Episode 9: Get a Grip

Subtitle:  The only reason that raven is standing there is because it’s been nailed there.

It’s 1838.  A struggling writer moves to Philadelphia in the hopes of skyrocketing his career.  It’s hard out here for a writer, especially one who is brilliant and unusual, with personal demons.  Can you guess who this writer is?  It’s Edgar Allen Poe.

Poe lived in Philadelphia for almost 7 years in the late 1830s to early 1840s.  These were some of his most successful and prolific years as a writer, although they weren’t the most lucrative.  And while he was in Philly he was inspired by a raven named Grip.  Yes twisters, there is a very famous raven who makes his home in Twisted Philly although when he was alive and croaking he called Charles Dickens house his home.

In this episode we dig into the connections between Dickens and Poe, Poe’s life in Philadelphia, and the only one of his five residences that is not only still standing, but is a historical landmark that you can tour.  Oh, and we talk about grip too.

Nevermore, nevermore, nevermind… just listen!

Twitter: Twisted_Philly.  Facebook: TwistedPhilly or TwistedPhilly Podcast – our discussion group.  TwistedPhilly.com

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Episode 8: There Goes the Neighborhood

Neighbors can be a terrific asset.  They can be sources of support and friendship.  Or they can be quiet and keep to themselves, which is also perfectly fine.  But sometimes you can wind up living next to the neighbor from hell.

That’s what happened to Anne Hoover when Roy Kirk bought the abandoned home adjacent to hers in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh in 1992.

What started out as an amicable relationship, with Roy joining a local homeowner’s club focused on beautifying the community, first turned into annoyance, then frustration then fear.  But no one expected a disagreement between neighbors could turn deadly.

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Episode 7: Deliveries in Rear

This week we’re up to some old fashioned grave digging in Twisted Philly.

Our city, and our country, has a long history of grave digging, body snatching and ressurectionists, as a means to provide cadavers to medical colleges for anatomy and dissection lectures. This is a tale of Victorian grave robbing, the man behind it all that no one ever suspected, and the significant impacts to the community.  Do the ends really justify the means?  You decide.

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Episode 6: The Day I Drove Past a Crime Scene

On June 20, 1996, I was heading south on Rte. 476, the “Blue Route,” stuck in traffic.  On the side of the road police were walking through brush and weeds near an abandoned car.  To me, this looked like just another car left on the side of the highway, but later all of us in Philadelphia would learn it was something far worse.

Aimee Willard was the definition of the All American Girl, a star athlete, a star daughter, with a bright future ahead of her when her light was snatched before it even had a chance to shine to it’s fullest potential.

This is Aimee’s story, and in a way it’s a story that could have happened to any of us 20something Delco girls who hung out at Smokey Joes and drove the Blue Route late at night in the summer, thinking about jobs, school, our boyfriends, our future.

Episode 5: Haunted Hill

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In this episode we delve into the world of spirits.  This is the story of Haunted Hill.  Ok, it’s really Chestnut Hill, and it’s home to reportedly one of the most haunted houses not only in Pennsylvania but in the United States. When the Easby family first moved into Baleroy Mansion in 1926 their youngest son Steven, only 5 at the time, looked into a fountain on the property with his brother George.  George’s reflection peered back at him but Steven’s reflection had morphed into a skeletal face.  Steven died five years later of undetermined causes.

Over the next 80 years the Baleroy mansion would experience hauntings from at least 9 different ghosts and report three more deaths, which owner George Gordon Meade Easby, Jr. – the great-great grandson of General George Meade – attributed to a 200 year old haunted blue chair. Join me as we visit the Baleroy mansion and explore legends and haunted history surrounding this mysterious manor.

You can also check out an article from People Magazine Archives featuring George Easby Jr., and his notorious and nefarious ghosts.

http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20104250,00.html

 

Episode 4: The Twisted Old Man who Lived in the Shoe

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A few weeks ago a Twitter follower, Maria, asked me about a seriously twisted Philly killer.  At the time I told her I’d be getting to him in a few episodes, ‘case there’s more twisted and nefarious goings on in Philly besides murder.  Well, I hope she feels it was worth the wait.  This is the episode where we talk about the twisted old man who lived in the shoe.  Some call him the cobbler, some call him the shoemaker, I call him one seriously twisted, creepy, disturbing, deluded individual – Joseph Kallinger.

Bonus Mini Ep: Best Little Whorehouse in TwistedPhilly

What happens when you’re up at 3AM, researching future podcast episodes and find the most twisted publication about the city of Brotherly Love?  You create a mini episode!

The Strangers’ Guides were like Yelp in the 1800s, advising visitors to TwistedPhilly where to go, and in some cases where not to go.  One little Strangers’ Guide is a veritable map of Victorian whorehouses from 1848.  This thing reads like a tame version of Playboy stories, while ad the same time admonishing young men for even considering visiting a house of ill repute, which the author obviously did or he’d have no idea about where to visit and where to avoid.

Who knew Philly was twisted even during the Victorian times?

 

Episode 3: General Wayne Trifecta

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This episode has everything I like to share in the Twisted Philly Podcast: history, hauntings and murder.  Living in one of the cities that started it all, we have so many historic buildings that been here since before the revolutionary war.  Until it closed, the General Wayne Inn was America’s oldest operating restaurant and inn.    This is the story of the General Wayne, the spectral guests that inhabit the inn, and the murder of executive chef Jim Webb at the hands of his partner Guy Sileo in 1996.

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Podcasting on Vacation: To record or not record?

Hey twisters!  Happy Thursday.  Hope you’re enjoying the last bits of summer before August comes to a close.

This week I’m in Cape May, NJ, for the final week of summer before my daughter resumes school.  She’s a junior this year.  When the hell did I become old enough to have a kid in 11th grade?  This week is our annual tradition, although Cape May itself is a year long tradition as we visit throughout the year, especially in fall and winter.

But this week I had a dilemma.  Episode 2 of Twisted Philly was burning a hole in my computer.  I so wanted to get it posted, yet wasn’t sure how successful it would be recording in my hotel room.

Now, recording at home isn’t necessarily the most ideal environment, although I managed to carve out a space in my home office with little background noise where I can focus and do my damnest to deliver a quality cast for your listening enjoyment.

ButBeach here, at the Camelot Hotel (where we always stay during this last week of summer – off season, you’ll find me at the Red Cottage) although the room is lovely there wasn’t a great space to record.  It’s a family hotel, lots of kids, lots of noise  – as there should be, families enjoying a week at the beach.  But there’s also the sound of toilets flushing in adjacent rooms, spillover bells and whistles from the arcade at the promenade across the street, and an echo.

Some kick ass women who have been at this game longer than me recommended I use the closet – but the Camelot doesn’t have actual closets.  They have an incredibly spacious open closet in the bedroom, and I love my space with a living room ,separate kitchen and bedroom.  But no matter where I sat I couldn’t get the sound quality I was hoping for.

So I said fuck it.  If Serial can record an episode under a bathrobe in a hotel room, then I can record in an open closet. Yeah, I tried the bathroom but the fan was just too loud.  And I felt really weird with my equipment in there.

As a new podcaster I didn’t want to delay getting my next episode out.  And as a new podcaster I want to ensure you’re getting content on a regular basis so you don’t forget about me.

Obviously I made the decision to record.  And I’m working on a bonus episode about Cape May – another episode I’ll record in the closet.

Episode 2: Mutter Butter

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There’s so much that I love about the twisted city of Philadelphia, especially our museums. If I had to pick just one museum as my most twisted favorite it is the Mutter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

In 1858, Dr. Thomas Dent Mutter willed his vast collection of medical curiosities to the college of physicians, to carry on his legacy of education long after his death.  Over 150 years later the Mutter Museum is one of the coolest, creepiest and most unique museums in the country.

But there would be no Mutter Museum without Dr. Mutter.  Step back in time as we explore Dr. Mutter’s life and legacy, a few skulls and wet specimen jars along the way.