- Publisher: Cambridge University Press
- Online publication date: September 2011
- Print publication year: 2011
- First published in: 1924
- Online ISBN: 9780511910586
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511910586
Harry Houdini (1874–1926), whose real name was Erik Weisz, was one of the most famous magicians and escapologists of all time. He was highly sceptical of the many claims made concerning psychic and paranormal phenomena, which were very popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He attended hundreds of séances for the purposes of his study, and never experienced one he believed genuine. In this book, published in 1924, he described the mediums and psychics whom he revealed as fraudulent, exposing the tricks which had convinced many notable scientists and academics. These included spirit writing, table rapping, spirit manifestations, and levitation. Among those he revealed as frauds was the famous medium Mina Crandon, and his exposures led to a public split with his former friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a firm believer. The book is a fascinating account of superstition and gullibility.
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