import_contacts Weird New Jersey

reviewed by Tom Hartman

Published in Issue No. 53 ~ October, 2001

Going up against Randy Constan’s Peter Pan’s Homepage in the “weird” category of this
year’s Webbys, Weird New Jersey didn’t stand a chance. No matter how
bizarre your content, it’s tough to compete with photos of a
late-forty-something bloke leaping about in a ragged-hemmed green
tunic or posing longingly in front of a fireplace decked out like
Gainsborough’s Blue Boy.

Still, Weird New Jersey, the unusually meaty companion web site to the
print publication of the same name, is unfailingly entertaining, even
if you’re not a resident of the much-maligned Garden State. Billed as
“Your Travel Guide to New Jersey’s Local Legends and Best-kept
Secrets,” Weird NJ is an ever-growing anthology of ghost stories,
urban legends, tales of shadowy characters or unexplained phenomena,
accompanied by other bits of generally, well, weird, Jerseyana. A good
bit of the content here is reader-penned (with almost every piece
accompanied by running commentary from subsequent readers who write in
to dispute or verify the author’s claims), and for that it’s uniformly
readable, which testifies to the editorial chops of
co-helmsmen Mark Sceurman and Mark Moran. On the main page, a handy
pull down menu allows readers to select from categories like “Only Go
There at Night,” “Roadside, Weirdside” and “Weird Animals,” among

In the midst of all the content here, be sure and check out the
interview with Jim Davidson, the co-creator of the now infamous Tube
Bar Tapes, in which the teenaged Davidson, along with co-conspirator
John Elmo, repeatedly crank called the owner of a Jersey City tavern
asking for “Phil Mypockets”, “Cole Cutz” and other “regulars” — a
prank which — arguably, anyway — served as the inspiration for The
Jerky Boys’ escapades and which landed Davidson and Elmo a spot on the
Howard Stern show.

account_box More About

Tom Hartman has been a regular contributor to Pif since 1999. He lives in Philadelphia.