Thursday, July 7, 2011

MISSOURI ODD PHENOMENA FILE, PT. 3

El Dorado Light. The El Dorado Light is a mysterious light sometimes seen outside Collins, Missouri. Brandon, Jim. Weird America (1978), p.122.

Embalmers. The first licensed female embalmer in the state of Missouri was a black woman named Vora T. Wilson. Profiles in Silhouette (1980), p. 128.

Exorcist, The. The movie of this name is based on an actual series of events that took place in the state of Maryland, in Washington, D. C., and in St. Louis. A teen-aged boy in Maryland began to show signs of unusual and disturbing behavior. A psychiatrist called in for consultation could find no organic cause of the boy's distress. A Lutheran minister asked to look at the boy recommended that the family find a priest, because the minister felt an exorcism of a demon or spirit might be in order. Initial attempts to remove the unwelcome spirit by Jesuit priests at Georgetown University in Washington, D. C. resulted in the hasty transportation of the boy to St. Louis University, a Jesuit institution of higher learning in mid-America. A full-fledged exorcism, the first sanctioned by the Catholic Church in more than 100 years, resulted in the teen-aged victim's eventual return to good (i.e., malevolent entity-free) health. William Peter Blatty, a college student who heard about the exorcism from the priest who served as assistant in the procedure, later wrote a novel which changed names, locations, and some of the facts of the case and sold it as a novel, The Exorcist. Allen, Thomas B. Possessed: the True Story of an Exorcism (1993).

Explosion, Unexplained. An unexplained explosion took place somewhere along Missouri State Road CC near the town of Festus on May 26, 1970. Brandon, Jim. Weird America (1978), p. 125.

Explosion, Unexplained. See also "Bomb Blast."

Female Impersonator. A male detective impersonated an Italian woman to solve an extortion case. Jones, J. E. Review of Famous Cases Solved by St. Louis Policemen (1924), pp. 98-99.

Fitzgerald, James. Fitzgerald was being hanged in St. Louis as punishment for a crime he had committed when the rope broke. A big, heavy man, Fitzgerald hit the ground hard, and lay there writhing in pain for about one hour while a second rope was fetched. Once it arrived, Fitzgerald was led back onto the gallows and hanged again, this time successfully. Hyde, William, and Howard Conard. Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis (1899), vol. I, p. 717.

Fletcher, Thomas Clement. Governor Thomas C. Fletcher of Missouri (1865-1869) held his inaugural ball in Fisher's Cave. Missouri Magazine 1 (September 1928): 26.

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