(Franklin) Odds and (Thoughtform) Ends

April 20, 2017

I know. We’re moving fast. I don’t have any control over when the episodes go up at this point. But given recent revelations, I thought I’d offer up a little extra for parsing the information.

In episode 23, we learned that Dr. Hewson, a former guest of Benjamin Franklin, had some pretty gnarly hobbies. It seemed improbable to me, too, but it turns out there actually were a ton of bones uncovered during renovations to the Craven Street house back in 1998. The Guardian reported:

As restoration work by the Friends of Benjamin Franklin House began on 36 Craven Street, a Grade I listed house rescued from the brink of tottering collapse, a small pit was found in the basement room. A human thigh bone was found.

The coroner and the police were notified. Excavation continued. More human bone surfaced. And more. And more, until more than 1,200 pieces of bone were recovered.

Since the bones were too ancient to trouble Scotland Yard, they are now in the care of the Institute of Archaeology, where experts have already determined that they range from an old man to a human baby. Several skulls have been trepanned, and arm and leg bones chopped through.

The most plausible explanation is not mass murder, but an anatomy school run by Benjamin Franklin’s young friend and protege, William Hewson.

There’s actually a pretty cool episode of PBS’ Secrets of the Dead on the subject, clips of which were included in the episode itself. Granted, there’s no mention of Central or Regnant or reanimated corpses, but c’est la vie, I suppose.

It’s hard to ignore the parallels in that entry with Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein, but Hewson’s death predates the famous novel by 44 years. Given our track record with the journals to date, I can’t help but wonder if Shelley either knew about Hewson’s extracurriculars and end or was somehow connected to the sensitive community.

***IF YOU HAVEN’T LISTENED TO EPISODE 24, STOP HERE! SPOILERS AHEAD!***

As I said in the recording, today’s episode was a rough one for me. I know you have questions, and all I can say is that the answers are coming. Until then, I thought I’d offer up some of the materials referenced in the entry research.

A few seconds of googling will give you a litany of articles on sites of questionable credibility discussing the Olivia Mabel story as if it were fact. Viralnova, for instance, says:

In 1994, when officers responded to silent 911 calls coming from Olivia Mabel’s house, they weren’t surprised to find that the young woman was dead. But it was the collection of objects that surrounded her body that haunts them to this day.

Consumed by grief over the death of her son, Mabel was in front of a mysterious altar that was apparently dedicated to him. Not only that, but signs indicate that she may have successfully summoned a spirit from another realm to aid her in her time of need.

And then there’s the website, OliviaMabel.com. In fairness, it really does look like a site put together by some non-web-savvy family and friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one, featuring photos, scanned reports, and audio files.

Olivia Mabel, I guess

But as was discussed in the episode, this coverage is more ruse than truth intended to stir up enthusiasm for a short film called Thoughtform from ElfTree Media. Big thanks to Generation Why for clearing that up. I encourage you to listen to their full episode on Olivia Mabel (and subscribe, they’re pretty good!).

While the Kickstarter for the project was unsuccessful, it looks like they’re still working on getting the movie together and accepting donations. After reading the entry, I’m not sure I can buy it as a true story, but I think it’d make for a good movie anyway. Here’s the teaser they put out:

In any case, this is me voting that the whole creator sensitivity thing is some fucked up bullshit. What do you think?

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