A man of the movies and more….has left the stage.
Charlie Carlson, best known among cryptozoologists and Forteans, for his series of investigations of Florida mysteries and books on the Sunshine State’s bizarre cryptids and phenomena, has died on the evening of Sunday, August 30, 2015. Before he passed away, Carlson lived on the east coast of Florida.
Charlie’s friend Owen Sliter (in orange, in the film above) passed the following along from Dori, Charlie’s sister:
Charlie passed peacefully earlier this evening (August 30, 2015) with family at his bedside…he was ready to master his next Big Show in heaven… Thank you for your many prayers and messages. We celebrate his life and those he touched throughout his journey…
Rob Robinson wrote the following on August 29, 2015, after a visit with Carlson:
Yesterday I had to say goodbye to dear friend and mentor. Charlie Carlson was an inspiration to me and helped guide me in writing my book. I was told he only has a few days left on this earth. I loved sitting down with him and talking about Florida legends, which Charlie knew them all. He was larger than life as Florida’s master of the weird. I remember when I first purchased Strange Florida, I had to meet this Charlie. When we did, we became friends from that point on. Charlie was a true legend tripper and I will always miss him. The photo below is when Charlie and I filmed the skunk ape sequence of Charlie’s “Weird Florida: On the Road again” at Devil’s Creek Swamp.
Charlie Carl Carlson, Jr. was born in Sanford, Florida on December 31, 1943, and died at the age of 71. He was an American author, novelist, actor, and film producer. Known as “Florida’s Man in Black,” or “Master of the Weird,” Carlson specialized in the unusual, strange events and places, and bizarre histories in Florida. Carlson has also produced and acted in radio shows and movie productions related to his genre.
Carlson joined the US Army and spent two tours in Vietnam with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (Blackhorse) and after twenty-five years retired as a Command Sergeant Major. He earned several decorations including the United States Legion of Merit. After retirement, Carlson went on to become a showman of outdoor attractions, including owning a circus sideshow.
He began his writing career as author of several Florida history books and the Civil War. In 1997 he began writing about Florida folklore and published the successful book, Strange Florida. In 1999, Carlson portrayed Professor Charles Morehouse on the then-named Sci-Fi Channel’s Curse of the Blair Witch. He has produced and appeared in several television documentaries related to Florida history and unexplained phenomena. He was a frequent guest on Florida talk radio and was the author of the 2005 bestselling book, Weird Florida. In 2006, his first novel was published by Luthers Publishing, Ashley’s Shadow.
He was a contributing writer to Weird Hauntings and Weird Encounters, both by Sterling Publishing.
He was one of the founding members of the Grand Order of Weird Writers.
In 2008 he was producing an independent film entitled Henry Blackhart Is Dead, by Blue Heron International Pictures about a legendary haunting set on the east coast of Florida during the Great Depression, and was acting in The Cleansing, about a real-life cleansing ceremony in a haunted building. He also produced and was featured among the cast for Hunt For the Devil, a ghost hunting DVD.
In 2010, he became the host of his own PBS television show, Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled which aired nationally.
In 2012, PBS released his new television show, Weird Florida: On the Road Again.
Carlson wrote the following books:
* When Celery was King
* I Got my Dress Tail Wet in Soda Water Creek
* History of Bookertown (Coauthor)
* First Florida Cavalry Regiment
* History of Monroe (Coauthor)
* Strange Florida I
* Tux and Tales of a Wizard
* Weird U.S.(Contributing writer)
* Weird Hauntings (Contributing writer)
* Weird Encounters (Contributing writer)
* From Fort Mellon to Baghdad
* Seminole County’s Curious Files
* Swedish History of Seminole County, FL.
* Weird Florida
* Ashley’s Shadow
* Strange Florida II
He was an actor in the following:
* Curse of the Blair Witch
* Hunt For The Devil
* The Cleansing
* Stix and Stones
* Zombies from Cyber Space
He was a narrator or host of:
* Night With Johnny Duncan
* Paranormal Florida
* PBS Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled
* PBS Weird Florida: On The Road Again
He was a producer of:
* Harry Blackheart Is Dead
* Safe Haven