Stephanie Hoover Has That Story

Stephanie Hoover Has That Story

Whether it's history, crime or legend, non-fiction author Stephanie Hoover has that story. Join Stephanie for concise, yet intriguing, discussions of cultural history, historical true crime, and folklore. It's "history-tainment" at its finest.


September 29, 2021 13 mins

How the popular vampire franchise Fright Night was killed by one of the most notorious murders in American history.

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* Includes an Exclusive Interview with the Legendary Singer Johnny Mathis *

It was “the” place to see and be seen. But it was too successful for Monte Proser’s own good.

Monte Proser was described as a “little guy who was practically brought up on Broadway.” He instinctively understood that patrons came to a nightclub for the show. And his finest creation was the Copacabana at 10 E. 60th Street in Manhattan.

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Spiritualism, the belief in the ability to speak with the dead, started as a practical joke in 1848 when two teenage girls in upstate New York realized they could produce seemingly paranormal noises by cracking their toe knuckles, of all things. The Fox sisters delighted in their gullible mother's response, and soon convinced her these "rapping" sounds were actually produced by a murdered vagabond buried on their pro...

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It's Election Day in America and the only thing we can be sure of is that a lot of people will have a lot of predictions.

Humans have tried to predict the future since the first caveman wondered if it would rain. But the truth is, no one knows what the future holds. Still, that doesn't stop people from guessing.

Today I'm going to tell you about the five worst prognostications of all time (including the one about women...

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There are two kinds of people in the world: people who cover their face with pillows while they watch scary movies - and those of us who inch closer to the screen the scarier the movie gets. 

We've all heard the dime store psychology. Horror movies, claim the professionals, satiate our primitive need for safe thrills. We all KNOW there's no Freddie Krueger... no malevolent clown in the street drains... no evil spirit in yo...

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October 19, 2020 9 mins

As the old rhyme goes...
Even he who is pure of heart
And says his prayers at night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the moon is full and bright.

We all know the legends - but where did this myth of "man-becomes-wolf" originate? Are these simply exaggerated stories of one of the world's most efficient natural predators? Perhaps the werewolf's carnage is symbolic of the sava...

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October 12, 2020 8 mins

In June 2015, a 21-year-old Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania man was arrested on charges of “bloodletting” and sexual assault. He allegedly not only convinced several underage victims to slice their wrists so he could drink their blood, he also engaged in intimate acts with a minor while they bled on each other from self-inflicted lacerations. It's a shocking case for a Pennsylvania town that's about as inclined to belie...

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Dissection of the human body dates back to the time of the ancient Egyptians. But this form of medical study was not common practice in the U.S. until the 1740s when the University of Pennsylvania taught America's first formal anatomy course. While this ushered in the era of modern medical education, it also created a grim reality: the suddenly expanding need for cadavers outpaced the supply source. How would this rapidly dwin...

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In October 1857, British citizen Charles McKay left London for North America and an extensive tour of the U.S. and Canada. He was writing about his adventures for a British newspaper.

Five months into the trip, during a stop in Alabama, he saw the elegant steamship Eliza Battle moored on a landing along the Tombigbee River. Its size and grandeur made a strong impression on McKay. That's why, just days later, he was s...

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In 1935, Gloria Lawson learned that she was pregnant for the third time. She left her home in Calvert County, Maryland for what she thought would be a brief visit to Dr. Harry C. Zimmerly's makeshift, back alley abortion clinic in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When she didn't return home after a few days, her family began looking for her.

No one was prepared for what was discovered at Zimmerly's rundown fa...

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In 1969, you did not want your birthdate to be September 14th.

Why? Because if you were born on that date between the years 1944 and 1950, you were "number one" in the December 1, 1969 Vietnam draft lottery. Without a deferment of some kind, you were almost guaranteed to be sent to Vietnam.

In this episode, Stephanie explains the December 1, 1969 Vietnam draft lottery - the 90 minutes of American history...

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This is the story of the killing of John Sharpless. It's the story of a rich white man and the black man (Samuel Johnson) unjustly accused of causing his death. It's a story of money and murder... corruption, and a criminal justice system sorely lacking in justice. It's a case that could have happened yesterday. But, it didn't. It happened 135 years ago.

This episode is excerpted from Stephanie's b...

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On Labor Day in 1921, women across the nation were - for the first time - registering to vote in state primary elections. They had, just a year earlier, won this right and were now arming themselves for the next battle: equal pay for equal work.

Meanwhile, in the east coast beach resort of Atlantic City, nine "beauty maids" were competing in what would become the first ever Miss America Pageant. These contestants, as young...

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Politics has always had a dark side. But what happened in the small Pennsylvania mining town of Kelayres is downright evil. Five men were killed. Twenty-six men, women and children were injured. Perhaps the most shocking thing about the massacre is that so few people know about it today - even though there are startling similarities between today's fractured political climate and that violent day in Kelayres in 1934.


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Rose Mackenberg is often described as "Harry Houdini's investigator" or his "right hand woman." The truth is, though, that Rose had a longer career of debunking fraudulent Spiritualist mediums than her famous mentor ever had.

In this episode, Stephanie tells the story of the remarkable Mackenberg, a natural-born detective and "ghost buster" extraordinaire.

For more information on...

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August 10, 2020 11 mins

Tourists arrive by the thousands to enjoy the classic sights and attractions of Pennsylvania Dutch Country: Amish families in horse-drawn buggies, vast farms, old-fashioned smorgasbord restaurants, and - of course - the colorful floral and geometric designs of the hex symbols attached to brightly painted barns.

Few of these tourists realize, however, that as recently as 90 years ago, hexing and witch doctoring were still v...

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Before it was regulated, life insurance was the motive for more crimes than a room full of screenwriters could ever conceive. Murder, faux suicide, mysterious disappearances - even self-mutilation - were all employed in fraudulent life insurance schemes.

Some of these plots were successful. More often than not, these perpetrators were caught and, in some cases, hanged.

In this episode, Stephanie discusses the asto...

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The Warren Commission wrote what was supposed to be the final word on the assassination of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. Unfortunately, its report spawned a seemingly endless stream of conspiracy theories about Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby - and even Kennedy himself.

The truth is, though, you don't have to turn to theoretical hypotheses to read crazy stories about Kennedy's killing - a...

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The use of fingerprints as a means of establishing identity dates back to 300 BC. But, it was American agricultural scientist Thomas Taylor who first proposed, in 1877, the use of palm and finger marks to identify criminals.

The elevation of fingerprints from "junk science" to reliable courtroom evidence was first achieved by New York Police Inspector Joseph Faurot. Faurot's passion for this field, and his a...

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July 13, 2020 12 mins

Harry Houdini, in the last years of his life, stepped up his efforts to debunk fraudulent Spiritualists. In 1924, he exposed Margary, one of the Spiritualism movement's most touted mediums. When Houdini died unexpectedly two years later, some wondered if perhaps vengeful Spiritualists had precipitated his death. In this episode, Stephanie discusses this conspiracy theory, as well as Houdini's campaign to publicly discredi...

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