South Carolina is known for its beautiful beaches, big tabacco farms, and lots of maritime history, but what you might not know is that it's home to some of the strangest locales in the whole country. Follow our weird guide South Carolina and add some oddities to your next road trip.

UFO Welcome Center

Alien have landed in the town of Bowman, South Carolina. Ok, maybe not, but the town is ready for it. A 42-foot-wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic sits in the back yard of Bowman resident Jody Pendarvis and serves as a UFO Welcome Center for whenever the little green men decide to show up. Until then, you can visit it yourself for just $1.

Guests enter the strange craft by way of a motorized hatch, and a quick climb inside reveals that the saucer is furnished with a bed, satellite television, air conditioning, toilet, and a shower. Talk about southern hospitality!

Oyotunji African Village

When people think of communities steeped in the practice of Voodoo, their minds would almost certainly wander to New Orleans. Few would guess that somewhere in the South Carolina woods there exists a compound where a sacred Yoruba voodoo village exists; a place where the leaders insist that you are leaving the sovereignty of the United States and stepping onto foreign soil. That place is the Oyotunji African Village.

The sign at the gate reads:

NOTICE: You are leaving the US. You are Entering the Yoruba Kingdom
In the name of High Highness Efuntola, peace welcome to the sacred village of Oyotunji, the only village in North America built by priests of the Vodun cults as a tribute to our ancestors. These priests preserve the customs, laws, and religion of the African race.

WELCOME TO OUR LAND!

Visitors are welcome to swing by and experience the traditional Yoruba culture for themselves, but you might want to call ahead for the best experience.

Scape Oar Swamp

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SyFy Channel

Somewhere in the marshy patches of Bishopville, a monster lurks. The Lizard Man of Scape Oar Swamp was first encountered on June 29, 1988 when Christopher Davis, a 17 year old local, said he encountered the creature while driving home from work at 2 AM.

"I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off." 

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Cryptomundo

Since then, the creature has been spotted numerous times, and locals say that if you hang out by the swamp long enough, you can hear the Lizard Man's cries.

Pumpkintown Mountain Opry

Not only does the Pumpkintown Mountain Opryhave some of the tastiest ice cream down the scenic stretch of highway 11, it has one of the best photo ops in all of the upstate of South Carolina. A 10' tall pumpkin trailer stands out infront of a log cabin styled craftsman style restaurant.

Weekends are a rare treat, if you're able to poke your head in and attend one of their slightly off color shows. Very much worth a visit, even if just to get your picture taken with the big old Pumpkin.

Encounters: UFO Experience

While we can't yet probe the secrets hidden behind the lonely gates of Area 51, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina aims to fill that anal probe-sized hole in our butts hearts with a very special exhibit examining the history of America's fascination with flying saucers and visitors from space.

Encounters: UFO Experience touts itself as "the world's first comprehensive exhibition exploring reports of U.F.O.s, alien abductions, and encounters with extraterrestrials", and featured seven different galleries that focus on everything from ancient aliens, the military involvement in reports of unexplained flying craft, and of course, pop culture's obsession with extraterrestrials.

 

New to the event this year are a laser tag arena, the ability to send messages to space, and even an exhibit that lets you conduct your very own alien autopsy, complete with gooey guts. You provide your own grainy video camera and prime-time deal with the FOX network.