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 18: The Lake Ontario Triangle

Can the shipwrecks that plague to eastern end of Lake Ontario be attributed to normal dangers on a lake of that size, or do they speak to something more mysterious? Samantha tackles the maritime history and Aaron the…stranger explanations in this episode on the Lake Ontario Triangle. You might just find that the answer lies somewhere in the middle. 

Time stamps
Intro- 1:06
The Allure of Maritime Mysteries- 2:07
So Many Triangles- 5:13
The Marysburgh Vortex- 8:29
The Quinlan’s Strange Attractions- 13:33
The Bavaria- 18:21
The Picton- 28:43
Midway Break- 36:46
Vanishing Aircraft are More Boring than Vanishing Ships: 39:32
Everything from Lost Cities to Cattle Mutilations- 43:32
UFOs- 46:42
Sam Encounters Commander X for the First Time- 48:00
Explanations (rational and otherwise)- 52:26
Concluding Questions- 59:56

Episode 17: Le Nain Rouge


Does a small red demon roam the streets of Detroit, Michigan? Probably not! In this episode, Samantha and Aaron dive into the story of the Nain Rouge. The creature first appeared in an 1880s tale on the history of Detroit as the foil to Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, and today the creature is taunted and chased out of the city in an annual parade called La Marche du Nain Rouge. Was the story of the Nain Rouge fact? Should we chase the “red devil” out of Detroit? Listen to this episode and find out!

Intro- 00:14
Settling Michigan and the Scoundrel Cadillac- 02:43
The Hamlin Narrative- 07:20
Hamlin’s History- 15:07
Charles Montgomery Skinner- 17:30
Other Appearances- 19:24
Midway Break- 24:04
Lutin- 28:55
Puckwudgies!- 32:00
La Marche du Nain Rouge- 36:00
Stop the Nain Shame!- 38:08
What Do We Do With It All?- 41:25

Further Reading:
Legends of Le Detroit (Overview with link to book)
Detroit Metro Times Article
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac
Wayne State University Project
Charles Montgomery Skinner’s Myths and Legends of Our Own Land

Episode 16: The Windigo: From Legend to Pop Culture

The legendary monster of Algonquian lore, the Windigo (or Wendigo), regularly appears in popular culture, but how well is it represented? What is the Windigo? Samantha and Aaron dive into the legend of the Windigo, explore actual Windigo cases, and then put television and comic books to task. Who passes and who fails? What do we lose when the monster is removed from its cultural context? Find out in this week’s episode of Great Lakes Lore!

The Windigo’s MO- 1:39
Cannibalism!- 5:52 
Jack Fiddler the Windigo Hunter- 8:47
The Swift Runner Case- 12:37
The Windigo and Canadian Law- 14:52
L’Espagnol- 17:57
Midway Break- 20:26
Algernon Blackwood- 27:32
Native American Legends in Pop Culture- 29:55
X-Files and the Manitou- 32:56
Hulk Smash Windigo!- 39:02
Charmed- 41:46 
Supernatural- 43:22
Windigo Psychosis- 49:25
Wrap-Up- 53:20

Further Reading

Jack Fiddler

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

“Cannibals and Colonizers: An Analysis of the Wendigo in Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine” by Elaine Tousignant from The University of San Francisco

“The Windigo Psychosis: Psychodynamic, Cultural, and Social Factors in Aberrant Behavior” by Thomas H. Hay

“The Windigo in the Material World” by Robert R. Brightman in Ethnohistory 35, no. 4 (1988): 337–79.

Gitchi Bitobig, Grand Marais: Early Accounts of the Anishinaabeg and the North Shore Fur Trade by Timothy Cochrane

Nazare, Joe. “The Horror! The Horror? The Appropriation, and Reclamation, of Native American Mythology.” Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts 11, no. 1 (41) (2000): 24–51. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43308417.

DeSanti, Brady. Journal of Religion & Popular Culture, Fall 2015, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p186-201

Evans, Catherine L. “Heart of Ice: Indigenous Defendants and Colonial Law in the Canadian North-West.” Law and History Review 36, no. 2 (2018): 199–234. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26564583.

Episode 13: The Haunting History of Mackinac Island

Some places accumulate stories more readily than others and Mackinac Island is just that place. With thousands of years of history and deep spiritual connections, this 4.3 square mile island is oozing with stories demanding our attention. In this episode, Samantha and Aaron are joined by Claire Herhold, a public historian who spent six seasons working on the island, to dive into this rich and diverse history. We’re positive you’ll find the true history far more interesting than some of the ghost stories folks have made up over the years. 

You can find Claire on Instagram and TikTok @clairherhold!

As you may have seen around our social media, our Patreon is now live! Cheeso Media, which produces Great Lakes Lore and The Saucer Life has launched a Patreon, which will give subscribers additional material for each show, every month! Two shows for the price of one! You can find it at patreon.com/cheesomedia.

Timestamps
Introductions- 0:01:14
A Brief History- 0:04:34
Forts and War- 0:06:50
Natural Landmarks and Legends- 0:26:23
Break- 0:37:37
Mission House Boarding School- 0:39:21
Tourism- 0:46:52
The Drowning Pool- 1:00:35
Magdalaine LaFramboise- 1:07:17
The Problem with (some) Ghost Stories- 1:11:05
Postscript- 1:26:42

Further Reading
Mackinac State Historic Parks
Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau
Grand Hotel History
On Boarding Schools

Episode 12: Mystery Airships

Aaron and Samantha travel back to the nineteenth century to explore the mystery airships that were spotted throughout the country in 1896/97. What started as a trio of lights above Sacramento, California, grew to reported sightings of actual ships that moved from the west coast to the Great Plains and into the Great Lakes States. Samantha and Aaron look at various sightings, possible explanations, and touch on the history of aviation. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s a wild ride.

Time Stamps
The Gilded Age- 1:10
California-8:25
Wisconsin- 12:34
Midway Break- 22:08
Michigan- 29:35
Lanark, Illinois- 39:10
Aurora, Texas- 49:42
The History of Aviation- 53:30
Wrap-Up and Outro- 56:30

Episode 1: The Dudgeon Swamp Mystery

In our inaugural episode, the Great Lakes Lore team will be diving into the sources and exploring the deaths of a father and son in rural, 1920s West Michigan. The Dudgeon family moved to White Cloud, Michigan in 1905 and, less than twenty years later three members of the family were convicted of murder. Were they guilty or were the locals out to get the new folks in town? 
A special thanks to the folks at The October Project for bringing together many of the primary sources we used in our research. You can find Meda’s handwritten account of her husband’s death there, as well as more pictures and the history by Harry Spooner that we reference.