The United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters by J.W. Ocker (VIRTUAL)
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October 4, 2022 • 7:00 pmFREE
Welcome to the United States of Cryptids, where mysterious monsters lurk in the dark forests, deep lakes, and sticky swamps of all fifty states. From the infamous Jersey Devil to the obscure Snallygaster, travel writer and chronicler of the strange J. W. Ocker uncovers the bizarre stories of more than seventy of these creatures and investigates the ways in which communities embrace and celebrate their local cryptids. Readers will learn about:
- Batsquatch of Washington, a winged bigfoot that is said to have emerged from the eruption of Mount Saint Helens
- Nain Rouge of Michigan, a fierce red goblin that has been spotted before every major city disaster in Detroit
- Flatwoods Monster of West Virginia, a robotic extraterrestrial that crash-landed in rural Appalachia
- Lizard Man of South Carolina, a reptilian mutant that attacked a teenager in the summer of 1988
- Glocester Ghoul of Rhode Island, a fire-breathing dragon that guards a hoard of pirate treasure
- And many more!
Whether you believe in bigfoot or not, this fully illustrated compendium is a fun, frightening, fascinating tour through American folklore and history, exploring the stories we tell about monsters and what those stories say about us.
FREE Virtual Event! REGISTER HERE.
Copies of THE UNITED STATES OF CRYPTIDS are available for purchase through the Mark Twain Store; proceeds benefit The Mark Twain House & Museum. Books will be shipped after the event. We regret that we are NOT able to ship books outside the United States as it is cost-prohibitive to do so.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J.W. Ocker is the award-winning author of macabre travelogues, spooky kid’s books, and horror novels. His nonfiction books include The New England Grimpendium and The New York Grimpendium (both Lowell Thomas Award winners), Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe (Edgar Award winner), A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts, and Cursed Objects: Strange But True Stories of the World’s Most Infamous Items. His novels include Death and Douglas and Twelve Nights at Rotter House. His next novel, The Smashed Man of Dread End, comes out from HarperCollins on August 17.
Ocker is also the creator of OTIS: Odd Things I’ve Seen (oddthingsiveseen.com), where he chronicles his visits to thousands of oddities of culture, art, nature, and history across the country and world with photos, articles, and through Odd Things I’ve Seen: The Podcast. His work has appeared on or in CNN.com, The Atlantic, Rue Morgue, the Boston Globe, The Guardian, TIME, and other places people stick writing. Ocker is from Maryland but has lived in New Hampshire for more than a decade. He has a wife, three daughters, and celebrates Halloween for two months.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
B.J. Hollars is the author of several books, most recently Go West Young Man: A Father and Son Rediscover America on the Oregon Trail, Midwestern Strange: Hunting Monsters, Martians and the Weird in Flyover Country, The Road South: Personal Stories of the Freedom Riders, Flock Together: A Love Affair With Extinct Birds, From the Mouths of Dogs: What Our Pets Teach Us About Life, Death, and Being Human, as well as a collection of essays, This Is Only A Test. Additionally, he has also written Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence and the Last Lynching in America, Opening the Doors: The Desegregation of the University of Alabama and the Fight for Civil Rights in Tuscaloosa, Dispatches from the Drownings, and Sightings.
Hollars is the recipient of the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Nonfiction, the Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize, the Council of Wisconsin Writers’ Blei-Derleth Award, the Society of Midland Authors Award, and received a 2022 silver medal from the Midwest Book Awards.
He is the founder and executive director of the Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and the Midwest Artist Academy, as well as an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a columnist for The Leader-Telegram. He lives a simple existence with his family.
Programs at The Mark Twain House & Museum are made possible in part by support from CT Humanities; the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; Ensworth Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; the Greater Hartford Arts Council’s United Arts Campaign; The Hartford; The Mark Twain Foundation; The National Endowment for the Humanities; and Travelers.