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Maud HurtTHE CAST OF CHARACTERS
Maud Hurt

If any of the Holy Rollers could be said to have been a bit off, it would be Maud Hurt. Twenty-three in 1903, five-foot-two, with jet black hair, large, expressive and deep blue eyes, Maud was said by Salem’s Daily Capitol Journal to be a “comely looking woman” who talked “very intelligently.”

 

She was also a “very peculiar girl and hard to understand long before the days of Creffieldism”--or so said her father, O. V. Hurt. He had always assumed her odd manner was somehow the result of the severe typhoid and scarlet fevers she had suffered from as a child. No matter, he still adored her. O. V. adored all of his children. His was “a happy family” he said, “of which love was the keystone.”

 

“My daughter had always been of a very religious turn of mind,” O. V. said, and “whenever a new religion was presented she invariably put all her soul into the teaching.” Religious turn of mind sounded better than religious fanatic--which she clearly was. At the age of eight--the age of eight!--she was already referred to as “a child wonder” at religious work, an “energetic worker at revival meetings, going among the congregations and pleading with friends and acquaintances to seek the salvation so freely offered.”

 

“Her chief aim was to become as nearly perfect as a Christian could be,” a friend of hers said. And she wasn’t one of those Christians who preached salvation, and then sinned on the side. “All her life Maud Hurt was kindly and generous, with an even temper and a good disposition,” her friend said. Maud took the teachings of Christianity to heart and led a truly Christian life, always helping those in need. For instance, she could often be found in the homes of people who were ill, caring for their children, doing their wash, and helping with other chores.

 

When she was fourteen she joined the Salvation Army because she believed it would give her more opportunities to perform good works. But soon after meeting Creffield she left the Army because it was “teaching the Bible in a narrow manner” and she didn’t like its methods for collecting donations.

 

“It is not right to hold ice cream socials and other special gatherings where money is taken,” Creffield had told her. Might as well be holding out a tin cup while quaffing a few at the saloon or hooting at a burlesque show.

 

James BerryWanting to insure a place on the Holy Roll in Heaven for her family, Maud invited them all to come camping with Creffield. Her father, head salesman at Kline’s Mercantile, stayed at home, but her mother, Sarah Hurt (neé Starr) went, as did her sister, Mae. Mae was sixteen and five years earlier had won a “fine guitar” for having the nation’s second highest sales rate of The War Cry, the Salvation Army’s newspaper.

 

Maud was engaged to James Berry. James didn’t camp camp with the Holy Rollers, but, mostly out of curiosity, visited frequently. James, twenty-four, the son of a United Brethren minister, was a successful businessman who owned the Bicycle Hospital, a bicycle store and repair shop with the best selection of bicycles in Corvallis. Initially he was rather taken with Creffield’s ideas and lent him money to get his church rolling.

Maud Hurt's Commitment & Asylum Records

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Photos on the right are stills from How the Fire Fell, Edward P. Davee’s movie based on the Holy Rollers.

Most were taken by Destiny Lane.
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Maud Hurt

Maud Hurt
Maren McGuire as Maud Hurt

George Mitchell & Maud Hurt
Maud Hurt
Maren McGuire as Maud Hurt Creffield
Oregon Insane Asylum

Maud Hurt
Maren McGuire as Maud Hurt Creffield

Oregon Insane Asylum

Creffield's Followers in the Asylum

 

Maud Hurt

 

Creffield's Followers in the Asylum

James & Clara Berry
Maud Hurt
Edmund & Maud Creffield's Graves

Maud Hurt
Maren McGuire as Maud Hurt Creffield

Maren McGuire

Maren McGuire

 

Holy Rollers

Buy Holy Rollers: Murder & Madness in Oregon's Love Cult as an eBook for a measly $3.99 or get an autographed paperback for $15.

Holy Rollers is a story that has everything a good read should have: sex, religious fervor, mass insanity, the downfall of prominent families, murder and sensational court trials.

And it's all true.

John Terry, the Oregonian's 'Oregon's Trails' columnist says of the book: "A dandy piece of research and a good read. Lots more stuff than I was aware of. It deserves an audience"

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Holy Rollers Paper Back

Get an autographed paperback for $16.95 (that includes postage and handling for U.S. addresses)

Want to write a check instead of using a credit card? I'm trusting. e-mail that you want the book and I'll send you a copy. You don't send a check until you get the book with an invoice.

Theresa (T-) McCracken, 890 North Bayview, Loop Waldport, Oregon 97394 (541) 563-3112

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Sample Chapters from Holy Rollers:
Murder and Madness in Oregon's Love Cult

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The Cast of Characters
Photos and Bios of the Holy Rollers

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Holy Rollers' Asylum Commitment Papers

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Info for Book Groups

Book Reviews

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1903 to 1907 Newspaper Articles About the Holy Rollers

1906 Editorial Calling for Gun Control
After Multiple Murders Involving the Holy Rollers

Stewart Holbrook Holy Rollers Article

Advertisements from 1893 to 1913

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Oregon Insane Asylum
Where the Holy Rollers Were Committed

Creffield, Brainwashing & Thought Reform

Early Cases of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

1906 Autopsies Of Holy Rollers
Forensics Before CSI

Holy Roller Bizarre Divorce Decree
Hartley describes trying to kill his wife's lover

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Comedians on Edmund Creffield

The Shadow Testament
A Play About The Holy Rollers

How the Fire Fell
A Movie About The Holy Rollers

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Life in Corvallis in the early 1900s

Life in Waldport, OR in early 1900s

Heaven's Gate

Facts & Stats about 1906
And How The Holy Rollers Measured Up

Oregon State Penitentiary
Where Creffield Was Incarcerated

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Info about Cults

Could you ever be lured into joining a cult?

Share your thoughts about, and experiences with, cults

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Creffield's Preachings

Creffield Vs. Crefeld

The Salvation Army Opening Fire in 1886

Holy Roller Theology

Reverend Knapp's Bible Songs of Salvation & Victory
Songs Sung by the Holy Rollers

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About the Authors

Theresa (T-) McCracken

Robert B. Blodgett

In addition to writing, McCracken is a cartoonist.

To see some of her 'toons, go to the Home of McHumor Cartoons mchumor.com

McCracken's Blog

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Snail Mail
Theresa (T-) McCracken
890 North Bayview Loop
Waldport, Oregon 97394

(541) 563-3112

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Theresa (T-) McCracken