Part of the "Weird U.S." series, Weird New York is a tour of the bizarre, terrifying and wonderful underbelly of the Empire State. The book, largely a repository for folklore and urban legends is divided up into thematic chapters including: "Local Heroes and Villains," "Roadside Oddities" and "Cemetery Safari." Inside each chapter are sections detailing the oddities that range from a single line to several pages. Some of my favorites include:
"Whiskey Hollow" an isolated road in Baldwinsville where the KKK and Satan worshippers commit acts of absolute evil and teenagers find the remnants of animal sacrifices. Of course, the ghosts of murdered children also haunt the area.
"The Crypt Keeper Knocks Back!" About a mausoleum in an unnamed cemetery on Route 8 between Unadilla and Bridgewater. When you knock on the door, the restless spirits within... knock back!
"The Clawfoot People" of the Zoar Valley near Gowanda. All descended from a single woman, the 200 or so men of this clan all exhibited a deformity called "clawfoot." In the 1920s, the family all secretly made a pact to not reproduce, forever eliminating their shame.
"Rosemary's Texas Taco" on Route 22 in Putnam County, a bizarrely decorated Tex-Mex restaurant filled with robots, found objects and sculptures. Behind Rosemary's is a "fantasyland" garden filled with animals, junk and more scuptures.
I highly reccommend Weird New York to any with a taste for the bizarre, fascinating or terrifying. But if you live in the Triple Cities, I warn you that I've got the only copy in the library system, and I am keeping it until its due date.
-Posted by Jesse