We here at Serpents of Bienville have a lot of different projects currently running. One project that we are particularly excited about is the Alabama Oddities pieces that Amanda is writing for our social media sites. She is doing daily updates, bringing you a new story every morning, of something strange and odd from our Southern home. Not everyone has social media, so we will be doing weekly rundown's of her stories, which we will be publishing every Sunday. We hope you guys enjoy, and remember to follow us on our social media sites to get daily Alabama Oddities stories. Enjoy!
Still Home - Saturday December 26th
There is a home on Brookside Drive in Opp, Alabama that the family was drawn to. They moved to Opp in 1988 and were drawn in by it’s beauty and charm so much that the mother asked the elderly woman if they could possibly buy her home from her. She swiftly obliged. As the family of seven moved in, they quickly found out that the number of residents to the home far outnumbered those of the living. The activity started with a man, whose clothes were both too small and too big, standing at the foot of one of the daughter’s bed while she slept. The next sighting was of a little girl in a frilly dress jumping rope in the yard. The youngest girl ran out to find her, but no one was there, though her father always complained about his daughter jumping rope in the house, her swearing she didn't do it. Things turned dark quickly following this incident. Names of anyone present alone in the house would be called, three times, the third being more of a aggressive growl, enough to frighten one of the boys out of the house in nothing but a towel until his parents returned home. The kids would see objects flying across their rooms at night, some even seeming to be on fire or broken into shards, obviously attempting to scare the family out of the house. The family pets weren’t immune either. Doors would slam on the dogs, cats would be thrown from porch swings. The final straw was the most terrifying of all. One of the girls reported something entering her body from her fingertips, crawling under her skin, creeping all the way up to her shoulders, them quickly retracting. She was frozen with fear. When she mustered the courage to roll over to dash to her parents’ bed, a gray skinned man with hollow black eyes was lying on the pillow next to her. When she made it to her parents’ room, her siblings were already there. They moved out in 1998. The family that moved in after them said they hadn't been visited by anything from beyond, but when one of the girls returned to interview the new family, she was aggressively thrown back down the driveway in a ghostly "stay out" manner. Message received.
Bloody Oak - Sunday December 27th
The far reaching shade of an oak tree canopy can provide cover: cover from the blazing sun, cover from the heavy drops of rain, and when the sun has set, the cover of complete darkness, the perfect location for murder. A gnarly knotting oak tree reaches out from the side of the road that lay between Darlington and Camden Highway. On a warm and still night, a man dragged his prey into the cover of this tree, slit his throat, and walked away unseen. The blood ran from the trunk to the road, staining the white sand crimson along its path. The southern rains came, as they do almost daily in the summer, and washed the blood away. The sands remain white, until the rain returns. It is said that the rain now brings the man's blood back to the surface around the roots of the oak, because though the dead man's identity is unknown, he will not let his heinous murder be forgotten.
Thank You, Boll Weevil - Monday December 28th
Monuments are erected to commemorate significant markers that hold the utmost historical importance. in Enterprise, Alabama, that important marker is the Boll Weevil. This beetle, indigenous to Mexico, reared it's ugly head in 1915 in Alabama, feasting on cotton crops and leaving a town in devastation. This doesn't seem like a likely candidate for immortalization in iron on Main Street, but the people of Enterprise seem to be the eternally optimistic type. After the cotton crops were destroyed, they thought to diversify their endeavors, which brought in more cash flow than before the boll weevil paid the town a ghastly visit. So in 1919, the town erected the Boll Weevil Monument, but the worm wasn't actually holding a boll weevil until thirty years later, after many eyebrows were raised as to what this statue actually had to do with bugs. Vandals have destroyed the original statue so many times that repairing it became too costly for the city, and what's left of the iron woman can be found in the Depot Museum nearby. Standing in her place at Main St. and College is a polymer resin replica. She stands as a reminder to find the good in every situation, no matter how disastrous it may seem.
Ol’ Two Toe - Tuesday December 29th
Bon Secour and it’s waterfront is a living paradise to all animals: biped, quadruped, and those fantastic beasts in between. Residents of the area in the early 1900’s had to set traps to keep small animals away from their crops, out of their barns, and off their porches. So when a man found his raccoon trap mangled, he knew small pests were the least of his problems. Upon closer investigation, he noticed two bloody alligator toes, as if the beast had found himself caught in the trap and ripped it off at the cost of his back claws. The man nailed the toes to the side of his barn, partly for warning and partly for a conversation piece. The lore started growing wildly from that day, from a supernaturally fast gator catching livestock and disappearing back into the twisted oak canopies, to a gator running on two back legs in the cover of night running alongside speeding cars. “Be one the lookout for Ol’ Two Toe. He will steal your animals and chase your children. Shoot him on sight.” In 1930, a gator weighing about 1000 pounds and reaching 13 feet was caught after a hefty fight from the Cooper brothers. They bragged that they killed Ol’ Two Toe, and even chopped the foot off and preserved it in moonshine. Low and behold, the jar busted one day, and the secret was out. They had removed tow toes post mortem and sewn the wound shut. Ol’ Two Toe lived on.
Rockford, Home of Fred - Wednesday December 30th
A stray Airedale mix wandered up to the door of Ken's Package Store in Rockford, Alabama. The dog was skinny, sickly, and dirty. Strangers nurses him back to health in 1993, and he knew he was home. Townspeople named him Fred, and he loved every one of them. He was given a bandana, and spotted all over the city. He was made Grand Marshall of the Fourth of July parade, he was mentioned on the sign coming into town, "Rockford, Alabama, home of Fred the town dog," he even had a regular column in the newspaper. Animal Planet had a feature on him. All for being a good boy. Fred passed away in 2002 from an odd animal bite that his elderly body couldn't heal, and was buried behind the Old Rock Jail. A proper gravestone was donated two years later, and that year he was inducted into the Alabama Animal Hall of Fame.
Rolling Heads at Rosebud - Thursday December 31st
In Wilcox County, a few miles north of the Rosebuds crossroads, there is an old rickety house, and it hasn't seen live for years. This house was supposedly used as a hospital in the late 1800's. What happened to the hospital or the bodies that lay to rest in the yard are uncertain. The only signs of their remains are the broken headstones jutting out of the earth like crooked teeth, and the dance their heads will do at night. Legend has it that in the attic of this abandoned house are the skulls of the people buried in the yard. Their heads are said to contain the trapped souls, needing to return to their bodies. So every once in a while, usually during a storm or other event of heightened energy, the heads will roll out of the attic and down the stairs, onto the porch and across the yard. The will hover over their body's grave and sway back and forth in mourning, unable to become whole again.
The First Mardi Gras Parade - Saturday January 2nd
The first Mardi Gras parade is legend to have started in Mobile, Alabama on New Year's Eve in 1830, when a group of men were celebrating by partying down the docks, stopping and drinking with every boat captain they came across. In their liquor soaked reveling, they noticed a hardware store across the way. They took off, raiding the store of shovels, rakes, cowbells, and anything that could possibly make a noise. This tradition carried for a few years before the men decided to give themselves a name. Cowbellion de Rakins Society. The first parading Mardi Gras organization was born.
Boat Parade - Sunday January 3rd
Orange Beach Alabama will be celebrating the 12th annual Mardi Gras Boat Parade this year. Sea captains transform their vessels into decked out floats and roll down the water with music and throws, trinkets and sweets. Nothing short of a show. The party sets sail from the Wharf and ends at Lulu's on Fat Tuesday, with a day-long party of live music and free cake.