Episode 9: Under His Skin, The Life and Death of the Salem Seer

**Notice: This episode was recorded live on Zoom, and may have long pauses, diminished sound, and be less polished than normal episodes. Thank you in advance for bearing with me as I figure out this new platform and audio! All accompanying pictures can be found on lifeaftermidnightsalem.com**

Join Kristin and hear the story of a little known medium, Charles Henry Foster, the Salem Seer. Listen to a tale about the rise and fall of a man caught up in the whirl of Mesmerism, Mediumship, and the Spiritualist Movement. In this episode, we talk about Foster’s history, his connections to Salem, a brief history of the Spiritualist movement, and the beliefs that mediums like Foster used to justify their gifts. This episode is packed with seances, scandals, asylums, and the tragic end to one of the most prolific Salem figures of his day.

This is a special episode, that was done for Creative North Shore, as a part of their live artist stream series on their Facebook page during the COVID-19 Quarantine, to help support local artists and makers, and promote the artist economy. A huge thank you to John Andrews, Michelle Garcia, Carly Dwyer, Sam Stair, and the team at Creative North Shore for including Life After Midnight, and for all of their hard work and dedication to helping artists on the North Shore!

This episode is NSFW; some mature content discussed that may not be appropriate at work, limited profanity.

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Episode 8: Wonderfully Cruel Proceedings; Charles Brockden Brown, Phantasmagoria, and the Murders that Made America’s First Gothic Novel

**Notice: This episode was recorded live on Zoom, and may have long pauses, diminished sound, and be less polished than normal episodes. Thank you in advance for bearing with me as I figure out this new platform and audio! All accompanying pictures can be found on lifeaftermidnightsalem.com**

Join Kristin as we discuss Phantasmagoria, its connection to Deism, and early forays into man’s endless quest to commune with the dead, and the beyond. Learn how Charles Brockden Brown was influenced by murders committed by self-proclaimed Deists, in the Age of Enlightenment, and how those murders aided in the writing of America’s first true gothic novel. It’s not Poe, it’s certainly not Hawthorne, and it involves a whole lot of murder and nationalistic debate! Since when are politics not spooky…

This is a special episode, that was done for Creative North Shore, as a part of their live artist stream series on their Facebook page during the COVID-19 Quarantine, to help support local artists and makers, and promote the artist economy. A huge thank you to John Andrews, Michelle Garcia, Carly Dwyer, Sam Stair, and the team at Creative North Shore for including Life After Midnight, and for all of their hard work and dedication to helping artists on the North Shore!

This episode is NSFW; some mature content discussed that may not be appropriate at work, limited profanity.

 

 

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Episode 7: Murder in Medfield and the Tale of the Elitist Body Snatchers

**Notice: This episode was recorded live on Zoom, and may have long pauses, diminished sound, and be less polished than normal episodes. Thank you in advance for bearing with me as I figure out this new platform and audio!**

This is a special episode, that was done for Creative North Shore, as a part of their live artist stream series on their Facebook page during the COVID-19 Quarantine, to help support local artists and makers, and promote the artist economy. A huge thank you to John Andrews, Michelle Garcia, Carly Dwyer, Sam Stair, and the team at Creative North Shore for including Life After Midnight, and for all of their hard work and dedication to helping artists of the North Shore!

This episode is NSFW; some mature content discussed that may not be appropriate at work, limited profanity.

Episode written and recorded by Kristin Harris

Join Kristin as we discuss the 1802 murder of William Pitt Allen by his brother-in-law Ebenezer Mason. The first murder in Medfield, it ended in a sensational trial, a hanging, and a body snatching! Hear the tale of the stealing of Ebenezer Mason’s body, and listen to how body snatching became a common practice in 18th and 19th century Massachusetts. This episode has it all, body snatchers, Harvard Elite, a Guide to Grave Robbing, and 19th century trial transcripts! This lesser known murder even resulted in a song. Come hear about elitist nonsense, Brahmin B.S., and murder ballads you can sing at New Year’s.

 

 

Episode 6: Heading Home to the Horseman’s Hollow- Halloween in Irving’s Sleepy Hollow

In this episode, travel with me on a Halloween Adventure to the legendary village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, where I explore the meaning and symbolism behind Washington Irving’s famous tale. Learn all about my experience in the town, where Irving got his inspiration for the story, some other famous sites in Tarrytown, and perhaps a bit about some spiritual visitors, on this night where the veil grows thin, and the dead walk among the living. Just remember to hold on to your head…

NSFW A slight bit of strong language

Episode written and recorded by Kristin Harris 2019.

 

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They call me, “Death Girl.”

M.A. in American Studies (2015). Alumni of University of Massachusetts Boston. Salem, Ma Historian and Tour Guide for Salem Black Cat Tours, Paranormal Investigator with Mass Ghost Hunters Paranormal Society, Writer/Researcher/Host for Life After Midnight: Strange History, Salem Style.

That’s a whole lot of fancy titling, but my friends have dubbed me, “Death Girl.”

I first earned the loving nickname “Death Girl” from a few colleagues while still a graduate student in the American Studies M.A. Program at University of Massachusetts Boston.

My primary area of scholarship is the study of death in American culture, and the use of paranormal entertainment and tourism as a mode for public history education. I first discussed this idea in my Master’s thesis entitled “Relevant Apparitions: Bridging Public Memory, the Post-Industrial and the Paranormal in Ghost Adventures, (2015)” where I explore how the television show is both exploring marginalized post-industrial communities, and promoting interest in the history of place, past and present by portraying them to a wide community through the lens of a paranormal reality television show.

Since supernatural tourism has been given root and seen a resurgence in popularity through paranormal reality television, it has been my life’s work to find and illustrate in my writing the origins of social thought on matters of the supernatural and how they have played a role in public interest across many centuries of human existence. Where is the line between entertainment and reality, legend and fact, folklore and human thought about death and dying?

Recently, (since January 2017) I have been exploring these questions with my podcast entitled Life After Midnight: Strange History, Salem Style. I will continue to explore those very questions here, and hope you find it as useful and interesting as I do.

I look forward to sharing my findings, old and new, as I continue my quest to make sense of the attraction to, and sometimes obsession with death, not only in the literal sense, but as a cultural mode of learning. ¬†I often times have felt over the course of my research that without belief in the paranormal, certain histories might fall to the wayside, to be forgotten and frowned upon as a marginal part in the larger study of our past. But, with the popularity of tourist activities such as “legend tripping,” ghost tours, paranormal investigation events, Para-Cons, hotels that are advertised for their haunts, and a plethora of others, it is clear that this form of entertainment is not easily dismissed as a gimmicky form of entertainment, but rather a cultural moment in which we see fringe interests being used to garner support for public history.

In my 4 years experience as a public historian, tour guide, and paranormal investigator, and 8+ years as an academic, I have literally studied these topics from every angle possible, and it’s only made me want to learn more. ¬†Hopefully this blog will serve not only to enlighten those who are interested in the realm of the dead, but aren’t sure of its role in our collective history, but to affirm the cultural importance of the paranormal to public history for those who (like myself) have already begun to scratch the surface of this relationship.

In the words of one of my favorite High School (and still favorite) bands H.I.M.,

“Baby, Join Me in Death.”

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