Would you visit an artistic compound, built by a fortune teller on the advice of aliens from the future? I did and here’s why you should visit Pasaquan.
Eddie Owens Martin, or St. EOM (pronounced oh-mm) as he was known, was born in 1908. Eddie’s mother and father were sharecroppers in a rural town in Georgia. Naturally artistic, he didn’t feel like he fit in in what he referred to as the “conservative white south” so when he was 14 years old he ran away to New York City. To make a living, he became a male prostitute and fortune teller.
Some might consider St. EOM’s life in New York immoral, perhaps even St. EOM himself. In 1935 he became ill, struck by fever induced dreams. In one, he encountered a vision of three alien men that were eight feet tall. The men told him you must change your ways and follow what we tell you or this will be the end of the road for you. They instructed him to return to his farm in rural Georgia, and begin creating art reflective of this group of aliens and their Pasaquoyanism religion, accepting of all forms of people.
Driving up to the Pasaquan grounds, just a short drive from Columbus, Georgia, you wouldn’t know this beautiful artwork existed in such a rural area. As the story goes, word spread far and wide about St. EOM’s psychic abilities during the 60s and 70s and he soon had visitors coming from all over the southeast for him to tell their fortune. Some reported that his advice was completely accurate while some said he was a hustler.
“If it is just us… seems like an awful waste of space.” – Contact movie
Though he did as the aliens told him, when visiting his home in 1957, he moved back to Georgia permanently. He worked on the perfecting Pasaquan for nearly three decades. Building his community included masonary fences, temples, pagodas, shrines, walls, and more adorned in bright paint. Totem faces, giant sinister looking snakes, and a plethora of nude figures await at Pasqauan.
It’s a mock pre-colombian, psychedelic wonderland. – Tom Patterson, Pasaquan historian
Pasaquan is St. EOM’s personal utopia, where all cultures and ethnic groups can come together in harmony and connect with the earth and the universe. At Pasaquan spiritual concepts from ancient cultures and futuristic ideas of levitation transportation were combined. Martin often wore is long hair pointed upwards, as he believed that was a way to better communicate with aliens. Even the figures painted at Pasaquan have high hair. Martin also believed the colorful suits like those depicted below would eventually allow wearers to control pressure points on the human body, to defy gravity and fly.
As time went on, St. EOM was melancholy that his religion didn’t really take off and people didn’t see him as the visionary and leader he sought to become. While telling fortunes at Pasaquan was to make money to live, it wasn’t his passion. Plagued by health problems and despondent about the lack of interest in Pasaquan, he took his life in 1986 inside his home.
While I’m not sure that the alien religion is real, what I know is the peacefulness and calm I experienced walking around Pasaquan. I especially felt an overwhelming sense of tranquility when I walked into the meditation room (see picture above). I’d recommend visiting Pasaquan with an open mind and appreciating the art for its beauty. If you find a deeper connection, than all the better.
Pasaquan is now owned by Columbus State University, who handled much of its restoration after it had fallen into disrepair. In 2008 Pasaquan was added to the National Register of Historic Places and CNN listed Pasaquan as one of 16 must-visit places in 2016. Pasaquan is approximately a two hour drive from Atlanta. Pasaquan can be visited Friday–Sunday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m., with the exception of July and December. A $10 donation is suggested.
238 Eddie Martin Road
Buena Vista, Georgia 31808