Category Archives: Incunabula

The Flatwoods Monster and Ong’s Hat, New Jersey

Welcome to another exciting episode of the Two Scaredy Cats Podcast. This week Kara dives into the story of a cryptid from West Virginia. She tells us the tale of the Flatwoods Monster and we discuss some of the different theories about what it could of possibly been, that all those people saw that day.

Our next topic is about Ong’s Hat, New Jersey. This story has lots of crazy things that have happened over the years. We start off with a brief history of the town and how it got it’s name. Then we get into all the conspiracy theories surrounding Ong’s hat from a supposed secret cult, to a gate to another dimension and other crazy stuff.

New Jersey Is The World: A Return to Ong’s Hat

LINK: WARNING: Some listeners may be disturbed by the fact that at no point in this episode do Mike D and Andrea mention diarrhea. This is a diarrhea-free episode. Proceed at your own risk. Longtime subscribers to our Patreon may remember an early episode of South Jersey Is Also the World where Andrea and Gethard went deep into the history of Ong’s Hat, a South Jersey ghost town so tiny it doesn’t even appear on most maps. Its history is a fascinating one, with debatable origins involving bootlegging and hat-based feuds as well as an early Internet legend regarded by many as the genesis of Alternate Reality Games. Since that episode, Ong’s Hat has popped up in a few other places, so we figured it was time for a revisit. While we do discuss the above in some detail, this episode is really about urban legends, how they spread, and why we seem to love them so much more in Jersey. We also discover something about our own history that has the potential to crack this whole Ong’s Hat mystery wide open. We need your help on that one though, so have a listen and let us know what you think!  


Legend Tripping- the process of seeking adventure by going to places known to be associated with paranormal events. In the episode we offer some background on legend tripping in America (wait for Part Two for the best international destinations), including Capt. McKerry’s Vault on the Ohio River (Indiana)~Goatman’s Grave in Missouri~Ong’s Hat (ghosttown in NJ~Mountain Meadows Massacre Site (UT)~Winchester Mystery House (CA)~The Marshall House Hotel (Savannah GA)~Bloody Lane at Antietam (Sharpsburg, MD~Fort Monroe (Hampton, VA~ Murder Hotel (Chicago)~The Bridgewater Traingle (Mass)~ The 8 Best Places to find Bigfoot (in US).

This Is Not A Game: How the legend of Ong’s Hat foretold the modern internet

In his newest podcast, This Is Not A Game, award-winning journalist and documentary maker Marc Fennell explores the internet’s first conspiracy theory – the legend of Ong’s Hat.

The six-episode documentary podcast investigates the unexplored world of tech hippies, eccentric web subcultures, and simmering paranoia, and follows Fennell as he uncovers how this tongue-in-cheek artistic experiment backfired on its creator and went on to influence much of what’s wrong with the internet today.

Podcast Week’s Tess Connery caught up with Fennell ahead of the Audible podcast’s launch.

What was it about the legend of Ong’s Hat that caught your attention? How did this whole project come about?

Fennell: “I’ve spent more than a decade covering the internet and technology through my other work, and it occurred to me that when it comes to technology, we often talk about the present and the future. We very rarely talk about how it is that we got here.

“It’s a bloody weird story. The basic gist of it is that in the early days of the Internet, you’ve got this engineer who starts a joke amongst nerds that in the middle of the woods is a shack where a bunch of renegade scientists attempt to build a portal to another world in the shape of an egg. It’s objectively crazy, but the thing is, everyone who was online at that point kind of got it.

“The thing that stood out to me is that it is a cautionary tale. You and I both know that the internet today is a complete trash fire – it’s never been easier to distrust each other. And it struck me that this was a cautionary tale, because everything bad about the incident today, we were warned with this story. This tale is absolutely a parable from the past that could have warned us about how we got here.”

How did you approach the research on this project? The early internet is a whole other beast, how much of it was still around for you to find?

Fennell: “One of the reasons this conspiracy theory was so intoxicating for people is that the puppet master, Joe, would put out little breadcrumbs of real and fake, and people who got sucked into it really felt like they had to investigate, they had to engage. They had to do a bit of work.

“That means they have a sense of engagement, they’re like, I discovered this, I did my own research, which meant that there was a sense of pride. So people kept a lot of stuff, people kept their memorabilia and the bits of pieces of information they’d acquired. That made it a little bit easier to keep track of.”

You have a few podcasts under your belt now. What is it that keeps you coming back to audio projects?

Fennell: “The really interesting thing with audio is that the listener is an active participant, because they are using their imagination to create the world. We’ve gone harder with sound design on This Is Not A Game than any other project I’ve ever been involved in. It’s easily the trippiest, most enveloping audio experience of anything I’ve ever made – the whole idea was to pull people into the rabbit hole.

“What was super important for this series more than any was to create that that sense of getting lost in the woods with you and your imagination. That’s one of those moments, one of those ways in which audio is just so powerful, because it employs your own imagination as a listener.”

What do you hope people take away from This Is Not A Game?

Fennell: “We all share responsibility for the internet, because it’s now so big and so ubiquitous, and it connects us all. It was built as a reflection of certain human tastes and certain human ideas about how we should interact, but now it belongs to all of us. If we want the internet to be less of a trash fire, if we want the internet to be a more trustworthy place, it is now it is no longer just the responsibility of tech companies and government – although they play a role.

“We also have to change how we behave and we treat other people online. There is a transference that’s occurred on our watch from theirs to ours. I think we all have a responsibility to cultivate the web that we want.”

[Listen to This Is Not A Game here]

This Is Not a Game with Marc Fennell (Ong’s Hat History)

This Is Not a Game is the extraordinary untold story of the internet’s first conspiracy theory, the legend of Ong’s Hat.


This Is Not a Game is the extraordinary untold story of the internet’s first conspiracy theory, the legend of Ong’s Hat.

Marc Fennell will dive deep into a previously unexplored world of tech hippies, eccentric web subcultures, and simmering paranoia, uncovering how this tongue-in-cheek artistic experiment backfired on its creator and went on to influence much of what’s wrong with the internet today.

Hosted and co-produced by Marc Fennell

A BBC Studios production for Audible

©2024 Marc Fennell (P)2024 BBC Studios Productions Ltd.

Product Details

    • Unabridged Audiobook
    • Language: English


The insurrection of which you are the hero

We will see later how this central idea of ​​radical mutual aid is embodied. In the meantime, what form does Hypergaming actually take? The alchemist responds by recalling that it comes from the world of ARG (Alternate reality game) augmented reality games. An ARG is an interactive online narrative that leverages the real world as a platform and uses transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that can be changed by players’ ideas or actions. Basically, it is the meeting between a life-size treasure hunt in the form of a treasure hunt, involving the interactive unfolding of a story, the use of new technologies and a community. Considered the father of modern ARGs, the “Incunaba papers” refer to a set of documents which circulated between four researchers from the 1980s via the first computer networks. The center of their research would have been located in a ghost town in New Jersey, Ong’s Hat. “Like the Incunaba papers, summarizes the Alchemist, the founding text of the Hypergame, presented by many as the introduction to the Great Game to Come [ 4 ]
[4] Grand Jeu A Coming: This collection brought together for the first…

theorized more than half a century ago by situs, was first published on the Internet in the form of a participatory collection.

We see that Hypergaming, more of a transmedia concept than an online platform, even encrypted, born from the libertarian counterculture and developed in particular by the theorist Mckenzie Wark, remains a very mysterious object. And, as if to add more, the alchemist recognizes “that there are as many definitions of Hypergaming as there are hyperplayers. Some even maintain that it does not exist, which adds to its legend.” Here we are!

Complete Article:

Perplexity: A Mystery PodcastEpisode 67: Ong’s Hat, New Jersey and the Internet Conspiracy Theory

Show link: Have you ever driven through a ghost town and wondered about the history behind it? What ruin or tragedy may have led to the town becoming nothing more than a skeleton? And have you ever wondered if these towns can serve as gateways or portals to the other side? What would you do if you ventured into an internet forum, where hundreds of people were claiming to have discovered another universe hidden in a lost town? In this episode, we will journey into the complex story of Ong’s Hat, New Jersey and the man who put this town back on the map… sort of.

The Incredible Tale of Ong’s Hat

Step into the enigmatic world of Ong’s Hat, a town shrouded in mystery and intrigue. Join us as we delve into the rich history and captivating legends that have surrounded this puzzling place for decades. From its obscure origins to the strange stories that have been passed down through generations, this video is your ultimate guide to unlocking the secrets of Ong’s Hat.

Discover why Ong’s Hat has become a hotbed for urban legends and conspiracy theories, and separate fact from fiction as we explore the truth behind the myths. With each twist and turn, you’ll find yourself drawn deeper into the enigma that is Ong’s Hat.

The Elusive Town of Ong’s Hat
The Mysterious Moorish Science Ashram
The Incunabula Papers and Internet Speculation
The Pine Barrens of New Jersey
The Internet and the Spread of Urban Legends
The Legacy of Ong’s Hat
The True Uncharted Territory
Journey’s End, The Story Continues

Tales of Weird NJ: Bovine, Bigfoot & Frogs

Paul Giamatti and friends discuss weird New Jersey stories and give some props to Ong’s Hat.
Recorded live from the (possibly haunted) Marines’ Memorial Theatre in San Francisco at @SFSketchfest 2024 with special guest, comedian, writer, and host of the Beautiful/Anonymous podcast (…, Chris Gethard. Chris heard about a lot of brushes with the paranormal during his time at Weird NJ, and he relays one of the spookiest stories imaginable about a band of silent, menacing cows leading the way to a flannel-clad BigFoot lying supine on a mattress. Was there LSD involved? And what’s more terrifying, encounters with man, or the supernatural? You decide Chinwaggers! Paul Giamatti is an award-winning actor and producer. Stephen Asma is a professor and author specializing in the philosophy of science, religion, and art. Chris Gethard is a comedian, author, actor and host of the Beautiful/Anonymous podcast which was recently adapted into a 4-part series streaming on Topic. He also wrote the book “Weird New York” and hosts the podcast New Jersey is the World, a celebration of his home state. If you want to see Chris live, check out his tour dates on ???????????? ========= Bonus Chin-Word: ONG’S HAT =========