Vampires, Sex, and Ghosts, OH MY!

I know I should be posting a menu plan today, but I didn’t make one.  We were too worried about stocking up on nonperishable foods to worry about meal planning.  We are pretty much resigned to the fact that we won’t have power for a few days.  I’ll be back on track with menu planning next week.

So far we have some wind and a bit of rain.  The worst of the storm isn’t supposed to hit until tonight.  We’re staying as safe as we can.  Like I said, I’m going to update my Twitter occasionally.  So, that’s where you should check if you’re worried about us!

To keep myself busy while I still have electricity, I’m going to write (type?) about the walking tour Daniel and I went on in Philly on Friday night.

We had purchased tickets through LivingSocial for Grim Philly‘s Vampires, Sex, and Ghost tour.

I’ll take a minute to complain right now.  We got an awesome deal through LivingSocial, but we ended up paying $5 extra per ticket in fees just to schedule our tour.  It was annoying, and I wish they would’ve been up front about the cost.  Like Daniel said, I would have had no issue paying it.  I just hate that they hid the true cost.  Annoying.

The tour itself was pretty awesome.  I was expecting a ghost tour, much like the one Trinity and I attended in Mullica Hill.  Instead, it was a seedy history tour.  There were some ghost stories interjected throughout, but it was mostly about the unsavory side of colonial Philadelphia.

I won’t share it all, because I don’t want to take business away from them… and I also have a horrible memory.  So, I’ll just share a few of the things I remember.

  • We learned a lot about early prostitution.  There was a famous theater that is believed to have been a brothel.  The Quakers were not very tolerant of prostitution and kept burning down the theater house.  The troupe kept rebuilding until they ran out of money.
  • Prostitution was legalized for a while in Philadelphia to help fund the Revolutionary War.
  • They believed that they wouldn’t get diseases if they shaved… down there.  However, shaving wasn’t in style back then.  So, prostitutes would wear beaver skin merkins.  That’s where the slang term ‘beaver’ comes from.
  • Bram Stoker wrote part of Dracula in Philadelphia.  He based the Dracula character on Vlad the Impaler.  He was a really sick, demented person.  I won’t go into details, but if you ever get the chance to read up on him, and you have a strong stomach, do it!
  • Edgar Allen Poe lived in Philadelphia for a while, but he died in Baltimore.  The cities argued over where to bury him, and Baltimore won.  His house in Philadelphia is now a museum, though.  He was rumored to be an opium addict, but he was really just an alcoholic.
  • Washington Square is a graveyard.  Back in the day, public parks were used for dumping trash, and somehow Washington Square became the park in which people buried their dead.  Then, during the Revolutionary War, the British took Philadelphia and buried the executed American Soldiers there as well.  Some bodies have been re-interred along the bank of the river, but an unknown number still remain in the square.  It’s also home of the Revolutionary War’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Washington Square Plaque

Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

  • Due to all this, the square is believed to be haunted.  Our tour guide, Marianne, told us that a medium she knows investigated and said that the ghosts just want people to be aware that it is a graveyard.  So, next time you’re in Washington Square, be a little more respectful.  I did snap a few pictures, and caught one orb.

Orb in Washington Square

  • Washington Square is also home to the Bicentennial Moon Tree.  They apparently took tree seeds to the moon to see how it would affect their growth.  They planted them in different cities, including Philadelphia.  Unfortunately, the original Moon Tree had to be cut down due to illness in 2008.  They cloned the tree, however, and a new one is currently growing.

Moon Tree

Moon Tree

  • I forget exactly what this building is, but we were talking about the fire insurance plaques on the outside.  Marianne mentioned that people have reported seeing faces in the windows.  I snapped a few pictures, and this one has three orbs along the top.

Three Orbs

This is getting pretty long, so I’ll stop here.  Like I said, though, the tour was really interesting.  I’d recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the area during their season.  Just be prepared to pay scheduling fees and such when purchasing your tickets.  There were some that just bought tickets on site, and they were just charged the ticket price…. just something to keep in mind.

So… am I the only one that finds stuff like this interesting?  Do you know the seedy history of your city?  Share your stories!.

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About pamasaurus

"I have learned to keep to myself how exceptional I am." ~Mason Cooley I'm a married stay at home mom living in Southern New Jersey. I have one daughter, one son, and three furbabies. I love to cook. I love to craft. I love to sew. I just.... love to create in general. I also am pretty fond of adventuring, of exploring new places. I'm shy when I first meet people, but once I'm comfortable with them, you can't shut me up. I'm crazy and silly. I have an unhealthy obsession with dinosaurs.
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12 Responses to Vampires, Sex, and Ghosts, OH MY!

  1. Carine says:

    This is indeed interesting! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Stay safe during the storm.

    • pamasaurus says:

      You’re welcome! It had a lot of fun. I imagine there’s a few tours like this in your area 😉

      Thanks…. you do the same!

  2. Thanks for taking us on the tour! I have always glamorized the seedy side of life so this is right up my alley – loved it!!

  3. Hi there, Pam – so glad you enjoyed the tour!! : ) I wrote a blog post about our Midnight Ghost Hunting tour if you want to check it out – it’s probably a bit long, but I just love sharing ghostly tidbits! http://open.salon.com/blog/marianne_ruane/2012/10/25/philadelphia_the_city_of_ghostly_love Thanks for sharing your post with the Grim Philly Facebook page and try to stay dry for Halloween.
    — Marianne, Grim Philly tour guide

  4. dh3rnand3z says:

    Geezus! There’s a whole lot of interesting history in Philly. All those tidbits are fascinating. Who knew “beaver” has its origins in Philly prostitutes? LOL!

    Hope you’re riding out Sandy in good spirits.

    All the best,
    dh

    • pamasaurus says:

      They have another tour that’s all about serial killers and such that have lived in Philly. I want to do that one one day!

      Sandy took it easy on my area, thankfully!

      Thanks!

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