For most people, living in New Jersey is nothing out of the ordinary. And after living in New Jersey for so many years, I rarely think of it as anything more than just a bunch of suburban towns linked by a bunch of hardscrabble old cities with a smattering of farms thrown in for good measure.

But as all realists know, New Jersey also has its share of oddities. Wacky things that somehow just seem to have become part of the New Jersey culture.

Here are 5 weird but awesome things you can only find in New Jersey.

Chair House

On Route 9 South in West Creek stands a strange house that for 75 years has been puzzling New Jerseyans. It’s got a steeple with a chair at the tip of it. Yes, I said chair. Just a regular old-fashioned four-legged chair. Some people think it was a lookout post during the revolutionary war. Another old tale says it was a timeout chair used by a resident to discipline her children. But what most people really believe is that a ship captain‘s wife would sit at the top watching for her husband‘s return from the sea.

Abandoned World War 2 Bunker

Not only is New Jersey home to an abandoned World War II bunker, but did I mention it’s on the beach? The bunker was built in the 40s, and was home to heavy artillery. You used to be able to walk inside of the bunker, however, as tides have risen the structure can no longer be entered. It’s still a cool spot to check out if you are in Cape May and are looking for some exploring to do.

Lucy The Elephant

Where else would you expect to have a six-story elephant that you can take a tour inside. Lucy The Elephant is one of New Jersey's most prized possessions and a staple of the Jersey Shore. Since being built, Lucy has served many purposes. It was initially created as a tourist attraction, and is now available to stay in on Airbnb for just under $200 a night. If you have spent any weekend in Margate City you have definitely taken a photo here.

Dennis Malloy photo
Dennis Malloy photo

Tent Beach Community

Ocean Grove’s tent city has earned itself the definition of "glamping." With over 114 tent structures available to stay in, Tent Beach Community has become a popular summer getaway, as visitors have become known as “Tenters”. The tents go for about 4-5 thousand dollars a summer and can only be rented by season. The application process to become a tenter is unique as you must be interviewed by an association which almost makes being accepted into the community as if you were joining a secret society.

The Gates of Hell

Clifton’s Gates of Hell is definitely a spookier location to check out, as the walls are covered in generations of satanic graffiti and murals. On the outside, the gates of hell appear as a collection of drains, however, it differs from most as no water runs throughout them. Many people believe that the drains go hundreds of feet underground and are filled with remains from satanic beings. Quite creepy, however, if you are up for the adventure this is an interesting place to check out.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi's own.

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