Charlie Carl Carlson obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Charlie Carl Carlson

December 31, 1943 - August 30, 2015

Obituary


ABOUT CHARLIE CARLSON

Florida’s Own Master of the Weird



Born and raised in Seminole County, Florida, when it was the nation’s celery capital, Charlie Carlson can trace his maternal genealogy back ten generations in Florida to the second Spanish period. Since most of Florida’s population is from some other place, being a tenth generation native makes Charlie an oddity. On his paternal side, he is the grandson of Carl Carlson, a Swedish celery farmer back when Seminole County, Florida was the nation's celery capital. This prompted Charlie's first book, titled,...

ABOUT CHARLIE CARLSON

Florida’s Own Master of the Weird



Born and raised in Seminole County, Florida, when it was the nation’s celery capital, Charlie Carlson can trace his maternal genealogy back ten generations in Florida to the second Spanish period. Since most of Florida’s population is from some other place, being a tenth generation native makes Charlie an oddity. On his paternal side, he is the grandson of Carl Carlson, a Swedish celery farmer back when Seminole County, Florida was the nation's celery capital. This prompted Charlie's first book, titled, "When Celery Was King." As you might have guessed, it wasn't about weird stuff---unless you consider celery to be strange.

As a youngster Charlie Carlson wanted to join the circus---but fate had other ideas. He joined the U.S. Army and retired 25 years later as a sergeant-major. Following his long stint in the military Charlie joined a real circus as an adventure until he was recalled to active duty during Gulf War. It seemed he could not get away from the army. Six months later, he retired again, and with his degree in history, began researching and writing about Florida’s lesser known histories and capturing some of the state’s most bizarre folklore.

Charlie Carlson authored over a dozen Florida books, big and small, and over 200 magazine and newspaper articles related to Florida’s past and--as he puts it---downright weird folklore. He is a past president of the Seminole County Historical Society and served on the Advisory Board for the City of Sanford Museum.

Known as Florida’s Master of the Weird by his readers---and with good reason, Charlie has appeared in numerous television documentaries, including the Curse of the Blair Witch on the SciFi Channel and in Blockbuster’s rental video, Stix and Stones. He has been featured in several cable television and rental DVD documentaries related to unexplained phenomena plus a half dozen independent movies.

In addition to having at one time been a promoter of Bluegrass music festivals, Charlie has operated his own traveling sideshow called, The Museum of the Strange and Unusual, and a theater illusion show billed as the Weird and Wacky Show. In 1997, he published Strange Florida, his first successful book because, as Charlie says, "People like reading about weird stuff." It was this book that landed him a writing job contributing to the Barnes and Noble best seller, Weird US. In 2003 he began work on his Florida best seller, Weird Florida, which, since its release in 2005, has sold over a million copies. He has contributed stories to several other books, among which are books like Weird Hauntings, [Sterling Publishing, NY] and Strange Florida II. As Florida’s Master of the Weird, he has appeared on hundreds of radio and television talk shows ranging from the mothership of paranormal talk shows, George Noory’s Coast-to-Coast Show, to Rob McConnel’s X-Zone talk show that airs worldwide from Ontario, Canada. After turning down dozens of offers to do a television show based on his Weird Florida book, he finally agreed to do it for WLRN because they had a real camera. He figured it was a good start if he was ever to have a television show. Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled and the successful sequel, Weird Florida: On the Road Again has been distributed nationally to PBS stations and won numerous awards.

Charlie was a charter member of the Grand Order of Weird Writers of America. He was currently working on feature length movie based on his novel Ashley’s Shadow. When he was not in the swamp chasing skunk apes----or rambling down roads less traveled in search of weird stuff--- Florida's Master of the Weird was at home in New Smyrna Beach with his rescued dog, Lady Isabel and several cats.