March 28, 2018

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, and Spiritualism

Last week, I posted about Spiritualism...a lot of people certainly have heard of the name Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and immediately remember him as the author of the Sherlock Holmes detective series...but did you know he was also fascinated and was a believer in Spiritualism?...in fact, Doyle had long been interested in things mystical...he participated in over 20 seances and had experimented with telepathy as well...he was intrigued by the paranormal and had declared that he was a Spiritualist...Doyle’s believes peaked during the time of the Great War...around 1916 when Spiritualism was at its zenith...there were many young sons and husbands who had been killed and their families ached to communicate with them...there were mediums who took advantage of this, and like fads, it eventually faded away...but there was still a core of those people who took it very seriously...Doyle became interested in the apparent psychic abilities of his children's nanny...all around him, he saw death...Doyle decided that Spiritualism was a "New Revelation"       as it was called, and it was sent by God to bring solace those who were filled with grief...In fact, ‘The New Revelation’ was the title he gave to his first Spiritualist work which was published two years later...in the following years, he wrote often about his faith and lectured frequently on the what he believed was the truth of Spiritualism...it would be in 1918 when his very own son died...Doyle was for a time, a friend of Harry Houdini...it was Houdini who exposed fraudulent psychics and fake mediums...proving them to be con artists instead of actual mediums...Doyle became convinced that Houdini had special powers and Houdini did what he could to convince Doyle that it was all illusion...which Doyle refused to believe, and the two had a falling out...in 1927, a few years before his own death, Doyle even gave an interview about Sherlock Holmes and about Spiritualism.