"Chicago, IL"

The Second City has seen a lot of strange characters pass through over the years. Here are a few of their stories.

political cartoon showing John Alexander Dowie being run out of Chicago

Marching to Shibboleth

a sordid story of faith healing, financial fraud, flat Eartherism, and figs

Forty miles north of Chicago lies Zion, IL, a sleepy city with a sordid history of faith healing, financial fraud, flat Eartherism... and figs? Read More...

Categories: Eccentrics & Prophecies, People & Places, Series 6

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a graphic illustration of the cellular cosmogony

We Live Inside

greetings from the inside of the Hollow Earth

Dr. Cyrus Reed Teed may have been a madman, or the Messiah, but only he was bold enough to tell the truth: that we live on the inside of a hollow Earth. Read More...

Categories: Biography, Eccentrics & Prophecies, History, Series 4

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Ann O'Delia Diss Debar

Spirit Princess

one woman, thirty aliases, forty years and too many crimes to count

The greatest and most notorious Spiritualist swindler of all time was a woman from Kentucky who looked a bit like Lola Montez (if you squinted). Read More...

Categories: Biography, History, Hoaxes, Frauds & Forgeries, Series 3

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