In the 1920s as the world reeled from the first world war and the great flu pandemic, people in their collective grief turned to alternative systems of belief. Spiritualism, already making a new rise, was launched into the spotlight as proponents like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle waltzed around the globe giving lectures on the benefits of communicating with the dead. At the same time, there were others who found the subject altogether distasteful. The infamous magician Houdini had a particular fondness for uncovering false mediums, a past time that would wind up causing some heavy controversy when one of America’s oldest magazines proposed a competition, to pay $2,500 to the first medium that they could prove to be genuine.
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