Magician Harry Houdini (1874-1926) investigated claims of the paranormal. According to some accounts, Houdini was very interested in obtaining proof that there is life after we die. He investigated psychic mediums and allegedly claimed to be able to produce similar phenomena. According to other accounts, Houdini used underhanded means when he would try to debunk mediums he had denounced as frauds, so that he could protect his own reputation.
One of the most infamous cases Houdini investigated was that of the well-known psychic medium Mrs. Mina Crandon (also known as "Margery").
Mrs. Crandon allegedly performed pk feats and communicated with spirits of the deceased. Houdini insisted that Mrs. Crandon was a fraud. Some claim that she was caught cheating; others claim that Houdini deliberately utilized underhanded tricks in an effort to expose Mrs. Crandon as a fake.
Lady Arthur Conan Doyle, the wife of the famous physician and author of the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, attempted to do automatic writing for Harry Houdini in an effort to contact his beloved mother. Apparently, Lady Conan Doyle used some type of automatic writing to reach Houdini's mother from the beyond, and produced writing in English. Allegedly, Houdini was certain that if his mother contacted him from the other side, she would not be transmitting messages in English, nor would she have used Christian terms since the Weiss's were Jewish.
Houdini allegedly had sittings with other mediums, one of whom claimed that Houdini's mother referred to him as "Harry". Since he was born Ehrich Weiss, it would seem quite unlikely that Houdini's mother would call him "Harry".
Magician James Randi investigates claims of the paranormal. He has a
site (The James Randi Educational Foundation).
The brilliant late astronomer Carl Sagan was skeptical about claims of contact with the deceased. He wrote about the Fine Art of Baloney Detection(link to...).
(Photo by Michael Okoniewski, Copyright © 1994).
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