Wednesday, September 10, 2014

American Horror Story: Inspiration --

If you've seen the first iteration of American Horror Story, then you might have been intrigued enough to uncover the "true" tale that likely inspired some of its plot points: The "Congelier Mansion".

Cited often as "The Most Haunted House in America" (where have we heard THAT before?), this "sprawling mansion," as some have called it, was supposedly the home Charles Wright Congelier built in 1871 for himself, his wife Lyda, and their unhappy marriage.

After some time in the home, Lyda caught her philandering husband and their maid, Essie, in a compromising situation.  In a rage, Lyda stabbed him and decapitated her.

Later, it's told, a Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter bought the home. During an experiment in the basement, he caused an explosion that shattered the windows. The event brought the police to the house who discovered the grim doctor's ghoulish experiments to re-animate the severed heads of several young women.

The house was supposed to be haunted by the inconsolable spirits of these tragedies and that Thomas Edison even came to investigate with various ghost-busting mechanisms of his own design.

The house came down in 1927 when a gas explosion destroyed a large swath of that city.

Fantastic, right? I mean...the script practically writes itself!

Except for a few small details that people like Stephanie Hoover of the Hauntingly Pennsylvania website would call facts....

An admirably dogged debunker, Hoover researched the actual historical record of the home and learned that more than a few details were bunk.

There were no Congeliers living in the area in the 1870s.

The house was no sprawling mansion; it was a working class home in an industrial section of the city.

No insane doctor, headless corpses, or vile murders took place there.

Congeliers did live there in the 1920s when a gas explosion did shatter windows, a shard of which killed one Mary Congelier.

You can read more of Hoover's debunking here.

No comments: