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Episode 103: Disappointment


Humanity is fueled by hope. We hope for improvement, and dream of a day when things get better than they are right now. And for a very long time, there have been certain people who have taken advantage of that hope. What they deliver instead is an unexpected dose of darkness.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Clark Stanley stood before the crowd and held the burlap sack carefully away from his body. It was the eighteen. Ninety three worlds exposition in Chicago Illinois, and there were thousands upon thousands of people wandering through the city enjoying the sites and sounds but Clark Stanley had something unique to offer. After opening the bag, he quickly reached inside and pulled out alive rattlesnake, the crowd, collect fifthly gasped and then inched backward from the stage, then with all eyes, watching him. Stanley, ran a sharp knife down the length of the snakes body and tossed it into a pot of boiling water a moment later
The shimmer of melted fat could be seen on the surface. It was the key ingredient in a homemade remedy. He called snake oil, but it wasn't his own invention. We have hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants to thank for that when they move to America in the second half of the nineteenth century, they brought numerous medicines with them, including one made from the fat of the Chinese. Water snake. It was high and omega three and they used it to treat muscle and joint pain. But Stanley only borrowed the name, not the recipe. Sure people bought his miracle cure and they used it for all sorts of ailments, but Stanley Dirty Little Secret was that his bottles of snake oil didn't have single drop of actual snake oil in them just that
of mineral water, some red, pepper, turpentine and a touch of be fat. Clark Stanley was far from the first charlatan to prey on the needs of the sick and he certainly could be the last, but he gave us the idiom. We now used to classify all those frauds snake oil sale, Men are, as all this time and their business model always been incredibly simple, to offer a false sense of hope to those in need for a price, but that's where things get tricky
Because some frauds do more than cell bottles of mineral water placebos they fool dying. People into thinking that occur is just around the corner that, despite all the closed doors of patient might have faced, they alone can offer a way out of their pain and suffering and in the process they harm the people they serve. Some cures are just too good to be true, sometimes their worse. I'm Erin Monkey, and this is lore.
According to archaeologists, people have been flocking there for thousands of years digs have revealed ancient artifacts. The point to human activity and stories among the local indigenous people seem to make it clear why it was hard to pass up a chance to visit what they consider to be a great healing spring. For a very long time, that's about as far as the story spread, but in the late eighteen hundreds white settlers began to hear rumours about the location. And started moving in on land that had once been sacred. Do the native Americans and one of the first, as far as we can tell, was Doktor Alva Jackson. Jackson had a reputation as a backwoods pseudo healers
someone who was willing to try anything that might offer a quick fix, the medical ailments in eighteen, seventy nine. He travelled to the Ozark Mountains in northern Arkansas with a group of hunters, one of whom a man named Judge Saunders had some unrecorded problem with his legs. When Jackson heard the rumours about the healing waters of the local springs, he suggested that Saunders take a daily silk in the water. According to him, the treatment worked after that word spread rather quickly. You know how people can be when they think they found miracle cure to whatever else them. The very notion that there was a spring in the mountains of Arkansas that you could slip into and be cured for free well. That was a siren song for thousands of desperate people. The result was An entire community built around these mythical water sources, known as Eureka Springs. It was
an obvious solution in the minds of many people. Fresh, clean water had a sort of magical property to in an era when urban sprawl and the growing industrial revolution were turning cities into filthy centres of disease and death. Hydrotherapy, the ancient therapeutic use of water as treatment for illness had been experiencing a comeback of sorts. We know the Egyptians used it, as did the Romans who built elaborate bath houses with complex plumbing and heating systems. All. To make it easier for people to use water as a healing tool, throw in a growing romanticism around the notion of returning to nature as a response to urban sprawl, and those springs became magnets for many people. in eighteen, eighty one two years after Judge Saunders experience
Name, L, J cow Clash published a pamphlet that lauded the healing properties of the waters there. Certain diseases he wrote known as incurable, have been brought here, and the improvement in the general health was so market that invalids jumped at the conclusion that they were well Publish might have even had his sight sat on some sort of business enterprise that would have taken advantage of that document power, but it seems that another man beat him to the punch Powell. Clayton was an hour and saw a legend not only had he served as governor of the state for seven years, but he had also
sir time as a U S, senator representing the states in Washington DC, and he had an idea one if they turned Eureka Springs into an elite destination spot. What, if they built something so attractive that it would lower. In the sorts of people with disposable cash, cash that could trickled down to the entire community, his proposition was ambitious and it required a corporate name behind it. So he set up the Eureka, Springs, improvement company and set his pipe. Emotion. The goal was to build a victorian pleasure resort. It would be a step up from what the area had been used to for the first few years. Rather than making a name for themselves as a destination for the destitute, Clayton and higher in eighteen. Eighty six, he began
action on a luxury resort that was meant to turn. Eureka springs into a prime destination for America's wealthy elite. The crescent hotel and spot Saint Louis Architect, Isaac Taylor was brought into design I've story, building and limestone was quarried from the nearby White River Stone masons from Ireland were hired to lay the stones in plumbing was installed guided water from a number of the local springs directly into the hotel. It said that guess there could pick from which spring they wanted to drink almost like a modern soda machine, but it didn't matter how beautiful and extravagant this resort would be
Working just around the corner was something darker than he or any. One else could have imagined, hope, Springs eternal, as they often say, but so too is death. At first business was brisk. Those wealthy elites came to Eureka Springs and spent their money for a while, but as the years war on fewer and
You were vacationers, showed up and that made it harder to keep the doors open year round. After all, resorts are expensive to run, and if the guests weren't, showing up adjustments, had to be made in one thousand nine hundred and eight roughly two decades after opening their doors, the Crescent hotel and spa reduced season from twelve months to just three and use the remaining nine months to run a college out of the building, the Crescent College and conservatory for young women. From what I can tell the college made money too
wealthier families sent their young women to live and study their nine months each year, while local students could take classes during the day for a smaller fee that hybrid of resort destination and women's college went on for sixteen years, but by one thousand nine hundred and twenty four. Even the college tuition wasn't enough to keep the place Taft and running the college shutdown and the resort was left with a small three month window to earn revenue for. The writing was on the wall and. The water went bad? There's a bit of irony there. I know the entire reason the community of Eureka Springs existed at all was because of the quality of the water. That's why the town was built, but in the mid nineteen twenties, an outbreak of typhoid bacterial infection spread by contaminated water and food was linked to three of the local healing springs. The party, it seems, was over
For a while in eighteen, thirty seven, a stranger arrived in town and started asking questions about the old resort building, he was a smooth, Cain Middle Aged man, in a white suit, purple, shirts and lavender tie, and he went to buy the resort and turn it into a hospital of sorts. He still, but even the healing powers of the spring waters and had a plan to treat cancer patients through a method he had learned back home in Iowa. The people of Eureka Springs were sceptical, they didn't know who he was and he was asking them to put their towns, reputation and economy right into his hands, and I was a risky endeavour, but at the same time the great depression had devastated their community and they were looking for any lifeline they could find. So they eventually said yes, but Norman Baker wasn't the saviour he claimed to be yes, he
bought. The crescent resort inspire and began to remodel it, and, yes, patients began to come to town bringing their money with them, but in the long history of snake oil salesman, Norman Baker was one of the worst and had a dark pass that he hadn't told any one else about Born in eighteen, eighty two baker had gone through life, bouncing from idea to idea trying to make a fortune for himself while most were failure see behind a couple of successes that he, like brag about one was his own radio station, which, at the time he arrived in Eureka, was this. The largest station in North America, but the other was the Baker Institute. A sort of pseudo hospital in Musketoon, Iowa. He had studied under two separate people who claimed to have discovered a cure for cancer and had walked away with what he believed to be the perfect treatment which he put to work inside his Baker Institute, beginning and ninety
twenty seven baker advertised on his own radio station. Looking for sick people who were desperate for a cure, thousands flocked to him for help, but most left disappointed if they left alive at all that his Baker was eventually kicked out of Iowa when the American Medical Association discovered that he had no medical training at all, but he wasn't about the let alone hiccup like that. Stop him. So he went searching for a new place, a place where he could start over and make even more money selling cures to the desperate, and he found that place Eureka springs. Baker was a natural salesman between his radio station, sending the message far and wide and his local mailings that advertised Baker Hospital as the place where sick folks get well. He drew a steady flow of patients to his door, but we need to take
Every single notion we might have about medical care and toss it out the window if we're going to get an accurate picture of Norman Bakers methods. His cure for cancer was purely chemical from what historians can tell it was a mixture of glycerin, carbolic, acid alcohol and an herbal t brood from watermelon seeds, corn, silk and clover. He also helped patients with changes to their diet, assorted, vitamin supplements and a regiment of strong laxative on the surface. Things seem to have turned around and Eureka Springs.
They had been looking for a lifeline to help, pull them out from the darkness of an economic depression and Baker had done that every one was making money again and because of that, everyone loved him. Well, the almost every one there were a few critics in town who didn't believe his slick marketing messages. They had heard far too many stories of patients arriving at bakers Hospital only to leave a short while later justice sick, but also full of disappointment and frustration, and those were the ones that manage to get away. The rumours around town claimed that some patience never. Revived, but to protect his reputation in marketing efforts, Baker had their bodies incinerated, rather than send them back out for public funerals events. those rumours and complaints were enough to draw the attention of bakers, old enemy, the American Medical Association. Together with federal authorities. The hospital was investigated and bake
was shut down, but not before he managed to embezzle millions of dollars out of his desperate patients, many of whom tragically died in the process. Baker served a short prison sentence, subjects for years for his financial crimes and was then released in the mid nineteen forties you lived out.
Rest of his life in relative luxury, passing away and nineteen fifty eight on board his very own yacht, but the legacy of that building build to trade, a false sense of hope for a handful of cash wouldn't pass away with the man who filled it with so much evil. The work that Norman Baker did in the crescent left disdain that no amount of water, however magical, could ever wash off, and it still with us today The building that once held the crescent resort in spy and eventual.
Norman bakers, pseudo hospital would change hands for the next few decades. Slowly, falling apart ass time went by one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven new owners took control and began the slow process of restoring the hotel to its original glory. Today, anyone approaching from a distance will get a glimpse of the old structure as it was in eighteen, eighty six and that's a good thing, but the new owners didn't just take possession of an old hotel. They also acquired a bill. that serve for decades, as in epicenter of desperation and hopelessness. Remodeling might have taken care of the physical decay, but there are still whispers that suggests the old stories haven't gone away and, let's be honest, that's not differ. To believe setting aside the days when the wealthy elite walk the halls of the resort Norman
acres two years stay in Eureka Springs did irreparable amounts of damage. There are some reports that he attempted to cure brain cancer by cutting open some patient skulls and pouring the liquid cure directly onto their brain. A lot of pain, suffering and death came out of barbaric treatments like that today, guess at the hotel still bump into the past, from the time, as do the staff who serve them. One of those ghostly visitors is lovingly referred to as Theodora. She appears at the front desk from time to time asking for her room key and when the staff look away for a moment to check on her room number, she vanishes that room bird for one. Nine is another place where Theodora can be found. Cleaning staff have boddered her on more than one occasion and visit
in paranormal. Researchers claim to have captured her voice on tape, whether she's, just a figment of our imagination or an echo of some one who lived and died in the building, will never know The old hospital morgue is probably one of the most obvious places to go. Looking for shadows from the past legend says that Norman Baker would conduct amateur autopsies, their attempting to better understand the cancer he was claiming to be able to gear modern visitors to the space. A spoken of cold spots, eerie sounds and unintelligible voices, speaking of Norman Baker, even though he passed away in Florida, something his spear It has returned to wander the halls he filled with patients. The most frequent sightings have taken place in or near the old recreation room. Other. Have seen him on the landing between the first and second floors of the hotel and say that he always seems to look a little lost.
Oh, and how do they know? It's Norman Baker, his clothing, of course, now white suit, purple shirt and lavender tie our dead. Give away- and, let's be honest, I fully intended that pun. on the third floor, multiple witnesses have seen the vision of a nurse pushing a gurney through the hallway one guess. One thousand. Nine hundred and eighty seven claimed that she watch this nurse move all the way down the hall before pushing her cart directly through the wall. At the end, most haven't seen her, though instead they've only heard sounds that hint at her presents that telltale squeak of the gurney wheels as she rolls it slowly down the One of the most common stories, though, is about a man named Michael Legend, says that he
one of the Irish Stone Masons who help lay the limestone blocks of the hotel. Michael was a bit of a ladies man, though it had a tendency to dessert his job in favour of flirting. It was a character flawed that would eventually get him build. The story tells us that Michael was on the roof one day in eighteen. Eighty six, when he noticed a woman far below on the ground, he step closer to the edge to try and get her attention and lost is putting falling into a gruesome death below this legend places the spot of his death as the modern location of room to eighteen, and if the stories are true, Michael has made quite an impact on the guests. people who stay in room. Two hundred and eighteen to experience the whole range of unusual happenings for many it's as simple as an odd feeling or unexplainable sounds or others, though. The sightings have been more into
and may be due to Michael's nature as a flirt. Most of those experiences have been reported by women, not men. Some people never change. I guess, but the mark left by his tragic death is still visible from time to time. Quite literally, more than a few guests have reported stepping into the room only to find the walls covered in blood as if someone or something had exploded against them. Each time it happens, the guests have run screaming out of the room and called for hotel staff to come and see when they arrive. Though, the walls are as clean and spotless as before, whether the experiences in room Two hundred and eighteen have been nothing more than a series of eerily similar hallucinations by frightened guests or momentary gaps in the
EL between our world and the one beyond it is difficult to say, but one thing that is clear is that those who have reported seen the blood never step foot back inside their rooms and, honestly, who could blame them? Sure walls can be scrubbed or repainted, but who could her wash the vision from their minds. Not even the waters of Eureka Springs can do that
Desperate times call for desperate measures, we ve heard it said a million times, and yet it never ceases to take us by surprise. People will do extraordinary things for a chance or a possibility for Hope Stanley knew that when he boiled rattlesnakes in front of audiences and then so, then bottles of nothing but mineral water and they bought his miracle cure all by the truckload. In fact,. Stanley snake oil liniment sold for nearly twenty four years before federal investigator stepped in and tested the product is punishment for fooling all of those desperate people. Twenty bucks in alive way the people who put Eureka Springs on the map, weren't a whole lot, better sure stories of the healing properties of the local waters had been whispered about for centuries before their arrival, but they still own some of that blame daft
there are the ones who marketed the springs as the answer to all our troubles as the last ray of hope that everyone had been looking for, but clearly the biggest snake oil salesmen of them all, at least in Eureka Springs was Norman Baker. He was a textbook Example of how, if you talk a big enough game and say your lies with enough conviction, some people are bound to assume you know what you're talking about they'll follow you blindly in the direction of your choosing. Even if that path only leads to failure and disappointment. But bakers. Actions in his Eureka Springs Hospital go beyond misdirection. If this,
raise our even remotely true his patience faced, much more suffering than mineral water or lies some of them handed over their life savings in hopes. The baker would cure them of their illness and then they were allowed to die. So it's no wonder that people today feel as though pieces of the past have stuck around. How could it not, but even in death, we aren't immune to disappointment, as one final story from the Crescent hotel and resort illustrates so well. As the story goes, a former hotel owner was closing down the bar one night. When one of the guests came in hoping for a drink before bed, the owner agreed pouring him what he asked tour and then slid the glass over to him, a couple of seats down the bar there was another man just sitting in silence, as the owner went about his closing duties.
Looking for a conversation, the newcomer called out a greeting, but the silent stranger didn't reply. He tried again But, no matter how loud or friendly he was, the silent man refused to answer or even turned his head to acknowledge him. Assuming the man was too drunk to talk, the newcomer left him alone and carried on his conversation with the hotel owner. They made small talk and he slowly finished his drink, but when he was ready to leave, he was Rise to see the silent man had already left, he couldn't remember seeing let alone hearing the man leave the bar. It was unsettling to say the least. Back out in the hotel lobby. The man glanced up toward the staircase, probably deciding if he was going to take me. evader or make the long climb up to his room and that's when he saw the silent, stranger again, just standing on the stairs looking down toward him.
finally letting his curiosity get the better of him. The hotel gas began to climb the steps to confront the stranger. That's when something unexpected happened. As he approached this hotel gas claimed, he felt invisible, hands, stop him as if a powerful force had placed itself between him and the silent man. This force then guided him backwards slowly but firmly until he was left standing at the bottom of the steps where he started. When he glanced back up, the stranger was gone. Sometimes the path is eager to brush up against the present and make itself known, and sometimes it isn't, if you're, the sort of person who keeps their eyes peeled for a glimpse of the unexplainable for a shimmer of ghostly evidence or the whisper of an other worldly voice. You might get exactly what you're looking for in the crescent hotel, then again, you might walk away
disappointed, but considering the dark history of the place, that's nothing new. The history of the Cresson. Hotel is one of frustration and disappointment. That much is obviously clear. Thousands of people flocked to Eureka Springs, looking for a cure, but left
the head, and if one final story is true, some of them might still be calling for help stick around after this short sponsor break. To hear all about it. This episode was made possible by staff stock. Come if you're, a small business owner you're busy enough as it is. You have time to deal with the hassle of going to the post office with stamps dot com. You can skip the trip and never waste another dollar or minutes steps that come with you print official postage right from your computer, so you can spend less time Post office and, more time running your business simply put stamps dot. Com saves time, money and stress for more than twenty years stamps that comment. an indispensable for over one million businesses, giving you access to all the post office and you pay a shipping services. You need right from your computer and get discounts. You can't find anywhere else like up the forty percent off you S, p s rates and seventy six percent off you PS are you need. Is a computer
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The crescent hotel is an old building. Anything that was built in the eighteen eighties and is still standing today has little reminders of just how old it is, and the hotel is no exception. firms that are no longer used technology that has been placed by more modern alternatives. Architecture often acts like a time caps. by preserving areas of an older era in the crescent. One of those relics is the recreation room, in its heyday. It was a favorite destination for hotel guests, Norman Baker was even said to go there every day during his ownership of the building, but in modern times the recreation rule, has been locked and off limits to the general public, its unoccupied. But if you ask the staff at the hotel switchboard, they might have a different opinion about that. Because they are the ones who keep receiving the mysterious phone calls Every now and then they say a completely random times the phone
inside the recreation room will call the switchboard. Assuming someone had managed to break into the off limits. Room staff would go down and investigate. They would take their key unlocked the door and flip on the lights only find no one inside waiting by the phone each time they would leave just a little bit frustrated, locking the door behind them ass. They went once, though, a member of the staff got a bit more than he bargain for after receiving yet another call from the unoccupied room The key and headed down to see what might be causing it. But this time he asked one of the other staff members to keep the mysterious call on the line. Perhaps if the call is still ongoing, they might catch the culprits in the act.
when he arrived outside the room. He silently inserted his key into the lock and then after taking a deep breath twisted the key and opened the door inside, though, was just a bit more disappointment for him. The room was still empty and the phone, but one that had placed a call to the switchboard and was still active, was set in firmly on the receiver, while their experiment didn't offer the answers they had been looking for. It certainly did cause them to
sitter a more frightening alternative to a prank or a wandering guest. Maybe just maybe the room wasn't as unoccupied as they thought. This episode of law was written, and produced by me Aaron Monkey with research by Taylor, haggard horn and music by Chad. Lawson more is much more than a podcast there's a book series and bookstores around the country and online and the second season of the Amazon Prime Television show was recently released, check them both out. If you want a bit more lore in your life, I also make two other podcast Aaron, monkeys, cabinet of curiosities and unabashed, geared Anna
You'd enjoy both of them. Each one explores other areas of our dark history, ranging from bite sized episodes to season long dives into a single topic. You learn more about both of them
shows and everything else going on all over in one place. The world of lore dot com slash now and you can follow the show on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, just search for lore podcast, all one word and then click that follow button. When you do say hi, I like it when people say hi and as always thanks for listening.
Transcript generated on 2022-03-12.