Philadelphia is a wild and weird city. There’s so much to love, to hate, to love to hate, and to hate to love. There’s also so much that we, as every day Philadelphians, have somehow forgotten or never learned about our city’s past.
As a history lover and a wildly weird one myself (or so I fancy), I quickly became engrossed in learning our history when I moved here ten years ago. Ever hear of the doomsday cult out on the Wissahickon that practiced astrology, numerology, and alchemy? Or the bishop laid out like Lenin on Girard Avenue (in a proper church, of course)? And don’t even get me started on the Yellow Fever epidemic and how one of our grand founding fathers (*coughBenjaminRushcough*) was devoted to caring for the sick… by bleeding them. We have had a rainbow of free thinkers and eccentrics that have painted our city.
On January 12th, I want to invite everyone to share my enthusiasm for the occult and the forgotten and join us at Parkway Central library for Philadelphia: City of the Uncanny and the Arcane. Our presenter, Ryan Susurrus of the Atlas Obscura Society, will be discussing the above mentioned topics and more. There will also be a special visit from the Rare Book department with a few witchcraft and spell books from their own collection. I look forward to seeing you there and, if you have information on something I haven’t heard of, please share!
Philadelphia: City of the Uncanny and the Arcane
Thursday, January 12
Parkway Central Library
First Floor, Room 108
You don’t think I’d let you go without some book recommendations, do you?
Witches of Pennsylvania: Occult History and Lore by Thomas White
Pow Wows or Long Lost Friend by John George Hohman
Philadelphia Spiritualism and the Curious Case of Katie King by Stephanie Hoover
God, Harlem U.S.A.: The Father Divine Story by Jill Watts
The Esoteric World of Madame Blavatsky collected by Daniel Caldwell