Author Archives: Mark and Mark

Weird NJ Mail Order Form

We know that some of our readers are old school and prefer ordering their Weird NJ stuff through the mail…and we are totally okay with that. If you happen to be one of those folks, all you have to do … Continue reading

The Device is in the Brain in Totowa

There used to be these crudely hand-lettered, poster-sized signs filling every window of this house on Union Blvd. in Totowa with inscriptions like “THE DEVICE IS IN THE BRAIN…HEAT FROM THE BODY POWERS THE DEVICE.” Continue reading

Profanity Houses of the Rutherfurd Stuyvesant Estate

If your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to venture through the ominous looking gates you will find yourself walking along the meandering carriage path deeper into the woods. You will soon see the remnants of stone walls, bridges and dams, that once led the way up to an old mansion, which was originally built in the late 1700’s. If you continue on this course you may just find some intriguing––some might even say shocking––surprises await you there. Continue reading

Moldenke’s Castle

It kept a solemn and stoic vigil over the Watchung Mountain range for nearly 70 years, for many of which it lay abandoned in the woods. The turreted castle contained 40 rooms. There was a huge entry hall that had two chandeliers made up of eight Civil War muskets each. Suits of armor, helmets, guns, and trophies adorned every wall. The basement housed a laboratory Moldenke used for scientific studies. There was also a mausoleum with 21 crypts, and even a huge cannon! Continue reading

Sam Patch, the “Jersey Jumper”

In 1827 Paterson mill worker named Sam Patch announced that he would jump over the Great Passaic Falls 0n the day that the new Chasm Bridge was to be erected across the span. That day a large crowd gathered to watch launched himself from the 80-foot high cliff, arms at his side, and shot down into the turbulent river like an arrow, then swam to shore unharmed. The daring feat was reported in newspapers across the country, and the legend of the “Jersey Jumper” was born. So began the spectacular, though short-lived, career of Sam Patch. Continue reading

Jungle Habitat: Wild, Free and Abandoned

It was an African safari theme park in West Milford operated by Warner Brothers in the early to mid 1970s where “wild” animals, such as lions, zebras and elephants, roamed free. Over the years Weird NJ had received reports sporadically from the West Milford area of sightings of non-indigenous species of animals, such as monkeys and kangaroos, roaming the woods there. It was always rumored that these were the descendants of escapees from Jungle Habitat. Still, for some reason we never though to actually go to the site of the old abandoned park until this new tip came in. When we did go we could hardly believe what we found. Continue reading

History and Legends of the Mysterious “Jackson Whites”

Ever since the Revolutionary War there have been stories of a degenerate race of people who live an isolated existence in New Jersey’s Ramapo Mountains. This motley group of social outcasts who had taken refuge in the northeastern hills of the state and inbred to the point of mutation. The group, which has been alleged to be comprised of a mongrel hybrid of renegade Indians, escaped slaves, Hessian mercenary deserters, and West Indian prostitutes, have come to be known as the Jackson Whites. Continue reading

The Unsolved Case of Jeannette DePalma

In this all-but-forgotten unsolved case from 1972, the body of a teenage girl was discovered atop a cliff, high above an abandoned quarry in the town of Springfield. The corpse was found thanks to a dog that brought home a badly decomposed human forearm to its master. The deceased would later be identified as Jeannette DePalma, a local teenager who had been missing for six weeks. Before long, witchcraft, satanism and police conspiracies would all become suspects in the bizarre case. Continue reading