Charles W. Henry was a cruel and heartless miser. In 1895 he was 70-years-old, living in Brooklyn with his wife and 39-year-old son William. Though Henry was a wealthy man, he kept his family in a state of poverty, spending little on food and the most basic amenities. Their house was large, but the inside was filthy with dust and clutter. Mrs. Henry’s room had a bare floor and a single cot, while Charles slept on four chairs in a row, alternating back and front held together by tape. Mrs. Henry was frail and emaciated, wearing the same clothes she had for twenty years. Charles kept a daily ledger of household expenses, each day on a separate card, the cards were tied together in bundles and the stacked bundles went back many years. An example of an extravagant day was Christmas 1894 when 54 cents was spent on dinner for three. Is it any wonder someone wanted to kill him?
IN THIS EPISODE: Harry Houdini may have been one of the world’s greatest magicians – but he was also the biggest debunker of magic when it came to the supernatural. (Houdini vs. Spiritualism) *** There are strong women. There are formidable ladies. There are tough cookies. There are female baddies. And then there is “Stagecoach” Mary Fields, who was surely in a class all her own. (The Ballad of Stagecoach Mary) *** Dozens of creepy stories and urban legends have sprouted up along America’s most legendary highway. We look at some of the horrifying things people have experienced on Route 66. (Terrors of Route 66) *** It was one of the wildest and wickedest of all Wild West towns… and now it’s one of the most haunted. Jerome, Arizona is considered the most haunted town in the state – possibly in all of the United States. (The Haunting of Jerome, Arizona) *** Their seances with the departed launched a mass religious movement—and then one of them confessed that “it was common delusion”. We’ll look at the rise of Spiritualism – and the two sisters that started it all. (The Fox Sisters)