Harry and Arthur

Harry and Arthur

A Lesson by Clif

Harry Houdini and Arthur Doyle had a feud over spiritualism, mediums and seances.


      Harry Houdini was a famous escape artist and magician in the late 1800s. He was originally from Hungary, grew up in Wisconsin and later lived in New York. Then in the 1920s he debunked many fake mediums. He would expose their tricks and call them out as frauds. Harry uncovered fraud of a medium named Margery from Canada and another one who claimed to be able to see through objects.

       Houdini told his wife before he died that he would try to contact her from the afterworld. Harry died on Halloween in 1926 after being punched in the stomach. His Wife Bess attended a number of seances. Harry and her had a secret code word that he would use after he had died to contact her. One medium named Author Ford, claimed he was able to communicate with her late husband. But she gave up trying to contact him after 10 years.

       There is a seance held each year at the old Chicago Historical Society Building, to try to contact the spirit of Harry Houdini. He was a former member of a magicians club in Chicago.


       Arthur Conan Doyle was a British author, creator of Sherlock Holms, in the late 19th century. He believed in spiritualism. Conan had a conflict with Houdini. He disagreed with Harry's debunking of mediums when he was alive.  Author thought that some of the trance channelings were legitimate. He supported mediums such as Margery, while Harry debunked them. Arthur Doyle thought that Houdini had paranormal abilities to do the escapes he performed. But Harry said they were all tricks and illusions he created.

       Arthur investigated psychic abilities and attended seances. In the late 19th century he became a member of the Society for Psychical Research in London. Today they have a PSI encyclopedia online as well as articles about ESP experiments, hauntings and poltergeists.

Conan also joined The Ghost Club, a paranormal investigative organization also in London in the late 1800s. Arthur investigated poltergeists and wrote books about spiritualism. Sherlock Holmes was one of the great  stories about the famous detective character. One of the first detective stories was written by Edgar Allen Poe, who was well known for his Gothic literature.


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Added on November 2, 2020
Last Updated on November 2, 2020

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North East, MD

I like to write about the paranormal. I am retired. I write non-fiction about hauntings, alien visitations, Bigfoot and other unexplained phenomena. I use to work on computers for a living. I play gui..