Unearthed: Memphis

Unearthed: Memphis


Season 2: Episode Eight and 1/2: Halloween Shorts

October 29, 2021

Hey everyone and welcome back to Unearthed Memphis!

I’m Alan and I’m Tara

We hope you enjoyed our last episode about Memphis Hoodoo and the St. Paul Spiritual Holy Temple. I did! I’m still googling things about it. It’s just so fascinating! 

We even got a facebook thank you from the Secret History of Memphis Hoodoo Author, Tony Kail,  for mentioning his book. 

Admittedly, I got a little low key excited. Haha! After I read the comment, I looked at his Facebook page and  found out there is a conjuring shop on Summer Ave. We’re going to have to check them out soon!

In our last episode, we talked about the Elmwood Cemetery Cinema Event. Well, we went and it was fantastic. The first film they showed was a filmed version of this year’s Soul of the City tour. Since we missed it, I’m glad we got to see the film. The actors did a great job, as always. Hopefully next year we won’t have quite so much going on and we can make it to the tour. 

Then we watched the original 1922 version of Nosferatu. I hadn’t ever seen it all the way through. 

And I hadn’t seen it since college, so my memory of it is a little foggy. 

Turns out, it was far more comedic that I remembered. Being that it is a silent film, there are title pages and subtitles (at least in this version) and some of them linger over multiple scenes. Tara took the most amazing picture of one of those scenes. We previously posted it on our social media, but we’ll add it to this page for your viewing pleasure. It’s still making me laugh thinking about it. 

The stage makeup and exaggerated expressions made for some entertaining moments as well. But it really was a great film for its time, a truly classic horror film that I think everyone should watch.

But I am glad technology progressed like it has. 

Alright, I know what you’re thinking… yall, two episodes in one month, don’t tease us! 

I know, but it’s spooky season and we wanted to get in a little more spooky before the month was over. 

So, we thought we’d do some Halloween shorts. We found a few stories that didn’t have quite enough info for a standalone episode, but we didn’t want to not tell them. 

We want to give a shout out to another great local author, Laura Cunningham. She has two books, Haunted Memphis and The Ghostly Tales of Memphis, that we used for some of our research. Definitely check them out. 

The first story is about Claude Pugh and the Court Square Fountain. 

A little backstory on Court Square. The park is located between Main and Second Streets at Court Avenue. The plan for the park was to have the courthouse built in it, but no courthouse was ever built there. The park, however, has existed there since the early 1800s and it did eventually become home to the first school house. 

The Court Square fountain was built in 1876. Hebe, the Greek mythology cupbearer to the gods, stands tall atop the fountain. The Hebe Fountain, as it is actually called, is cast iron, 20 feet tall, and weighs about 7000 lbs. Originally, the basin of the fountain was 6.5 feet deep and filled with fish, turtles, and allegedly, an alligator at one time. It also had no fence around it. Clearly a safe place to be. Nothing bad could possibly happen...

Noooo… nothing bad at all...I don’t know about you, but if there were no sea creatures in it, that sounds like a great place to go swimming! Or get tetanus...

Well, in 1884, a 10 year old little boy named Claude Pugh was possibly thinking the same thing… swimming,