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A Magician Among the Spirits

Author : Harry Houdini
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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.

Houdini

Author : Harry Houdini
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A Magician Among the Spirits by

Author : Harry Houdini
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Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss or Harry Weiss; March 24, 1874 - October 31, 1926) was an American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can. In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuffs commissioned by London's Daily Mirror, keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him buried alive and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected that these escapes were faked, Houdini presented himself as the scourge of fake spiritualists. As President of the Society of American Magicians, he was keen to uphold professional standards and expose fraudulent artists. He was also quick to sue anyone who imitated his escape stunts. Houdini made several movies, but quit acting when it failed to bring in money. He was also a keen aviator, and aimed to become the first man to fly a plane in Australia.

A Magician Among the Spirits

Author : Harry Houdini
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A Magician Among the Spirits Illustrated

Author : Harry HOUDINI (Erich Weiss.)
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A Magician Among the Spirits

Author : Houdini
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From my early career as a mystical entertainer I have been interested in Spiritualism as belonging to the category of mysticism, and as a side line to my own phase of mystery shows I have associated myself with mediums, joining the rank and file and held seances as an independent medium to fathom the truth of it all. At the time I appreciated the fact that I surprised my clients, but while aware of the fact that I was deceiving them I did not see or understand the seriousness of trifling with such sacred sentimentality and the baneful result which inevitably followed. To me it was a lark. I was a mystifier and as such my ambition was being gratified and my love for a mild sensation satisfied. After delving deep I realized the seriousness of it all. As I advanced to riper years of experience I was brought to a realization of the seriousness of trifling with the hallowed reverence which the average human being bestows on the departed, and when I personally became afflicted with similar grief I was chagrined that I should ever have been guilty of such frivolity and for the first time realized that it bordered on crime.As a consequence my own mental attitude became considerably more plastic. I too would have parted gladly with a large share of my earthly possessions for the solace of one word from my loved departed-just one word that I was sure had been genuinely bestowed by them-and so I was brought to a full consciousness of the sacredness of the thought, and became deeply interested to discover if there was a possible reality to the return, by Spirit, of one who had passed over the border and ever since have devoted to this effort my heart and soul and what brain power I possess.

A Magician Among the Spirits Etc With Portraits

Author : Harry Houdini
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A Magician Among the Spirits

Author : Harry Houdini
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HSA Heritage Auctions Rare Books Auction Catalog 6030

Author : James Gannon
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Harry Houdini

Author : Janet Piehl
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Each book in this middle-grade series is illustrated with photographs and illustrations while sidebars, a timeline, and entertaining cartoons further illuminate each subject's personality.

The Magician and the Spirits

Author : Deborah Noyes
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“Noyes makes history accessible and irresistible . . . Excellent.”* A century ago, the curious idea that spirits not only survive death but can be contacted on the “other side” was widespread. Psychic mediums led countless séances, claiming to connect the grieving with their lost relations through everything from frenzied trance writing to sticky expulsions of ectoplasm. The craze caught Harry Houdini’s attention. Well-known by then as most renowned magician and escape artist, he began to investigate these spiritual phenomena. Are ghosts real? Can we communicate with them? Catch them in photographs? Or are all mediums “flim-flammers,” employing tricks and illusions like Houdini himself? Peopled with odd and fascinating characters, Houdini’s gripping quest will excite readers’ universal wonderment with life, death, and the possibility of the Beyond. *School Library Journal, starred review of Ten Days a Madwoman

My Life With the Spirits

Author : Lon Milo DuQuette
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A rare glimpse into the fascinating, sometimes terrifying, sometimes hilarious world of a modern ceremonial magician. Hailed by critics as the most entertaining author and one of the most widely respected members of the magick community, Lon Milo DuQuette provides a beacon for aspiring magicians everywhere.

The Right Way to Do Wrong

Author : Harry Houdini
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The legendary Harry Houdini started the tradition of magicians debunking charlatans and revealing secrets of the trade that continues today through the likes Penn and Teller or James "The Amazing" Randi. But Houdini went even further here, in this delightful 1906 novelty: he revealed the working secrets of thieves, swindlers, and con artists. Culled from his conversations with "the chiefs of police and the most famous detectives in the world," Houdini's tales of the tricks of the trade of beggars, pickpockets, and burglars are instructive and amusing. The master showman was also a surprisingly entertaining writer-and this is one of his most enjoyable books, one that will enthrall readers of true crime as well as fans of Houdini himself. Hungarian-American magician and professional skeptic EHRICH WEISS (1874-1926)-aka Harry Houdini, "Handcuff King and Jail Breaker"-also wrote Magical Rope Ties and Escapes (1920) and A Magician Among the Spirits (1924).

Photography and Doubt

Author : Sabine T. Kriebel
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Recent decades have seen photography’s privileged relationship to the real come under question. Spurred by the postmodern critique of photography in the 1980s and the rise of digital technologies soon thereafter, scholars have been asking who and what built this understanding of the medium in the first place. Photography and Doubt reflects on this interest in photography’s referential power by discussing it in rigorously historical terms. How was the understanding of photographic realism cultivated in the first place? What do cases of staged and manipulated photography reveal about that realism’s hold on audiences across the medium’s history? Have doubts about photography’s testimonial power stimulated as much knowledge as its realism? Edited by Sabine T. Kriebel and Andrés Mario Zervigón, Photography and Doubt is the first multi-authored collection specifically designed to explore these questions. Its 13 original essays, illustrated with 73 color images, explore cases when the link between the photographic image and its referent was placed under stress, and when photography was as attuned to its myth-making capabilities as to its claims to authenticity. Photography and Doubt will serve as a valuable resource for students and scholars in art history, visual and media studies, philosophy, and the history of science and technology.

Calling the Spirits

Author : Lisa Morton
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"Fascinating. . . . A fun and thorough look at how humans have tried to communicate with the dead over time."—Library Journal "An impressive piece of research. . . . A must-read for anyone fascinated with Spiritualism."—Alma Katsu, author of The Deep and The Hunger Calling the Spirits investigates the eerie history of our conversations with the dead, from necromancy in Homer’s Odyssey to the emergence of Spiritualism, when Victorians were entranced by mediums and the seance was born. Among our cast are the Fox sisters, teenagers surrounded by “spirit rappings;” Daniel Dunglas Home, the “greatest medium of all time;” Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose unlikely friendship was forged, then riven, by the afterlife; and Helen Duncan, the medium whose trial in 1944 for witchcraft proved more popular to the public than news about the war. The book also considers Ouija boards, modern psychics and paranormal investigations, and is illustrated with engravings, fine art (from beyond), and photographs. A hugely entertaining contribution from the supernaturally adept Lisa Morton, Calling the Spirits begs the question: is anybody there . . . ?

An H P Lovecraft Encyclopedia

Author : S. T. Joshi
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Provides a guide to Lovecraft's life and work covering his fiction, poetry, journalism, creatures and characters, friends, colleagues, and associates.

Catalog of Copyright Entries New Series

Author : Library of Congress. Copyright Office
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Part 1, Books, Group 1, v. 21 : Nos. 1 - 135 (Issued March, 1924 - April, 1925)

Mystics and Messiahs

Author : Philip Jenkins
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In Mystics and Messiahs--the first full account of cults and anti-cult scares in American history--Philip Jenkins shows that, contrary to popular belief, cults were by no means an invention of the 1960s. In fact, most of the frightening images and stereotypes surrounding fringe religious movements are traceable to the mid-nineteenth century when Mormons, Freemasons, and even Catholics were denounced for supposed ritualistic violence, fraud, and sexual depravity. But America has also been the home of an often hysterical anti-cult backlash. Jenkins offers an insightful new analysis of why cults arouse such fear and hatred both in the secular world and in mainstream churches, many of which were themselves originally regarded as cults. He argues that an accurate historical perspective is urgently needed if we are to avoid the kind of catastrophic confrontation that occurred in Waco or the ruinous prosecution of imagined Satanic cults that swept the country in the 1980s. Without ignoring genuine instances of aberrant behavior, Mystics and Messiahs goes beyond the vast edifice of myth, distortion, and hype to reveal the true characteristics of religious fringe movements and why they inspire such fierce antagonism.

Consulting Spirits

Author : Joel Bjorling
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Contains listings of the literature on ways that people in different cultures have consulted spirits, through oracles, shamans, mediums, magic, and psychics.

The In Betweens The Spiritualists Mediums and Legends of Camp Etna

Author : Mira Ptacin
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A young writer travels to Maine to tell the unusual story of America’s longest-running camp devoted to mysticism and the world beyond. They believed they would live forever. So begins Mira Ptacin’s haunting account of the women of Camp Etna—an otherworldly community in the woods of Maine that has, since 1876, played host to generations of Spiritualists and mediums dedicated to preserving the links between the mortal realm and the afterlife. Beginning her narrative in 1848 with two sisters who claimed they could speak to the dead, Ptacin reveals how Spiritualism first blossomed into a national practice during the Civil War, yet continues—even thrives—to this very day. Immersing herself in this community and its practices—from ghost hunting to releasing trapped spirits to water witching— Ptacin sheds new light on our ongoing struggle with faith, uncertainty, and mortality. Blending memoir, ethnography, and investigative reportage, The In-Betweens offers a vital portrait of Camp Etna and its enduring hold on a modern culture that remains as starved for a deeper sense of connection and otherworldliness as ever.