The area has its share of ghost stories and creepy urban legends. Ever been to Bobby Mackey’s or on a ghost tour of OTR?? Well, we have something else to add to the list of spooktacular haunts. Let us introduce to Greg Newkirk and Dana Matthews, who operate the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult. Based out of their headquarters in Covington, it’s a one-of-a-kind roving exhibit that allows visitors to interact with their collection of haunted and cursed objects.
MAKING A MUSEUM
Greg and Dana are self-described “professional weirdos,” who have been investigating all things strange for 20 years. And they are well respected in their field. They started the website Planet Weird, where they write about the strange and the unexplained. Moreover, they share their expertise on numerous TV shows, podcasts, radio shows, and other websites.
Over the years, Greg and Dana have acquired quite the collection of haunted objects, both from their own investigations and from people who have donated artifacts to them for further study and safekeeping. Instead of letting the artifacts gather dust behind glass at Weird HQ, the couple decided to take the weird on the road. The goal is to allow the public to engage with these objects to promote further study into the paranormal.
HOW DOES A TRAVELING MUSEUM WORK?
The interactive exhibit is on display at Greg and Dana’s speaking engagements and appearances across the country, which are listed on their website, including a lecture at the Benton Farm House in Walton, KY on May 6. But you don’t have to travel to the museum to experience it. Greg and Dana host regular chats about their artifacts on social media and have a 24/7 live cam trained on the objects on display at their HQ. That way, viewers can witness the effects of the curses and hauntings for themselves. Keep an eye out, because paranormal activity has been known to occur.
MEET THE ARTIFACTS
Greg and Dana have many artifacts, but some have emerged as fan favorites, such as the so-called Idol of Nightmares, fondly nicknamed Billy. (Haha, get it?) An anonymous donor found the idol, wrapped in a burlap sack, in the crawlspace of his house. He set it in his home office when terrifying nightmares soon morphed into mysterious phenomena, including slamming doors, flickering lights, and mysterious figures. It found its way to the Traveling Museum of the Paranormal and the Occult, where Greg and Dana bring it out once per event, so those willing to risk its effects can experience Billy firsthand.
Another popular object is the Dark Mirror, a black scrying mirror in which people report seeing (and feeling) terrible things. Some visitors who have looked into the mirror have reported seeing strange objects in the reflection with them, or they find their corpses staring back at them, or even feel and taste blood filling their mouths.
One of the most frightening objects is the Crone of the Catskills, the only item that guests aren’t allowed to touch. It’s a hand-carved statue with nails driven into its eyes and a noose around its neck, discovered in a cave by hikers in the Catskill Mountains. The hikers brought it home and began to experience escalating paranormal activity, from strange knocks and shadows to the permeating smell of stagnant pond water, ultimately culminating with the appearance of a mysterious, ghostly crone. The black magic surrounding this object is so potentially dangerous that Greg and Dana no longer allow the public to interact with it.
Greg and Dana are constantly acquiring new objects for their collection and gaining new information from studying their artifacts. And once they present the evidence, it’s up to the visitors to decide for themselves: Is this metaphysical or make believe?
Intrigued? Of course you are. Now scroll back to the top to visit the photo gallery to see what these haunted objects are all about.
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If you want to dive into all things weird, head to the Weird HQ website.