In the 1920s as the world reeled from the first world war and the great flu pandemic, people in their collective grief turned to alternative systems of belief. Spiritualism, already making a new rise, was launched into the spotlight as proponents like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle waltzed around the globe giving lectures on the benefits of communicating with the dead. At the same time, there were others who found the subject altogether distasteful. The infamous magician Houdini had a particular fondness for uncovering false mediums, a past time that would wind up causing some heavy controversy when one of America’s oldest magazines proposed a competition, to pay $2,500 to the first medium that they could prove to be genuine.

Jaher, David (2016) The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World. Crown Publishing Group, NY, USA.

Conan Doyle, Arthur (1917) The New Revelation. Hodder & Stoughton LTD. UK.

Conan Doyle, Arthur (1922) The Coming of The Faeries. Hodder & Stoughton LTD. UK.

Conan Doyle, Arthur (1923) Our American Adventure. Hodder & Stoughton LTD. UK.

Kuritz, Hyman. (1981) The Popularization of Science in Nineteenth-Century America. History of Education Quarterly, 21(3), 259–274. https://doi.org/10.2307/367698

Bird, J. Malcolm. A Square Deal for the Psychics. Scientific American 127, no. 6 (1922): 388–445. 

Bird, J. Malcolm. Our Psychic Investigation. Scientific American 128, no. 1 (1923): 6-7.

New York Times (1923) To test Mediums Psychic Control. Friday April 6 1923, p.10. NY, USA.

New York Times (1923) Spirit Messages Impress Scientists. Wednesday October 17 1923, p.1. NY, USA.

Bird, J. Malcolm (1923) Another Mediumistic Failure. Scientific American 129, no. 6 (1923): 6-7.

New York Times (1923) Tie Up Boy Medium; Find Trance Is Real. Wednesday December 19 1923, p.1. NY, USA.

Houdini, H (1924) “Margery” The Medium Exposed. USA

New York Times (1924) Margery Passes All Psychic tests. Wednesday July 22 1924, p.19. NY, USA.

Bird, J. Malcom (1928) The Margery mediumship. Proceedings of the American Society for Psychical Research. New York: American Society for Psychical Research. USA

Dingwall, E.J. (1928). A report on a series of sittings with the medium Margery. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 36, 79-158.

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