LITTLETON, N.C. (WNCN) – New York native Stephen Barcelo moved to Littleton to escape the high cost of living. The former New York Daily News reporter says that shortly after arriving, he began seeing strange occurrences around town.
Barcelo opened the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum in 2016, dedicated to the unknown and hard to explain.
The museum boasts a collection of ghost paraphernalia, UFO sightings, and progress on the hunt for the elusive Big Foot.
“We have people that come here that are very interested. This is their realm. We’ve been on the bucket list of things they wanted to get,” Barcelo said, “Even if you’re just mildly interested, you can come in for the entertainment factor.”
In addition to the museum, Barcelo runs cryptid and paranormal tours around town.
The scientific community considers “cryptozoology”, the study of creatures like Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster, to be a pseudoscience. Museum goers have the opportunity to investigate these claims on their own.
Barcelo says that local Mt. Medoc, in Halifax County, is teeming with Big Foot activity. Barcelo and his team take visitors through Mt. Medoc, equipped with a cryptid spotting kit.
“Thermal cameras are the biggest thing we use. A parabolic dish, so we can listen to sounds out there off in the distance. This is a pretty inexpensive one, but it works well,” he said.
George Knutkowski found Barcelo’s museum during the pandemic, and they’ve developed a bond over the unknown ever since.
“So I went there, got a map, said, Where do they have all these sightings? And fortunately, I actually had my first footprint. The first day I went out and I went down the rabbit hole after that and been friends with Steve for the last couple of years,” Knutkowski said.
Barcelo doesn’t guarantee a Big Foot sighting on his tours, but offers a chance for people to get outside and learn something new.