For Canada's History, Bruce McNab tells the story of Harry and Bess Houdini's abortive tour of the Maritimes in the summer of 1896. Their hopes of success with the Marco Magic Company led instead to trouble with the law and retirement from performing (although only for a short time).
Via The Hollywood Reporter, a psychic from London who gives readings at Selfridges, the celebrated department store, is opening up a base in Los Angeles. Jayne Wallace says she does readings for many celebrities, and for members of the royal family, but she doesn't ever "kiss and tell."
She got the job at Selfridge's after she happened to be in the coffee shop, and she saw the man who could get her started working there. "I just knew he was the one to talk to about getting in the store...Then I can't tell you what I said to him, but it was A, B, C and D. And he said, 'When can you start?'" Interesting.
Ms. Wallace says she has felt the presence of Marilyn Monroe on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She says the late actress is "slightly troubled on the spirit level." Good to know.
Ms. Wallace and her associates, the Psychic Sisters, have high hopes--maybe a tv show. And they would like to give readings at a department store in the U.S., maybe Nordstrom's. I wonder what's in their future?
From the Guardian (in 2014): Anthony Stallard, 24, paid a fine of 35 pounds and an additional 40 pounds in charges and costs after a judge found him guilty of rowdiness and abusive behavior after he pretended to be a ghost and carried on in a Portsmouth (England) cemetery. Witnesses told police he threw "his arms in the air and [said] wooooo". His lawyer told the court "I'm assuming he was pretending to be a ghost." Probably.
Mr. Stallard and his friends were also apparently playing football among the graves, and Mr. Stallard was singing, which upset some mourners who were there at the time. Said his attorney, Denise Saunders, "He has accepted that his behaviour, if it had been outside of a cemetery, would not have been inappropriate. But inside a cemetery, while people are grieving for their loved ones, it might be."
Because he had already been in trouble with the law, the court added on some time to a previous suspended sentence (more about his previous appearances in court in the Daily Mail article).
For Atlas Obscura, Sarah Laskow writes about a visit to the fabled magic shop Tannen's, some magic history, and an encounter with magician Noah Levine. Ms. Laskow notes,
Even if you know how cups and balls works, in the hands of a skillful performer, you won’t see the movement of the balls, no matter how carefully you look. When Penn and Teller do it in full view it still feels like magic. The same principle applies to New York itself. However many times you walk down a street, paying close attention, some detail escapes your notice, or only exists for those in the know. The grave of Harry Houdini, perhaps the most famous magician in history, is part of a family plot in Queens, and though it might seem like an obvious attraction it spent years in disrepair. I’ve walked past the year-round Halloween costume store on Broadway countless times and never knew of the magic shop in the basement, stocked with throwbacks to the 1980s. Without an invitation, there’s no way to discover the illegal poker room hidden somewhere in Soho, where Levine was once asked to perform. New York itself is an engine of misdirection.
The Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies is pleased to announce a two-day conference, to take place at Leeds Trinity University on 30 and 31 May 2019. We are delighted to have Professor Christine Ferguson (University of Stirling), and Professor Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck, University of London) as our keynote speakers.
Since the emergence of modern mediumship in the middle of the nineteenth century, science and spiritualism have been interwoven. Sceptics and believers alike have investigated spirit and psychic phenomena to determine its legitimacy. This two-day interdisciplinary conference will explore the history of the intersection of science and spiritualism during the long nineteenth century.
Key scholarship includes: • Ferguson, Christine, Determined Spirits: Eugenics, Heredity and Racial Regeneration in Anglo-American Spiritualist Writings 1848-1930, Edinburgh University Press, 2012. • Lamont, Peter, Extraordinary Beliefs: A Historical Approach to a Psychological Problem, Cambridge University Press, 2013 • Luckhurst, Roger, The Invention of Telepathy, 1870-1901, Oxford University Press, 2002 • McCorristine, Shane, Spectres of the Self: Thinking about Ghosts and Ghost-Seeing in England, 1750-1920, Cambridge University Press, 2010 • Oppenheim, Janet, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850-1914, Cambridge University Press, 1985 • Owen, Alex, The Darkened Room: Women, Power and Spiritualism in Late Victorian England, University of Chicago Press, 2004
We welcome proposals from any discipline, covering any geographic region.
Possible topics include: • Scientific investigations at séances • Scientific literature on spirit and psychic phenomena • Technology and spiritualism (such as photography, telegraphy, telephony) • Medicine and spiritualism (such as studies in physiology and psychology) • Shamanism, animism and spiritualism in anthropology • Science, spiritualism and the periodical press • Cultures of science and religion and its connection to spiritualism • Spiritualism and material culture (such as haunted objects or locations) • Contesting cultural authority in spiritualism cases • Scientific experiments on spiritualism • Crisis of evidence in spirit and psychic investigations • Magicians and spiritualism (such as exposing fraud through replicating tricks) • Science and spiritualism in literature (such as Browning’s ‘Mr Sludge’) • Scientists as spiritualists and spiritualists as scientists
Please send a 250-word abstract, along with contact information to email@example.com. The Deadline for submission is 15 November 2018.
Some small travel bursaries will be available to postgraduate and early career scholars. If you would like to be considered for one, please include a short expression of interest detailing your research, and how this conference will be of benefit to you.
The Nazi fascination with the occult is legendary, yet today it is often dismissed as Himmler’s personal obsession or wildly overstated for its novelty. Preposterous though it was, however, supernatural thinking was inextricable from the Nazi project. The regime enlisted astrology and the paranormal, paganism, Indo-Aryan mythology, witchcraft, miracle weapons, and the lost kingdom of Atlantis in reimagining German politics and society and recasting German science and religion. In this eye-opening history, Eric Kurlander reveals how the Third Reich’s relationship to the supernatural was far from straightforward. Even as popular occultism and superstition were intermittently rooted out, suppressed, and outlawed, the Nazis drew upon a wide variety of occult practices and esoteric sciences to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire.
Witch hunting or witch branding are the social menaces, which are very much prevalent in the State of Assam. Witch doctors are the people, who usually brand women (in few cases man also) as a witch, in cases where there are issues of drought, flood, illness, and death of the people of the particular locality. The reasons for witch hunting or witch crafting are many, however, it has been in practice as a part of traditional belief, which is the reason people are reluctant to give up the practice. Existing laws in India have failed to address the issue. NGOs, Civil Societies, and Judiciary had expressed several times for need of the special laws for curbing this social evil. The Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention, and Protection) Bill, 2015 is a landmark bill to curb the menace of witch-hunting. However, the bill is pending for president’s assent.
If you're particularly interested in the intersection of science and spiritualism, check out the website Forbidden Histories, run by Dr. Andreas Sommer. Contributors study the history of research into the paranormal. There are suggested readings, a YouTube channel, and a Twitter account (@ForbidHistories).