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Some strange locations to visit in America


So this time around, I thought we’d have a little look at some strange locations to visit if you find yourself in the United States.

Lost Roanoke colony

For fans of American Horror Story, this tale may be familiar to you as it was the basis around one of their seasons (I can’t watch it, too spooky for me).

The lost Roanoke colony is one of America’s greatest unsolved mysteries. In 1587, a group of 115 English settlers landed on the island of Roanoke, off the coast of North Carolina. Later in the year the leader of the colony, John White, returned to England to gather supplies. White didn’t return to the island until 1590, expecting to find his wife, daughter and the rest of the settlers. Instead he found the place completely deserted, with the only evidence being a single word carved into a fencepost – ‘CROATOAN’.

There are numerous theories surrounding the disappearance of the colonists and to this day there’s still no definitive answer. There are tours of the island, as well as an outdoor play. It’s well worth a visit - especially if you think you can solve the mystery. You can find details of available activities here.

Joshua Norton

This is one of my favourite stories of all time; Joshua Norton was once a wealthy businessman and landowner, who lost his entire fortune in a business endeavour. He then proceeded to disappear for a few years. In September 1859 Joshua re-appeared, declaring himself the one true Emperor of the United States, which was encouraged by local newspapers as a comical piece.

Of course the reality was that he was almost penniless, and living in a flophouse. But the mythology he’d built for himself meant that people started greeting him as ‘your highness’ and ‘your majesty’.

Although he was considered insane, people enjoyed the novelty of watching the ‘Emperor’ and his appeal was so wide that restaurant owners would let him dine for free, and theatre owners would save him a seat for the opening night of a show. He had such huge popularity that this was a brilliant marketing tactic.

Emperor Norton never paid at restaurants; instead he left IOUs, commanding that they reclaim the expense from his mythical treasury. And a printing company indulged him even further by printing him his own royal currency, which was widely accepted in the San Francisco area.

Emperor Norton died of a heart attack on 1880, and his death made the headlines in all the major newspapers. “Le Rois est mort” – the king is dead. You can visit the grave of Emperor Norton in Woodlawn Cemetery, Colma, California.

And that’s a brief overview of Joshua Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America. It’s a really funny and interesting footnote in American history and is well worth reading further into.

Georgia Guidestones

This is a lot more bleak and sinister than the last one, but it indulges my inner conspiracy theorist. In June 1979, a man under the pseudonym of Robert C. Christian commissioned a set of huge stone tablets which are supposedly the guidelines to the continued survival of humanity.

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.

These are repeated in eight different languages. As well as a singular tablet with various astronomical data: alignment of stars (there’s a hole drilled in one tablet where you can always see the north star).

There’s a lot of conspiracy theories regarding this – specifically ‘New World Order’-type conspiracies. Read a little into this, all the intrigue surrounding them is absolutely fascinating. The original creators of these stones are still anonymous and if you’re interested in paying a visit to the Georgia Guidestones, you can find them at 1031 Guide Stones Road, Elberton in Georgia.

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