The Augusta Memorial Public Library will host “Cryptid Campfire Stories” with author Adam Benedict via Zoom from 8 to 9 p.m. Friday.

This program is free and intended for students ages 12 years and up. Register at bit.ly/2TOqLdw. Contact the library at 715-286-2070 or email aulib@augustalibrary.org for further details or if you need assistance participating by telephone.

Benedict will share a few historical cryptid articles from his book "Monsters in Print: A Collection Of Curious Creatures Known Mostly From Newspapers," which was released Sept. 24. He will also talk about regional folk stories featured on his website pinebarrensinstitute.com

Benedict, a native Wisconsinite, is a designer by trade and a researcher by choice. Drawn to the weird at a young age thanks to the likes of Robert Stack and Leonard Nimoy, Benedict has spent a good portion of his life studying up on the weirder parts of history.

Realizing the knowledge he had gained might be of some interest to others, Benedict founded The Pine Barrens Institute (PBI) in 2015. The institute is an online cryptozoological, Midwest folklore and historic Fortean newspaper reference site based out of Janesville.

The focus of the site is to document, catalog, and help spread factual information pertaining to the folklore, legends and true stories involving both well-known and lesser known cryptid creatures, obscure boogeymen and forgotten monsters found throughout the world. 

When not spending countless hours reading through old folk tales and yellowed newspapers, Benedict spends his time with his wife, four kids, and two dogs.