Season 1, Episode 2
The Underground Railroad & The Killer Priest
In the 1840s, Rev. Hillhouse Buel builds a new home for Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland, Maryland. Unbeknownst to his congregation, Buel covertly builds his church over a labyrinth of long-forgotten tunnels, to use them as a hiding place for runaway slaves. Buel hires a 14-year-old runaway, Samuel Denson, to work as the Church sexton - and help other slaves reach freedom. Rev. Edward Chapman and historian Stephanie Gates reveal Emmanuel Episcopal's role in the secret network called the Underground Railroad. In 1908, German-born Hans Schmidt is a Catholic priest at St Joseph of the Holy Family in New York City. Father Schmidt preaches the virtues of a pure life... until he begins a torrid, sacrilegious affair with his beautiful young housekeeper, Anna Aumuller. The two even have a secret wedding ceremony inside the church. But when Anna becomes pregnant, Father Schmidt's actions will shock the world. Crime reporter Bill Jensen reveals the stunning details of one of the bloodiest crimes to ever rock a house of God. In 1920's Los Angeles, charismatic preacher Aimee Semple McPherson becomes a sensation - building one of the country's first mega-churches, Angelus Temple. But at the height of her fame, Sister Aimee goes missing while relaxing at the beach - then turns up 5 weeks later wandering in the desert on the Mexican border, claiming she'd been kidnapped! Historian Caroline Harris tells the details of the wild story that riveted the country. Westminster Hall & Burying Ground is the final resting place of many of Baltimore's elite citizens. In 1849, it becomes the final home of horror author Edgar Allan Poe. Tour Guide Luann Marshall divulges how Poe's still mysterious death is just the beginning of a story more macabre than any tale he ever wrote. Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most recognizable churches in the world. Just a mile away in Paris, stands the smaller, more subdued chapel of St. Medard. A dark and little-known secret links these two churches. Tour Guide Heath Stimmler-Hall reveals the stunning true story of an unspeakable taboo that was broken here - and the remarkable turn of events that provided the sinners a path to redemption.
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