Spanish moss reaches out from dark trees on lonely roads, the Great Dismal Swamp shelters unknown beasts and near-beasts, the coastline is marked with thousands of hidden inlets where pirate ships buried treasures and German U-boats prowled. With all this and so much more, is it any wonder that the Carolinas, North and South, are filled with places and people that can only be called weird? And in our book, that’s a compliment.
Not everything about the Carolinas is strange. Pepsi-Cola was invented here, and it’s where Krispy Kremes first hit it big. Babe Ruth batted his first professional home run in Fayetteville, and the first English baby born in America debuted on Roanoke Island. Unfortunately, she came to a sad end, as did her whole “Lost Colony.” Just one of the many Carolina mysteries you can try your hand at solving.
To round up the strangeness of these states, Roger Manley, a native son of the South and a man with a keen eye for the offbeat, jumped into his Weirdmobile and scoured the two Carolinas. Follow him now on your own ride into the unknown. Listen for the eerie sounds that come from the bottomless pits of Magnolia. Search for hidden emeralds in Hiddenite, North Carolina. Roll out the welcome wagon for some extraterrestrials at the UFO Welcome Center in Bowman, but watch out for parts of a hidden H-bomb lurking somewhere beneath the surface in Wayne County. Sneak up on Monkey Island, where the humans are in cages and the monkeys run free! Catch the chain-saw art in Bynum, but don’t get caught by the devil on his Tramping Grounds in either Carolina! Ride a horse and chow down some vittles at a bona fide Old West town in Iredell County. Or take in Oyotunji, an authentic African village, except that it’s in Sheldon, South Carolina. And don’t forget to stop by and say hello to Darrel the Donut, U.N.C.–Greensboro’s library mascot.
The latest entry in the best-selling Weird U.S. series, Weird Carolinas is packed with all the things other guidebooks don’t tell you. So begin your own weird journey now. We promise it’s a journey you’ll never forget.