Tag Archives: st. louis

The Mysterious Story of Patience Worth – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #32

big seance podcast, banner

 

Pearl Curran, the voice of Patience Worth, The Big Séance Podcast

Pearl Curran, the voice of Patience Worth

The mysterious story of Pearl Curran, who channeled entire books and other works from a spirit known as Patience Worth, and all through the Ouija board. Also, the winner of the Love Never Dies book giveaway!

 

Get to this episode in iTunes!
Direct Download Link

In this episode:

Additional music in this episode: 

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


Missouri History and Hauntings – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #23

big seance podcast, banner

 

Ginger Collins-Justus of Missouri History and Hauntings on The Big Séance Podcast

Ginger Collins-Justus poses with her hearse in front of the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion.

 

 

You won’t want to miss my conversation with Ginger Collins-Justus, owner and operator of Missouri History and Hauntings. Ginger shares some odd tales and little known haunted history of the state that I call home. We also chat about some of the historic connections that Missouri has with spiritualism.

 

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

In this episode:

  • Her intuitive gifts and ability to speak with spirits and spirit guides. 
  • Ginger chats about her latest event at Maevas Coffee House at the historic Milton Schoolhouse in Alton, Illinois. The Milton Schoolhouse was featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters a few years back.
  • Just before the interview, I give an update on the Third Annual Big Séance Thanksgiving Ouija Séance.
  •  Ginger drives a hearse!
  • Some of Missouri’s history with witchcraft and Voodoo.
  • Some old Missouri legends and ghost stories.
  • Early St. Louis and Bloody Island.
  • Pearl Curran and the fascinating story of Patience Worth.
  • The Fox sisters and their connection to Missouri.
  • The tragic love story of Leona Corder and Jesse Wall.
  • Morbid Mondays
  • Ginger’s upcoming events!

 

For More on Ginger Collins-Justus and Missouri History and Hauntings:

Missouri History and Hauntings on Facebook

MoHistoryHauntings.com

Missouri History and Hauntings on Instagram

 

Thanks, Ginger!

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween, with Special Co-Host Karen A. Dahlman – The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #17

big-seance-podcast-celebrate-october-happy-halloween-banner

 

Karen A. Dahlman, The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween, The Big Séance Podcast: My Paranormal World #17

In this episode, I chat with special guest co-host, Karen A. Dahlman! My favorite holiday is just around the corner, and so we reminisce about Halloween memories, the month of October, and some of the legends, lore, and symbols of Halloween! You may remember her from Episode 5, talking about The Spirits of Ouija.

 

 

Get this episode on iTunes!
Direct Download Link

 

The Legends, Lore, and Symbols of Halloween!

 

Topics discussed in this episode:

What’s the Halloween season like in California vs. the Midwest?

We talk about our memories of trick-or-treating, and Karen will surprise you with the tale of her last time partaking in this fun tradition.

With perfect timing, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, two of my favorite paranormal television shows, finally return. We review the most recent episodes and talk quite a bit about the ghost of the little girl on the Queen Mary.

My visit to A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century at the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis.

What’s the lore about death and mirrors?

Are we disconnected with death in 2014? Death, the Spiritualist Movement and the 19th Century. Mary Todd Lincoln and séances at the White House.

Karen, a leading expert on the Ouija, tells us about some of the superstitions regarding the talking board.

Will Karen or I hold séances on Halloween?

Is it really true that during this time of year the veil is lifted between the living and the dead? Karen says yes, and she teaches us about The Law of Critical Mass in physics.

Remember the myth of tampered candy and razor blades in apples?

Divination games played on Halloween in the Victorian time period, including waiting for your future love by staring in a mirror (not creepy at all, right?), and the “dumb supper”.

Spirit Communication with candles and flame. 

The number 13 and the story of the 13th floor. Myth?

Some facts and jokes about Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns!

Halloween (The Jack O’Lantern Rag) by Arthur Manlowe (1911)

Karen tells us why she loves Owls, which are viewed as symbols of Halloween.

Bet you didn’t know what the witch’s broom symbolizes.

Avoid having bad luck on Halloween. Be careful! (Actually, these are myths…. supposedly.)

Are there ways to have GOOD luck on Halloween?

Both Karen and I share our favorite Halloween candy!

Have you ever bobbed for Apples?

The top haunted attractions for 2014 in the US!

Karen teaches us how to have fun with panty hose on Halloween! 

 

For More on Karen A. Dahlman:

karenadahlman.com

Karen’s Books on Amazon

Karen’s Facebook Page

Twitter: @KarenADahlman

And check out my review of The Spirits of Ouija.

 

Thanks again, Karen!

 

Sam Haynes, Spine ChillersSpooky Music featured on this episode is from Sam Haynes. You can find more about Sam and his music at http://www.hauntmusic.co.uk/. Thanks, Sam!

 

 

Record your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.

 

The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!

 


Death and Mourning in the 19th Century and the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion

This past weekend, friend and past guest of the Big Séance Podcast, Victoria Cosner Love, invited me (ahem… strongly encouraged me to leave my crypt) to a fascinating event, which appropriately fit the season, in my opinion anyway. It was my first visit to the absolutely beautiful Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion in St. Louis. “A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century” is an annual mourning event there. 

An interesting fact is that the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is right next door to the famous Lemp Mansion and the Lemp Brewery Complex, and so the neighborhood is always an interesting place to find yourself this time of year. (Incidentally, the boys from Ghost Adventures just featured the Lemp Mansion and Brewery in their most recent episode, and the Ghost Hunters spent some time there a few years ago as well.) 

The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is reported to be haunted as well, and I did talk to a few people in the know, but this event didn’t focus on the paranormal aspects of the place.

 

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_4

 

As you may know, I’m obsessed with staircases, especially grand ones in a historical location like this mansion. So I had to lead with the photo above, with one of the volunteers appropriately mourning in character at the front entrance. 

I was very surprised to also run into several friends, some of whom I’ve never met in person, like my new friend Ginger of Missouri History and Hauntings. I got to meet a few other fascinating and knowledgable people, as well. I’m so very glad I went!

So back to the event itself. Here’s a description of the event, taken directly from their site:

This is an open house style event, during which guests are free to visit exhibits throughout the Mansion and learn not only about mourning customs of the 19th century but illness, medical treatments, wakes, funerary practices and more from costumed volunteers and museum staff.

As well as visiting with our informative volunteers, guests get a chance to see a amazing collection of original objects related to death, mourning and medical practices, from private collections, that are on display just this one day every year.

 

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_12

 

I loved the event, but I look forward to going back again soon, perhaps to get a general tour of the place, plus they have plenty of activities. I encourage anyone in the area to visit if you haven’t been. 

I would have loved to have been able to get more shots of the home, but this event was well-attended, which is a good thing, but it made it difficult to get really good photos. But I hope you enjoy the shots that I did capture.

 

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_8

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_9

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_5

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_2

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_1

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_6

 

I loved the feel and the color of this beautiful, yet oddly shaped corner. I need to find more information about this room. 

 

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_3

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_7

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_10

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_14

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_15

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_16

Chatillon_demenil_mansion_death_in_the_family_death_and_mourning_in_the_19th_century_big_seance_13

 

 


Perfectly Lonely and Snowy City of Souls – Return to Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis

Hilts Bronze Angel

All winter long I’ve been anxiously awaiting the perfect day to return to Bellefontaine Cemetery under snow cover. I’d been once before, though things were much greener then, and I didn’t have my new camera, or the photography skills that I’ve gained this year.   

Hilts Bronze Angel

Opening in 1849, Bellefontaine (pronounced “bell fountain” by most St. Louisans) was designed by Almerin Hotchkiss (Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York) and consists of 314 acres of park-like beauty with mausoleums as far as the eye can see. It truly is a small city. Among other big names from the region, you’ll find the resting places of Adolphus Busch (beer giant), William ClarkSara Teasdale, and the infamous Lemp family.

 

Since it was 28 degrees and I knew once I made it there I’d be on foot for a few hours, I bundled in layers and prepared as if I was on a journey to climb Mount Everest. The always-kind and wonderful workers in the office mentioned that the roads were drivable, but they didn’t seem too confident in that statement, so I decided to walk. They encouraged me to take a map and keep the office number on hand. I guess that’s what they do when they see out-of-shape fat guys drop by for photos in the winter. I figured I’d stay close to the main entrance and photograph what I could until it got cold or I felt I was going too far into the cemetery. I didn’t know until later that I’d walked a pretty massive circle that covered most of the popular and historical monuments on the driving tour.

 

 

As I bravely started out, I couldn’t help but notice that my car was the only guest car in the lot. It appeared I was going to be very alone on this journey. Awesome! It was also very quiet, other than the crows flying around, keeping their distance, and warning others of my presence. It was creepy and cool at the same time.

 

With every hill I kept finding beautiful excuses to keep going further. I was impressed that I found a few sites by memory, such as the famous “Girl in the Glass Box”. Even as I detoured off the road and trudged through snow as I found interesting shots, I felt confident I knew where I was and what direction I’d need to head once I decided to go back. I never pulled out the map, or my iPhone, for that matter. 

The famous Luyties “Girl in the Glass Box”

I’m not entirely sure I can describe to you how pleasant and enjoyable this was for me. I mean, I obviously enjoy spending time in cemeteries a little more than the average person, but to be alone (truly alone, I never saw another guest) in the middle of such a beautifully massive city of buried souls, in the middle of winter, enjoying the peace and quiet, with the added risk of getting lost or frozen before dark, was truly an amazing experience. I suppose this risk of being found frozen Jack-Nicholson-in-“The Shining” style could be why one of the workers came by in a cemetery truck as I was on the opposite end of the cemetery an hour and a half later… just checking. I waved and smiled and continued on.

Tate Mausoleum

 

Close up of the Tate Mausoleum doors

.

The Francis Grieving Woman

I have to be honest, two hours later, as it got a bit darker, there was a moment when I wasn’t sure exactly where I was or if I was going in the right direction. I wasn’t lost for long, but I made the conscious decision to stop photographing so that I could focus on looking for the main entrance. It’s at this point that I nervously picked up the pace and started to feel the burn in my hips and joints. I couldn’t wait to find the car. A few minutes later I found it off in the distance, but I couldn’t believe how far away I was on the complete opposite side of where I’d been. I truly had made a pretty big circle. When I got to my car, the same cemetery worker was standing guard at the gate, probably relieved that he wouldn’t have to go searching for me again in the dark. I’d made it back forty-five minutes before the gates close and had been walking just over two hours.

 

The massive and very popular Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

Through the gate of the Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

Close up shot of the gate of the Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

These decorative symbols are a part of the bottom of the gate of the Adolphus Busch (of Anheuser-Busch Brewery) Mausoleum

 

 

I sat for a while and relaxed in my car as if I’d truly conquered my own Everest. I had hundreds of photos that I was so very excited about! I couldn’t wait to get home and check them out. I took a deep breath, texted Joe to let him know I was alive, and then I drove the hour-long trip home with a wind-burned face. 

 




 

Again, the Hilts Bronze Angel

 

Before I leave, I wanted to make you aware of my Flickr page, where all of my newest and favorite photography, including this set, is being stored. Please feel free to drop by, comment, or share any of the photos.

.

Thanks for your support!

Patrick

 

 

 


Adopting Graves 2013: My Thoughts and a Look Back on a New Tradition

This is the fifth post in a series titled “Adopting Graves”, where I’ve enjoyed sharing my journey of adopting and researching two graves during the autumn season. For previous posts, visit:
Adopting Graves: Second Visit with Clara and Johnnie
Adopting Graves: A New Autumn Tradition (2013)
Adopting Graves: Some genealogy on our little Johnnie and his family
Adopting Graves: More on little Clara and her family

 

On a Saturday in the middle of August, I decided to begin a new autumn tradition of adopting graves. I chose the graves of two souls, each in a different cemetery. At this point I feel strangely close to Johnnie Michel and Clara I. Gegenbauer. From that day on, I visited these graves every two weeks up to October 30th. I need to go back at least one more time to pick up the pumpkins and things, that way if I decide to visit in the distant future, there won’t be a pumpkin patch to walk through. For more on the inspiration and how I chose these two graves, visit my very first post in this series.

 

Johnnie Michel, son of Henry and Matilda Michel, July 5, 1879 – January 21, 1884

 Johnnie, who died at four and half years old (reason unknown), lived with his family on the upper floor of a general store on Main Street in Wentzville, Missouri. His father was a prominent Wentzville citizen and built and owned the general store. His mother raised the family (Johnnie had an older and a younger sister), and presumably helped tend to several of the clerks and extended family members that lived with them above the store.

Below are some of the shots from different visits to Johnnie’s grave (I tried to bring different flowers/gifts each time.)

 

Since posting my genealogy for Johnnie’s family, I discovered that the family’s general store was located where the “Wentzville Millwork” building is in the picture below. I’m not sure how old the remaining buildings to the left are, but I wanted to make sure and include them in the picture to help your imagination. The structure that housed the general store was demolished in the 1970s. To my knowledge there are no existing photos of the general store, which was operated by the family until at least 1910.  The second picture below is a view of the surrounding downtown area across the street from that lot.

 

 

Clara I. Gegenbauer, March 29, 1884 – March 17, 1889

As you may have noticed, Clara died just short of her fifth birthday as well. She was the fourth out of eight children by parents Eugene Gegenbauer (1847 – 1916) and Isabelle Coulter Gegenbauer (1853 – 1930). Like Johnnie, there is no record of how or why Clara died at such a young age. Her father Eugene (whose parents immigrated from Germany) and mother Isabelle (whose parents immigrated from Ireland) were married in 1876. After immigrating, Clara’s paternal grandfather was a physician and teacher in the Ballwin, Missouri area. He died in 1880.

Out of the family’s eight children, Eugene and Isabelle had 7 grandchildren, including my new friend Gayla’s father. Clara’s last remaining sibling, Jane Sophia “Jennie” Gegenbauer, was Gayla’s grandmother. She died in 1976.

For more on Clara, or for photos of her parents and the family’s farmhouse, click HERE

 

On my second visit with Johnny and Clara, I was not prepared for the feelings I would have when seeing the blunt symbolism of the dead flowers in the exact same arrangement that I had placed them in only two weeks earlier. Though this is a completely normal thing to see in a cemetery, it was a beautiful and sad at the same time.

  

 

  

 

 

Other favorite photos from my visits to see Johnny and Clara 

Clara’s grave can be seen on the left (with the bright flowers) near the top of the hill. The graves surrounding her are her parents and siblings.

  .

Once again, Clara’s grave can be seen off in the distance at the top of the hill. 

.

 

As I mentioned before, I have to make at least one more visit to pick up pumpkins, but I highly doubt that it will be my last. I’ve become so familiar with the path to find them, and I’m sure I’ll never forget. I’m already excited to start the journey over next year with two “new” graves.

 

 


10 important reasons to go see Chip Coffey at a “Coffey Talk” near you!

Me with Chip Coffey

Me with Chip Coffey

This week, thanks to a great friend and fellow investigator, I had the amazing opportunity to see psychic Chip Coffey at his St. Louis Coffey Talk appearance. Check out our photo! Aren’t we cute?! JUST LOOK AT US! Chip was a little under the weather that night, so at this very moment in the photo I was in the process of telling him the following: “Gosh I can’t imagine how great you are when you’re not sick… (awkward pause… signature cheesy smile) …because you totally rocked it!” I totally meant it… but wish I’d found a better way to say it. I hope he didn’t roll his eyes when I walked off! Seriously though, he was an absolute gentleman and shook my hand, asking my name before it was time to go. 

 

Chip doesn’t know me from Adam (don’t think I’ve ever said that), and this post is in no way affiliated with him, but allow me to share with you…

10 Important Reasons to Go See Chip Coffey

  1. He was the host of the amazing and groundbreaking series, Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. Unfortunately, this show is no longer being produced, but I believe you can still catch it on A&E occasionally. There’s also a DVD available, and you can download episodes on iTunes as well. 
  2. He was featured in thirty-one episodes of Paranormal State, also on A&E. Other appearances include Larry King Live, Haunted Collector, Good Morning America, Nightline, CBS’s Sunday Morning, Entertainment Tonight, and others. 
  3. In 2012 he wrote a book called Growing Up Psychic, and it’s totally going to arrive on my doorstep this weekend. 
  4. Chip is passionate about saving and rescuing animals!  
  5. Chip does events and personal appearances! Find a scheduled event near you!
  6. Chip and I share a favorite word, apparently. It rhymes with “schmuck” and often has a nickname of “eff”. The use of this beautiful and colorful word, along with other important vocabulary, really aids in being able to fully grasp one’s message and meaning. I loved and appreciated it. The rest of the audience–composed of all ages, types, shapes, and colors–really appreciated it too. 
  7. You get to see which fabulous scarf Chip is wearing on that day! 
  8. You get a cool badge and lanyard (if you go VIP)! Who doesn’t get excited about that?!
  9. Chip was absolutely hilarious! Sitting among strangers, he had me belly laughing, crying, nearly peeing my pants, and looking at my neighbor with those “Did he really just… NO HE DIDN’T” eyes. You know what I’m talking about. 
  10. And finally, Chip really connected with the folks that were there. I really did feel like I was in a room with such great energy and surrounded by spirit. As Chip answered questions and did his gallery reading, there were clearly validations happening left and right. Just as you would suspect, some of these moments were incredibly emotional. I’d planned on asking about the two souls whose graves I adopted this fall and did a bit of research and genealogy on. I was curious to know if they were aware of my visits, and I really wanted to know how they died so young, since I was not able to locate that information. Earlier that day I also prayed and spoke to my guides, letting them know that any of my passed loved ones were welcome to make an appearance. I didn’t get chosen for a reading, but honestly, after hearing many of the powerful stories and seeing the tears of relief on many of the audience members’ faces, I felt silly for having the questions I was going to bring up. Chip worked his gift for a couple of hours, so there were many people who had the opportunity to get a message or validation, and it was great to be present for those moments.  

 

For more on Chip Coffey, visit www.ChipCoffey.com.

 


%d bloggers like this: