Episode 21: The Whitechapel Club

Club? Professional networking opportunity? Secret society? In Gilded-Age Chicago, the Whitechapel Club was a little bit of all of these. Join Samantha and Aaron as they explore the origins, activities, and membership of this macabre circle of journalists. Along the way, enjoy a story from a belly dancer, phrenology, and a ritualistic funeral pyre on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Time Stamps

Introduction: Secret Societies- 1:11
Club Life in the Gilded Age- 6:40
Establishing the Whitechapel Club- 11:00
Club Activities- 14:14
Mid-way Break- 25:07
The End of the Whitechapel Club- 31:26
Who was a Member?- 33:53
The Funeral Pyre- 37:10
Professionalization, Phrenology, the Morbid, and the Occult- 42:11

Episode 20: The Rattle Run Murder

What happens when a bloody torso is found in a small Michigan church in 1909? With no immediate identification of the body, no apparent motive for the crime, and mysterious rumors in town, investigators threw out numerous hypotheses and put out BOLOs in surrounding states and Canada. And, while this crime does end with a confession, the reasons for it are still a mystery. Check out this week’s episode to hear Samantha and Aaron share the story of the Rattle Run Murder and come up with a few hypotheses of their own! 

Time Stamps:

A Body in the Church!- 2:38
Suspicions Arise- 7:17
A Blood Sacrifice- 14:43
But Where’s the Reverend?- 18:14
Midway Break- 21:46
A Letter from John Elder- 27:14
Newspaper Reactions- 32:55
Possible Motives- 35:37
Sam and Aaron Hot Takes- 41:58

For a complete transcription of one of the confession letters, see the Lost in Michigan website here.

Episode 19: Gangster Ghosts of St. Paul

Haunted histories can be fun and they can allow people to explore actual history along with deeper metaphysical questions. But where is the line between haunted history and haunted attraction? In this episode Samantha and Aaron dive into the stories of two haunted locations in St. Paul, Minnesota that have connections to Prohibition and, perhaps, gangster ghosts. Perhaps? Maybe? 

Timestamps:

Intro- 2:14
What’s the Deal with Prohibition? – 3:34
The Wabasha Street Caves – 12:30
Mid-Way Break- 35:32
The Schmidt Brewery- 43:17
Why do Gangsters Intrigue Us?- 52:11
Ghost Tourism, History Tourism, and Dark Tourism- 54:45
The Boundaries Between History and Legend- 55:57

Further Reading
Adrian Lee. Mysterious Minnesota: Digging up the Ghostly Past at 13 Haunted Sites. 2nd Edition, 2017.

Episode 15: Were There Witches in Whitewater?

America’s “Second Salem,” you say? We’re on it! Aaron and Samantha dive in to explore the legends surrounding the town of Whitewater, Wisconsin. When they got down to the sources did they find evidence of witchcraft, cursed books, murder, and spiritualists? You’ll have to tune in to find out. The pair put their history skillz (yes, with a ‘z’) to the test  in “Were There Witches in Whitewater?”.

Intro- 00:20
Whitewater Background- 02:15
The Legends- 04:29
Morris Pratt- 09:40
Pratt’s Spiritualist Temple- 12:27
Midway Break- 17:58
The Morris Pratt Institute- 23:26
Spiritualism 101- 26:21
Mary Worth- 38:38
Real Murder in Whitewater- 46:13
Wrapping It All Up- 52:45

Further Reading:

National Spiritualist Association of Churches

Whitewater Historical Society

Swedenborg Foundation

Morris Pratt Institute