Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ep. 272 - Cincinnati Music Hall

Moment in Oddity - Raining Stickleback Fish

For centuries, different cultures have reported legends about various weird items raining from the skies. These phenomenon range from insects to frogs to snails to birds to stones and even blood. For Mount Ash in Wales in 1859, it was a bunch of stickleback fish that fell from the sky. Many theories try to explain these various things falling from the sky. one is that a plane drops some cargo. Clearly, this was not the case in 1859. Another more plausible theory is that a water spout passes over a lake and picks up a bunch of fish and deposits them elsewhere. But when it came to these stickleback fish falling from the sky, there really was no explanation. Sticklebacks are not schooling fish, so a large body of water would need to be passed over and sucked up over a long period of time to grab a alrge number of these fish. And obviously, lakes have more than just one variety of fish, so how is it that just this group was pulled up? The sticklebacks also fell over an area measuring 240 x 36 feet in two separate intervals. There was a ten minute gap between these "showers." The fish were miraculously alive and unharmed by the whole event. I imagine this made for a big fish fry all because of an event that certainly is odd!

This Month in History - Ernie Pyle Born

In the month of August, on the 3rd, in 1900, war correspondent Ernie Pyle was born in Dana, Indiana. He signed up to serve in the Navy during World War I at the age of17. He went to Indiana University for a time after the war and then got into the newspaper business. He traveled the country as a correspondent for the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain. His columns detailed the lives of ordinary people in rural America. Pyle continued his sympathetic insights as a war correspondent during World War II and he received a Pulitzer Prize for his reports of the bombing of London in 1940. He traveled to Italy and France and Africa and Sicily. In 1945, he was reporting on the war from Okinawa, Japan.  He was in Iejima during the Battle of Okinawa. Pyle was traveling by jeep with Lt. Col. Joseph B. Coolidge when they encountered enemy fire. The two men jumped into a ditch for cover and Coolidge said, "A little later Pyle and I raised up to look around. Another burst hit the road over our heads ... I looked at Ernie and saw he had been hit." The bullet had hit Pyle in his left temple just under his helmet and it killed him instantly. A monument was erected over the spot where he died. He was very well known around the country and he was mourned by the homefront and the soldiers alike. Eleanor Roosevelt quoted Pyle's war dispatches in her newspaper column, My Day, and she paid tribute to him by writing, "I shall never forget how much I enjoyed meeting him here in the White House last year and how much I admired this frail and modest man who could endure hardships because he loved his job and our men."

Cincinnati Music Hall (Suggested by: Angela Wallingford)

One of the most recognizable buildings in Cincinnati is its music hall. This location dates back to the late 1800s, but the site itself has been home to other uses that include an asylum, an orphanage, a potter's field and there were other nearby cemeteries from which the bodies were not removed. All of which add their own reasons for paranormal experiences. Top this off with a world class music venue and theater and there is no doubt that this music hall just might really live up to its "most haunted" reputation. Join me and listener and tour guide Angie Wallingford as we share the history and hauntings of Cincinnati's Music Hall! 

Cincinnati was founded by Mathias Denman, Colonel Robert Patterson and Israel Ludlow in 1788. The town was laid out and surveyed by John Filson and he named it "Losantiville." This was an amalgamation of several words with L for the nearby Licking River, os is Latin for mouth, anti is Greek for opposite and ville is French for city. So the original city name meant "The city opposite the mouth of the river." Arthur St. Clair was the governor of the Northwest Territory in 1790 and he changed the name of the settlement to "Cincinnati" in honor of the Society of the Cincinnati. He was the President of this group that took its name from Cincinnatus who was a Roman general and dictator who saved the city of Rome from destruction. *Rabbit hole: In 458 BC, a group of Roman Senators came to Cincinnatus on his farm and told him that Rome was in great danger. Since he had earlier routed the Aequians, they felt he would be best to fight the Sabines that were at Rome's walls. They gave him the power of a dictator and he was given command of an army that he marched into battle and quickly routed the enemy. He rode through the city in triumph.* Cincinnati was chartered as a town in 1802. The city has been known as many things from Porkopolis because of a thriving hog industry to the Queen of the West to the City of Seven Hills. One of its beautiful National Historic Landmarks is the Cincinnati Music Hall.

The music hall was designed by Samuel Hannaford and built in 1878 and is made up of three buildings. The design is Victorian-gothic architecture and served as Cincinnati's first convention center. The interior is beautiful and is home to Cincinnati Opera, the nation’s second-oldest opera company, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, May Festival and Cincinnati Ballet. Extensive renovations were done a couple of years ago and the Music Hall re-opened in October 2017.

There definitely seem to be hauntings here and the Cincinnati Music Hall made Time Magazine’s list of 50 Most Haunted Locations in America. Angela wrote, "Theaters seem to be a popular place for ghosts, but there are a few other factors that are believed to contribute to the hauntings. The south part of the building was built over a Potter’s field from the early –mid 1800’s, this was actually the site of a mass burial for people that died in the 1849 cholera outbreak that killed over eight thousand people. Springer auditorium was built on the site of a former orphan asylum. 1832 was a rough year for Cincinnati, flooding, measles and cholera left many orphans.  Across the street, there is now a beautiful park, which has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, but, it was once the site of three separate cemeteries.  These graves were supposed to have been moved when the park was built in the 1850’s, but as in true “Poltergeist” fashion, the workers just moved the headstones and left the bodies. Before the recent renovations, the neighborhood was impoverish and dangerous. The park was home to many homeless people, people with addiction problems and a hot bed of crime. Many people suffered greatly in that park and lives were lost. The parking garage, which is across the street (and this street was the former Miami-Eerie canal that is believed to be the main cause of the cholera outbreaks) behind the building was built on the site of Ohio’s first lunatic asylum, mental health care…not so great in the 1820s."

Angels shared many of the hauntings, "Many ghosts are believed to inhabit this building. There is the obligatory lady in white that is seen dancing in the ball room. People riding elevators alone have reported a lady getting on the elevator with them, striking up a conversion, then disappearing. An old freight elevator (which didn’t survive the renovations) was thought to be haunted by the spirit or spirits from the potter field. It would roam around on it’s own, go to a different floor than you wanted, or not go at all. I should mention, this elevator needs a key to run it. The elevator spirit is actually believed to have saved a man’s life in the 1990s. He had a heart attack on the third floor, when the EMT’s got him on the elevator the attendant did not have her keys, but the elevator took them to first floor and the waiting ambulance. A former patient from the old lunatic asylum roams the halls wearing an old dirty hospital gown, long stringy gray hair, and black sockets where his eyes should be. There are reports of him possessing people and construction workers that quit immediately upon seeing him. A much loved conductor, Erich Kunzel, passed away in 2009. Whistling has been heard coming from his old office, he was known to whistle constantly when working a new score until he got it just right. The spirit that is seen the most is a little girl, about eight years old, she is believed to be from the orphan asylum. Some of her favorite places to hang out, in the ballerina’s dressing room, the basement, in front of the building on the north east corner, where she tries to hold the hands of women.

Are these former patients, orphans and theater patrons and workers still hanging out in the Afterlife? Is Cincinnati Music Hall haunted? That is for you to decide!

Show Notes:

To find out more about Angie's tour group:

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