A Magician Among the Spirits by Harry Houdini Effect The Original Manuscript, from the Christopher Collection – In , Houdini’s prized effort, A Magician. Cambridge Core – History of Ideas and Intellectual History – A Magician among the Spirits – by Harry Houdini. A MAGICIAN. AMONG THE SPIRITS. BY. HOUDINI. Illustrated. Publishers. HARPER & BROTHERS. New York and London. MCMXXIV.
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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Harry Houdini and his exposure of the fraud spiritualist, amonb photography, spirit slate writing, ectoplasm, clairvoyance, and other quackery and cons perpetrated on the gullible, hoydini the likes of the Boston Medium Margery, the Davenport Brothers, Annie Eva Fay, the Fox Sisters, Daniel Dunglas Home, Eusapia Pallandino, and other con artists of their ilk.
The whole country Harry Houdini and his exposure of the fraud spiritualist, spirit photography, spirit slate writing, ectoplasm, clairvoyance, and other quackery and cons perpetrated on the gullible, by the likes of the Boston Medium Margery, the Davenport Brothers, Annie Eva Fay, the Fox Sisters, Daniel Dunglas Home, Eusapia Pallandino, and other con artists of their ilk. The whole country got excited by Houdini’s campaign against faking spiritualists.
He careened through the country, offering money for spirit contacts he couldn’t duplicate by admitted magical chicanery. It was a heyday not only for Houdini but for the spirit-callers and there was an equally famous protagonist who thought the spirits could indeed be contacted, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A photo at the front records a meeting between Houdini and Doyle and Houdini gives Doyle his own chapter. There’s an earlier chapter on Daniel Dunglas Home, the English engineer of spectacular paranormal effects.
Houdini raises hell with spiritualists who were giving their usually paying clients a vision of heavens to come, and shares the methods used to practice “fake” and spigits spiritualism. Houdini was nothing if not unrelenting.
A Magician Among The Spirits
As a taste of things to come, he ends his introduction with the words: Paperbackpages. Collector’s Library of the Unknown. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about A Magician Among the Spiritsplease sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about A Magician Among the Spirits. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Apr 10, 1luvbooks rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book took me a long time to read, but not because I didn’t love it.
Because I didn’t want to finish it and give it back.
It was so good, I wanted to stretch it magiccian and make it last as long as possible. I learned a lot from it Houdini had no problem being upfront about his life as it related to his investigations and to Spiritualism in general.
There is a feeling that comes with certain books that the auth Houcini book took me a long time to read, but not because I didn’t love it. I felt this especially with this book, and even wished that I could meet Houdini, could have met Houdini when he was alive.
Youdini wrote with dignity, with a sort of deadpan humour, but also with earnest and vulnerability. I think that deep down, Houdini wished that Spiritualism was real- but he could not refuse the facts, and accepted them wholeheartedly.
Houdini A Magician Among the Spiri
He did not delude himself or otherwise lie. If ever there was a doubt in my mind that Spiritualism might be real- this book dispersed it. And it revealed a side to spiritualism not much seen- empathy and compassion for its proponents, the tragedy behind it; from its beginnings to the many, magicia people defrauded. It really opened my eyes and greatly educated me on this subject, as well as touching my heart. A wonderful example of what a good nonfiction book should be.
I am sad to finish, and close the last page. I am even more sad to part with Houdini, who must now return to being dead at least until I pick up the book again. A spiritss, wonderful book.
I can’t sing it’s praises nearly enough. Go read it, and find out for yourself. Jan 19, Barry Haworth rated it it was amazing Shelves: An excellent review of the trick and deceptions attendant on Spiritualism. This book, first published inis a review of the investigations of escape artist Harry Houdini into the different strands of spiritualism current in the late 19th and early 20th century.
A Magician Among the Spirits – Harry Houdini – Google Books
A accomplished stage magician, Houdini is aware of the many dodges possible to a skilled performer, and debunks the alleged supernatural explanation of those whom hojdini investigates. The only real flaw I could find with the book is that An excellent review of the trick and deceptions attendant on Spiritualism.
The only real flaw I could find with the book is that the author does not always give a full explanation of those he is investigating, but assumes some degree of contemporary knowledge which a present day reader does not automatically have. An annotated edition which filled some of these blanks would fill this gap nicely. Jul 07, Brandon rated it really liked it.
The only thing that holds this book back is its age. Harry goes into great detail on how psychics trick people and steal their money. The second half really picks up as he goes into detail on the specific tools that are used by psychics. This book is interesting to anybody that considers psychics to be royal scumbags, and you should and funny I really enjoyed how sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried The only thing that holds this book back is its age.
This book is interesting to anybody that considers psychics to be royal scumbags, and you should and funny I really enjoyed how sir Arthur Conan Doyle tried to convince Houdini that Houdini had real powers while Houdini kept insisting that all he was doing was performing some trick for anybody curious about the specific topic. Oct 29, Kyra rated it it was amazing. Houdini opened his mind to Spiritualism in hopes of communicating with his deceased mother, but with his background in magic, knew that nothing that was being offered by the mediums was anything more than parlor tricks.
In this book, you will discover not only the desperation of mankind to experience communication with the other side, but the sinister nature of those who will sink to the lowest lows to make money off these desperate souls. It is an insight to the most awful parts of human nature Houdini opened his mind to Spiritualism in hopes of communicating with his deceased mother, but with his background in magic, knew that nothing that was being offered by the mediums was anything more than parlor tricks.
It is an insight to the most awful parts of human nature, and a helpful tool when looking at modern spirituality.
This book belongs on the shelf of every skeptic or debunker. Jan 24, Ceejay rated it really liked it. This was a fascinating read. It is dated, of course, but the second half of the book did tell how Spiritualist cheated their followers.
I was also quite interested in the relationship between Sir Author Conan Doyle a believer and Houdini a skeptic. There were letters in the book that the two gents sent each other. The letter writing style in the twenties maigcian so much more personal then today’s e-mails.
Mar 26, Magicia rated it it was amazing. Houdini is really cool. Mar 23, Theobald Mary rated it it was amazing.
Coincidentally, the great magician, Harry Houdini, wrote a book that was published inthe year that the mystery I am currently writing takes place. And it pertains directly to my topic: Harry Houdini spent most of his adult like debunking Spiritualism, a quasi-religious movement that is based on communication with the dead through mediums.
It is, of course, shot through with fakes, then and now. One o Amnog, the great magician, Harry Houdini, wrote a book that was published inthe year that the mystery I am currently writing takes place. Whether you believe in communication with the dead or not, you’ll enjoy reading of the many ways fake mediums created the impression that they add direct access to the spirits. To my delight, Houdini describes many of the tricks that he discovered mediums using. Poor man, he was totally duped; he also believed faked photographs of fairies were real.
The premise is accurate—they really were friends but were in complete disagreement about the authenticity of mediums. Sep 18, Angie Fehl rated it really liked it. I was surprised to discover that they were even friends, let alone had a bit of a falling out over the topic of Spiritualism! Recently I came across a copy of A Magician Among The Spirits, written by Houdini himself in which he not only gives his own version of what went down between him and Doyle but also how Houdini came to be such a force in bringing down the Spiritualism movement as a whole.
Houdini is quick to affirm that he most definitely believed in a higher power and an afterlife. His issue was with the lengths tge mediums went to dupe grieving people into believing that their loved ones were trying to reach them.
In this book, originally published inHoudini discusses the project he carried out, spending the year of sitting in on over seances, hoping for anything definitely otherworldly. Instead, he says, splrits realized he was able to explain virtually everything he saw in terms of distraction and slight of hand tricks magicians employ all the time.
It infuriated him that these so-called spiritual mediums were making quite comfortable livings off the grief of people desperate for any connection with their lost loved ones.
Houdini points out that the popularity of Spiritualism cannot be dismissed as just something uneducated suckers fell into. In fact, quite a few of the era’s great scientific and literary minds fell prey to the hope houdihi these mediums could put them in contact with friends and family who had passed over. Houidini says he himself had arrangements with 14 different people, including his wife and his personal secretary, to give the agreed upon sign handshake or code word if any of them should pass.
Houdini also points to his friend, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, clearly a man of great intellect but swayed by the deaths of a son, brother and brother-in-law during WW1, making him desperate for contact. There’s also the story of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning — Elizabeth initially became quite taken with the movement, but after one particularly off reading came away feeling very much duped and dismayed.
Houdini also notes that it was also highly suspect how these mediums often lived the lives of celebrities, winning themselves the patronage of members of society’s elite. They would be draped in the finest clothes and jewels, put up in lavish residences, enjoying the benefits of a nicely padded bank account.
If the day came that their popularity amonf showing signs of waning, these mediums would often quietly announce their retirement before the truth behind their act was sniffed out. In the instances where mediums were taken to court on charges of fraud, oftentimes there would be only light penalties put upon them even when it was PROVEN they had duped clients out of money.
In the end, Houdini chalks the whole thing up houdjni largely being a case of what he calls mal-observation.