[Houdini makes spirit hands]
In this sequence of photographs Houdini demonstrated how spirit hands that appeared at seances were made by less ethereal beings. In "A magician among the spirits" Houdini described the mediumistic fraud known as "finger-printing a spirit." A mold of a dead person's hand would be carefully prepared and, during a seance with the believed relatives, fingerprints of the deceased would appear on a lampblacked...
[Houdini and Mrs. Benninghofen, Chicago]
Mrs. Benninghofen was a reformed spirit medium who had used a trumpet in her work. In these photographs she is seen demonstrating techniques of psychic deception to Houdini. The skill of spirit mediums was fully appreciated by Houdini who included the following statement in "A magician among the spirits": "The author does not wish his readers to suppose that the mechanical sleight-of-hand tricks carried...
Photo, Print, Drawing
Gen. Wm. A. Pile
1 photograph : glass plate negative ; plate 13 x 11 cm. | Photograph shows Union General William A. Pile, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front.