In the late 1800s, Boston experienced a rash of gruesome murders and unexplained phenomena. The “Boston Medical and Surgical Journal” observed, “The increase in the number of the criminally insane has been exceptionally rapid…” Most interesting was the way one community reacted to this – The South End, the country’s oldest and largest Victorian neighborhood.
Not only was there a reawakening of the notorious Witchcraft Trials that happened 200 years earlier, but people were also accused of being vampires and conversing with the dead – all while serial murders and molesters lurked just out of sight.
Explore this quaint post-Civil War suburb, its architectural gems and strange statuary that tourist rarely get to see. Then delve into the concerns of the people who lived here, their art, science, politics and stories of true crime, with demonstrations on Victorian phantasmagoria and the new fields of forensics and toxicology.
Did you know that one of Boston’s wealthiest entrepreneurs was a woman? So was America’s first accused vampire. We’ve also hosted mad scientists, homicidal healthcare workers and psychologists who treated the mentally ill in unsavory ways.
Buried the beneath this neighborhood's eye-catching English gardens and breathtaking brick rowhouses is a unique experience you won’t want to miss, and all within a few blocks of Copley Square and Back Bay.
Other things to note
We will walk outside, about a mile, through the streets and parks of the South End. We will see architecturally significant homes and churches, the background for a number of historic movie and shows. There will be some graphic discussion of violence and murder. Participant discretion is advised.