It Came From the River

Tonight’s episode starts with a hoax. For at least a short time in the early 1970s, the hoax caused a media frenzy to descend upon a small backroad looking for a monster that would become known as The Cole Hollow Monster. The fact the Cole Hollow Monster was a hoax has been well documented, but when you dig a little deeper into the legends of something strange lurking along the banks of the Illinois River, one has to wonder could there be something more at the heart of the story. Thanks for listening! Our musical guest for this episode is West End Junction!

The Haunting of Dogface Bridge

Along a forgotten backroad in Northwestern Indiana is an old, rusted truss bridge that spans a tributary of the Kankakee River. The bridge is overgrown with brush and on the verge of collapse. It’s known officially as Old County Bridge 99, but locals call it a Dogface Bridge after the woman/dog hybrid creature that’s said to haunt the bridge. Join us as we dig deeper into the Haunting of Dogface Bridge!

Strange Tales from the Riverlands

Spooky season is upon us, so you know what that means: The Riverlands Podcast is kicking off Season 3 with our annual Halloween Show! This episode is packed with stories of high strangeness from every corner of the Riverlands told by the experiencers in their own voices. We hope you enjoy these encounters with the strange and the unknown!

Bonus: The Ancient Goodest Girl

In honor of National Dog Day, we have a bonus episode for you about humanity’s best friend. We hope you enjoy it! For this episode, we found “A middle Archaic Dog Burial in Illinois ” by Fredrick C Hill particularly helpful. If you’d like to check out Center for American Archeology for yourself, you canContinue reading “Bonus: The Ancient Goodest Girl”

Exploring The  Riverbend with Exspiravit Paranormal Society

In our Season 2 finale, we continue our 10 Questions with…Paranormal Investigators series with Exspiravit Paranormal Society from the Quad Cities area of the Riverlands. In this episode, we share tales about the strange places and dark history in the shared region between Iowa and Illinois at the confluence of the Rock River and the Mississippi. Thanks for listening! We will be back in October with more tales of dark history and high strangeness from the Riverlands and more interviews with those who investigate the paranormal in Season 3!

At the Crossroads with Hugh DeNeal

It’s time for the annual Riverlands Musical Episode! On a snowy evening in February, we had the pleasure to talk with Riverlands singer/songwriter Hugh DeNeal. Hugh is an absolute legend in the Riverlands musical community with a unique style all to himself. Hugh and his legendary southern Illinois band, the Woodbox Gang, have an electric style of bluegrass that has been described as “Insurgent Americana”, though the band preferred the term “Trashcan Americana”. Hugh’s unique storytelling style through his music make him a perfect Riverlands musical guest. Enjoy!

10 Questions with…The Screaming Ghost Girls

Our next entry into our 10 Questions with Paranormal Investigator interview series features Michelle and Rebecca from the Screaming Ghost Girls. What started out as a ghost hunt as part of a girls weekend getaway quickly morphed into a full blown adventure for Michelle and Rebecca. They’re hilarious, they know their history and we think you’re really going to enjoy our interview with The Screaming Ghost Girls!

10 Questions with…Parallax Paranormal

This episode is the first in our “10 Questions with…” series. In this version of the series, we’re featuring conversations with Paranormal Investigation groups from all corners of the Riverlands.

In this episode, we sit down with Shannon, Nick, Jason and Ryan, 4 out of the 5 members of Parallax Paranormal. Parallax Paranormal utilizes technology to try to capture evidence of paranormal activity and offer their investigative services free of charge to clients. Parallax Paranormal were really awesome to talk with and we hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did!

Check out their Facebook Page, youtube channel (seriously, go watch some of their investigations! You won’t regret it 🙂 ) and Instagram
If you’re in the Riverlands and would like Parallax Paranormal to come investigate your home or business, email the team at

Guided by the Spirit

Tonight’s episode is an origin story of sorts- a self-proclaimed hero’s descent into villianhood. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is a story about Jim, a man who was lead by the spirits of the Riverlands on a journey that ultimately ended in terrorism and murder. Jim was a preacher who founded a survivalist Christian community deep in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. Jim’s sermons became increasingly paranoid and foretold the decline of civilization. What began as a community of the lost and idealistic, eventually evolved into an extremist paramilitary organization that dissolved after a multi-day standoff with the U.S. government.

A Very Riverlands Holiday Special

Happy Holidays! This year, we’re continuing The Riverlands tradition of Christmas ghost stories. In this special episode we chat with Jonathan, the city planner for Hillsboro, Illinois. Jonathan shares our interest in history and high strangeness and recently started a ghost walk for downtown Hillsboro. We talk about Jonathan’s favorite local ghost stories and Hillsboro’s revitalization over the past 10 years. Thanks for listening! We will see you in the new year!

The Space Penguins of Tuscumbia

In central Missouri, just east of the Lake of the Ozarks, is a town of 200 people called Tuscumbia. By all accounts, Tuscumbia is a small, quiet river town. But in some corners of internet, Tuscumbia is legendary. This is because, on a chilly February morning in 1967, a farmer named Claude Edwards said he spotted something strange on his way to tend to his cows, sparking a story that would become known as The Space Penguins of Tuscumbia.

The Riverlands Halloween Special: Part 2

Happy Halloween! We’ve got a bunch more spooky stories for you. Hope you enjoy them! Thanks for listening! The music used in this episode was: The Ballad of Jimmy Rawls by Jeff and Teresea Davidsmeyer. You can check them out on Youtube here.

The Riverlands Halloween Special: Part 1

We’re back! We’re kicking off Season 2 with a two part series in celebration of the Halloween season! While researching stories for season 2, we came across many stories of high strangeness from across the Riverlands. We’re really excited to share these stories with you! Each story is told by those who experienced them inContinue reading “The Riverlands Halloween Special: Part 1”

Episode 10: The Coming of the Nightriders

In the Season 1 finale, we bring you part two of the story of Reelfoot Lake. What began as a series of protests against a wealthy businessman blocking local access to drain and log the lake, quickly morphed into something much darker and violent. We hope you enjoy the story of the Nightriders of Reelfoot Lake!

Episode 9: What’s Buried Beneath: The New Madrid Quake

In Northwest Tennessee, just across the Mississippi river from New Madrid, Missouri is a flooded cypress forest called Reelfoot lake.  Spanning 15,000 acres, this shallow, peaceful lake is a birding and fishing paradise. But despite it’s placid waters, Reelfoot Lake and the region it inhabits has a grim history starting with it’s violent creation asContinue reading “Episode 9: What’s Buried Beneath: The New Madrid Quake”

Episode 8.5: American Spiritualism

Katherine from the Mourning Society of St. Louis returns to discuss the history of American Spiritualism and the group’s upcoming event on the topic. Spiritualism was a religious movement that became popular during the Victorian era, and centered around the belief in the existence of the human spirit beyond the grave and the ability ofContinue reading “Episode 8.5: American Spiritualism”

Episode 8: Summoning Demons of the Past

In this musical episode of the Riverlands we speak to musician Stace England, a singer/song writer from Southern Illinois, about his writing process and why he chooses to tell these stories. Stace’s ability to capture a story and atmosphere into song drew us to him and his music. During our discussion, we realized we wereContinue reading “Episode 8: Summoning Demons of the Past”

Episode 7.5: Chasing Strangeness

Richard joins us to share his first hand accounts of high strangeness in Western Illinois. He shares stories about the Argyle Monster, Sasquatch and something….even stranger. We hope you enjoy his stories as much as we did! Thanks for listening! This music featured at the end of this episode was “Dead End Blues” by MickContinue reading “Episode 7.5: Chasing Strangeness”

Episode 7: The Archivist

Dr. Michael Lorenzen joined us from Western Illinois University to discuss his research into the bigfoot phenomenon in Western Illinois.  Dr. Lorenzen emphasizes the importance of primary sources in his research and is dedicated to documenting them.  He shares his research philosophy with us, insights into good research practices and several historical accounts from Western Illinois. 

Episode 6: The Ozarks UFO Messiah

Our story in this episode originates straight from out of the tent revivals of old, and ends with a pyramid built deep in the Ozark hills. This story has it all: UFOs. Nazis. Sex. Murder. The death of a wealthy widow at the Yahweh City Commune in Phelps County, Missouri kicked off a series of events that caused a whole scheme to unravel. A scheme of a man who promised salvation from an impeding nuclear holocaust via thousands of UFOs, if you could pay for it. Joseph Jeffers was the self proclaimed Messiah of the Yahweh cult and founder of Yahweh City. This is his story.

Bonus Episode: Creature from Big Muddy Documentary

In this bonus episode, we sit down with Joe Tury of RedRoom Creative Media to discuss his latest documentary, Creature from Big Muddy: An Illinois Bigfoot Legend. Creature from Big Muddy explores the legendary Big Muddy Monster that lurks around the town of Murphysboro, Illinois. The lore of the Big Muddy Monster centers around aContinue reading “Bonus Episode: Creature from Big Muddy Documentary”

Episode 5: The Mourning Society of St. Louis

This episode features a discussion with Katherine from the Mourning Society of St. Louis about historical mourning, death culture and funeral customs. The Mourning Society of St. Louis is a civilian reenactment group that brings historical funerals to life as public educational events.   The group hosts a several events throughout the year and ifContinue reading “Episode 5: The Mourning Society of St. Louis”

Episode 4: Winter Ghost Stories

 In the spirit of the holidays, we thought we’d resurrect the long lost tradition of telling ghost stories during the Christmas season. In this episode, our guest, Zach, tells the story about a haunted house where he and his roommates lived during college. It’s quite an eerie tale and we hope you enjoy it!

Episode 3: The Drowned Fortress

This is the story of Fort Bellefontaine, the first US military post west of the Mississippi.  Two hundred years ago, it was the last outpost of civilization before heading into the newly purchased Louisiana territory. The fort was witness to many pivotal historic moments in the early days of the United States and was hostContinue reading “Episode 3: The Drowned Fortress”