Tag Archives: florida

paranormal-florida ebook cover

My new book, Paranormal Florida, is out

Yeah yeah yeah! Who loves scary stuff? We all do, right? I know I do. And not just the fake scary stuff. I’ve been interested in the paranormal for as long as I can remember–not in a “dedicating my life to the search for the truth” sort of way, but more in a “this is fascinating, exciting and fun” sort of way.

As a journalist, I always pitched a ton of stories about creepy local spots, weird stories of the unexplained and the like; the weeks leading up to Halloween are always my favorite because I could always work in at least a couple of stories about the supernatural, like whether or not St. Pete resident Mary Hardy Reeser died of spontaneous human combustion, or maybe even spend the night in one of Tampa’s most haunted locations.

So when I semi-retired from full-time journalism, I decided to take on a fun project, just for me. Paranormal Florida: Shadows of the Sunshine State is that project–a rundown of some of Florida’s most interesting lore, from the skunk ape to some of its most infamous haunted hotspots. It was a real pleasure to put together, and hopefully you’ll have fun reading it, and find something you didn’t know about, or maybe even a spoopy place to visit sometime.

LAWBI #63: Gallinippers & The Scare Machine

Been a little lax (OK, a lot lax) about the blog lately, so I’m going to do some catching up here. This column originally appeared online on March 12.




If you had time between dragging your unmotivated ass into and out of work yesterday to check the news online, chances are you were deluged by semi-hysterical notices regarding Florida’s latest imminent environmental cataclysm. Mutant mosquitoes the size of a ninth grader’s fist are, even as we speak, staging en masse amid the swampy hidey-holes of the Everglades, just waiting for the weather to turn warm enough to inspire a statewide assault.

They’ve tasted the salty nectar of amateur python-hunter blood, and they’re hungry for more!

OK, so, gallinippers are not really the size of a ninth grader’s fist. They’re more the size of a quarter. But still — that’s like 20 times the size of a regular mosquito. A mosquito 20 times the size of a regular mosquito is, by all accounts, a Giant Monster Mosquito.

And they’re starved for the blood of our pets, our fauna, and ourselves! USA Todayquoted a MOSI employee as saying “it goes after people, and it bites,” and that being bitten (honest to God) “feels like you’re being stabbed.”

Yeah, all right — regular mosquitoes are pretty much starved for blood, and go after people, and bite. But … stabbing!

(About five other outlets also used this same quote, BTW, which appears to have originated with Orlando’s, ahem, Fox affiliate.)


Except less hyperbolic outlets note that this summer’s possible “swarm” of gallinippers could be similar to last year’s “swarm” of gallinippers, the one caused by floodwaters left in the wake of Tropical Storm Debby.

Remember? Remember last June’s catastrophic statewide gallinipper swarm? The one that carried off your burro in a cyclone of buzzing winged death after stripping the paint from your house and the skin from your mother-in-law? How could you forget?

Oh, yeah — it never happened.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing 

Florida People Still Down For Getting Concrete Or Krazy Glue Or Whatever Shot Into Their Asses

Yeah, so this happened again.

Look, if you are someone who is OK with having an unlicensed (and, apparently, un-gloved) stranger charge you a few hundred bucks to inject silicone or caulk or QuikCrete into your butt, you should probably just put on a heavy coat, fill all of its pockets with stones, and walk into the Atlantic Ocean. Because if the Seeping Krazy Glue Butt Infection doesn’t get you, something equally ignoble will, and probably very shortly.

(via iheartchaos)

LAWBI #59: Snake Charmers in the Everglades

Some people don’t consider Florida to be part of the Deep South proper.

They think of us as The Lower Northeast. As God’s Waiting Room. As A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of The Disney Corporation, with Promotional Consideration Courtesy of Tropicana, Uncle Owen’s Sunny Daze Industrial Postcard Production Complex and The Bail-Jumping Psychotics Local 913.

For these doubters — the ones who don’t believe Florida is down-home, backwoods, “earthy,” “bucolic,” twangy or racist enough to qualify for true Deep South status — I have two words and a number:

Python Challenge 2013.

Read the rest at Creative Loafing … 

America’s Wang: 2012 Florida CrayzeeNewz(tm) Roundup

Want to revisit a bunch of the usual cretin-packed news dispatches from Florida for the Year of Oh Lord 2012?

MSN.com has thoughtfully compiled a Top 20 list for you. (I assume they would’ve done a Top 50, but the human soul can only take so much.)

I’ve never been prouder.

(Memetastic image stolen from Miami New Times blog Riptide)