigfoot museum, a collection of supernatural artifacts he displays in his living room decorated with Ouija boards and a jackalope.
"His reputation is Littleton has grown large enough that tourists wander 16 miles off Interstate 95 in search of his 19th-century house - which is haunted, by the way-  and townsfolk consider him the go-to guy on all cryptid-related issues. 
"Three months ago, a frantic neighbor called Barcelo to report a shaggy 7-foot creature shambling past her kitchen window, only one block away. So the former newspaperman rushed over and discovered a snowshoe-sized print in her yard, which he carefully shoveled into a wooden frame.
"When he got home, he added a push-pin to his map on the museum wall, bringing total Bigfoot sightings in this town of 674 people to a staggering three. 
"'I've never seen Bigfoot,' said Barcelo, a husband and father of two. 'I've found prints. I definitely believe there's something out there. Some kind of hybrid ape, maybe.'
"Billed as 'The Gateway to Lake Gaston,' this town near the Virginia border consists of a square mile of land surrounding a single traffic light, and it hasn't seen much action since the days of tricorner hats. Without the proximity of I-95, Barcelo might never have discovered the three-story clapboard house that dated to 1850, its windows covered in shrubbery.  
"When his family moved south to Littleton, looking for an old house to restore, green lights started appearing in the darkness, pictures started sliding off walls, and muffled conversations rose from empty rooms. Barcelo mentioned this nuisance to the neighbors, who responded, 'Oh, you've got a ghost, too?'
"Rumors of skunk ape activity followed. Barcelo went scouting in Medoc Mountain State Park, where he captured a footprint that puzzled the rangers, begin claw-toed and too big for a bear. Back home in Littleton, Barcelo heard stories of garbage disappearing off people's porches - plastic bags and all.
"Barcelo had already developed into something of a Bigfoot buff while working as a photographer and videographer in New York, having been occasionally dispatched to interview the saucer-eyed witnesses of shadowy phenomena.
"His experiences in Littleton, along a former Colonial carriage road, stuck him as fertile ground for a shrine to the mysterious. Lake Gaston, after all, is home to Gassy, the sea-monster-sized catfish with an unfortunate name.
 "So about three years ago, he opened the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum. Since then, his living room has transformed into a distribution center for strange beast encounters - a safe, judgment-free zone for those who have locked eyes with a living Chewbacca. He gets roughly 15 visitors a week, and Bigfoot artifacts continue to arrive.
"'A lot of people won't talk to us,' Barcelo said. 'Some say it was the worst thing that ever happened to them. The were ridiculed. They were laughingstocks.'"

See the rest here.

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