Episode 98: All in the Family: Generational Curses and the Winchester Mystery House

It’s ‘I Put a Spell on You’ Month all October! Happy Halloween!!

When you really think about it, we all live in mystery houses. Secrets and blood are two things that really help shape our notions of ‘family’. Perhaps the most well known mystery house of all, that of Widow Winchester in San Jose, California had one more feature that helped define it, a family curse. Join us this week as we explore family curses throughout history. from the Hapsburgs and their ravens to Henry VII and his monks, a good curse seems to be almost status symbol for European royalty. We’ll discuss the machinations of general cursing and the curse of original sin before taking a look at one of America’s own cursed Colt family.





Winchester Mystery House

Winchester House – NPS

Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places – Colin Dickey

The Heiress to a Gun Empire Built a Mansion Forever Haunted by the Blood Money That Built It – Smithsonian

LeComptes of Castle Haven

Facts About Retinitis Pigmentosa – National Eye Institute

The Haunted Mid-Shore: Spirits of Caroline, Dorchester and Talbot Counties By Mindie Burgoyne

Rare History, Common Disease – The Scientist

The Founder Effect in Québec – Michigan’s Habitant Heritage, Vol. 31, #4, October 2010

The City of God – St Augustine

Cain – The Catholic Encyclopedia

Cain and Abel – D. L. Ashliman’s folktexts

A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and …, Volume 1 edited by William Smith, Henry Wace

Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, Volume 1 edited by James Hastings, John Alexander Selbie, John Chisholm Lambert

Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop By W. T. Lhamon

The Mark of Cain By Ruth W. Mellinkoff

Race and the Priesthood – LDS

Race, National Destny, and the Sons of Noah in the Thought of Benjamin M Palmer by Stephen R Haynes

From Noah’s Curse to Slavery’s Rationale – NYT

When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better … By Alan Cross

Making Men Equal – Guns and Ammo

End of a Royal Dynasty – Daily Mail

The Book of Spells, Hexes & Curses: True Tales From Around the World by Stuart Gordon

The Martyrdom of an Empress by Marguerite Cunliffe-Owen – 1899

The Colt Family Curse

Killer Colt: Murder, Disgrace and the Making of an American Legend by Harold Schechter

The Devil’s Right Hand: The Tragic Story of the Colt Family Curse by M. William Phelps


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