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Patrick Keller, of, invites you to join an open discussion on all things paranormal, but specifically topics like ghosts & hauntings, paranormal research, spirit communication, psychics & mediums, and life after death. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!
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Nov 14, 2015

Body snatcher. Grave robber. Mad scientist. Brilliant surgeon. And did he really hang the corpse of his daughter in Mark Twain Cave? Plus the ghosts of the Gratiot Street Prison. Delve into the macabre world of St. Louis's Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell with Victoria Cosner and Lorelei Shannon, authors of Missouri's Mad Doctor McDowell.  

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In this episode: 

  • Episode Preview :00
  • The Halloween Crash! Happy “New Year!” (not really) 2:43
  • Introduction of Missouri’s Mad Doctor McDowell: Confederates, Cadavers and Macabre Medicine by today’s guests, authors Victoria Cosner and Lorelei Shannon 4:32
  • Victoria Cosner Bio 6:14
  • Victoria was previously on episode 7 of the podcast, where we chatted about their book, Mad Madame Lalaurie.
  • Lorelei Shannon Bio 7:16
  • The conversation about Mad Dr. McDowell begins! 7:53
  • Who was the doctor? Was he a good person? 9:50
  • Where did he get his early medical fascination from? Dr. Ephraim McDowell – Uncle to Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell 13:21
  • McDowell’s medical students were expected to supply their own cadavers, forcing them to participate in grave robbing/bodysnatching. 16:24
  • The ghost of McDowell’s mother! 19:14
  • Union troops confiscated some crazy things from the McDowell Medical College. 20:24
  • The horrors of the Gratiot Street Prison, formally the McDowell Medical College. 23:40
  • How exactly does one “bodysnatch”? 24:34
  • What was Dr. McDowell up to between the years of 1827 and 1838? 27:05
  • Did the fact that he lost so many children at a young age lead to his fascination with body preservation? 28:51
  • McDowell hung the corpse of his daughter Amanda in Hannibal, Missouri’s Mark Twain Cave. 29:37
  • McDowell was a spiritualist and attended a demonstration by the famous Fox Sisters when they came through St. Louis. 35:27
  • More on the building, the stories of hauntings, and the Purina lot in St. Louis. 37:33
  • What about this story creeps Victoria and Lorelei out the most? 42:15
  • Has Dr. McDowell kind of been forgotten? 46:40
  • McDowell and surgery during the Civil War. 47:34
  • Paranerd hashtag No. 1! 51:05
  • Another audio issue of Tim Prasil’s Spectral Edition! (Coffin Mark – Changing Ghost – Big Frog) 51:45
  • Another iTunes review! This one from Darcy in Canada! Thank you! 56:10
  • Paranerd hashtag No. 2! 58:55
  • Easter Egg 59:42


For more on Victoria, Lorelei, and Mad Doctor McDowell:

Mad Doctor McDowell Website

Get the book on Amazon

Mad Doctor McDowell on Facebook


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