Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 11 People Were Once Paid To Be Garden Gnomes. This Is A Thing That Happened.

In the 18th century, the English took conspicuous consumption to a whole new level when they hired actual old men to live in their gardens as ornamental hermits.

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I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 10 The Littlest Pirate

Lots of kids talk about running away to join the circus or become pirates. But few actually do it.

However in 1716, one boy did. His name as John King, and he was around ten years old.

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I’m Not Making This Up: The Search For Blackbeard’s Head

Once upon a time, an infamous pirate was beheaded. Centuries later, his head purportedly turned up in all sorts of interesting places.

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I Am Not Making This Up: That Time Virginia invaded North Carolina

Blackbeard the pirate: Tactical Genius. Technically Innocent (Ha!)

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I Am Not Making This Up: Joan the Mad of Castile’s Epic Farewell Tour

Say Jerry Springer came to you with a time machine (Tardis, DeLorean, whatever) and a mission: to travel back in time and bring him the most dysfunctional people you can find to guest star on his show.

Who would you bring? The Tudors? The Kennedys?

Possibly. But you really couldn’t go wrong if you made a stopover in Spain and grabbed Queen Juana the I of Castile. History remembers her as Joan the Mad. Though whether she deserves that title is up for debate.

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I Am Not Making This Up: How Bathing Led To The Decline Of Rome

Next time your mom wants you to take a bath, just tell her that bathing led to the decline of Ancient Rome. This is a theory that serious scholars came up with. Seriously.

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I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 3 That Time Someone Caught a Shark In Illinois

Herbert Cope and his fishing partner Dudge Collins knew they had a big catch in their fishing trap.  Maybe some kind of Muskie or Catfish.  But when they hauled it in, they never expected a 5 foot long shark. They were after all, in Illinois.  Research links: Sharks In Illinois The Strangest Shark Story Ever

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I Am Not Making This Up: The RMS Queen Mary. Yet Another “The Most Haunted Place On Earth.”

She’s a war hero and a celebrity. She’s been the subject of books and the star of both TV and movies. Some people say that she’s a haunted lady.

She’s also a boat.

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I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 2 The Curse of the Little Bastard

My short story, The Hobos, The Devil and James Dean’s Car is featured over at the pulp magazine Crimson Streets. You can read it here. In honor of the publication, I’m podcasting an abridged version of the article that inspired the story. ┬áIf you’d like to read the longer article, you can do so here. […]

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I Am Not Making This Up: One Eyed Willie Couldn’t Have Hid It Better! the Oak Island Money Pit.

Imagine going for a walk and finding a mystery that would endure for over two centuries. According to legend, this is what happened to teenager Daniel McGinnis in 1795. What would follow would be a 200 year long odyssey for buried treasure that would make The Goonies look sophisticated.

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