Spirits Were All the Rage

William Marriott

William Marriott with some of the “ghosts” he bought from the GAMBOLS catalog.

There is a fun website called The Haunted Museum with, and here is a fun article from said website about exposing fake spiritualists back at the turn of the century when Spiritism was all the rage.

“Is Spiritualism a fraud? Are the spirit-rappings and the spirit-forms of the séance, the prophecies of the palmist and the clairvoyant, the visions of the trance mediums, genuine evidence of a spirit-world, or are they mere catchpenny tricks, engineered by charlatans to charm money from the pockets of the credulous?”

These were questions asked by Pearson’s Magazine in March 1910, when it began a series of articles written by William S. Marriott about Spiritualism. The editors added that “in order that readers of Pearson’s Magazine may judge for themselves the pros and cons of this tremendously important subject. If Spiritualism is genuine, it ought to be a vital factor in the lives of us all: if false, then it and its high priests should be ruthlessly exposed and believers in it disillusioned of a faith that is altogether vain.”

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Extraordinary Paranormal Noir

Seance on a Wet Afternoon

 

A blog called Film Noir of the Week reviews Séance On A Wet Afternoon, saying:

This is the story of a mentally unstable woman who believes that she communicates with the dead. Her hubris demands that she control and improve her fate, and so she turns to crime in order to satisfy her goals. 

Séance on a Wet Afternoon from director Bryan Forbes has the standard ingredients of noir, and yet this highly unusual film–one of the most unusual noirs to emerge in the 60s–explores those ingredients in a novel way. Myra (Kim Stanley) and Billy Savage (Richard Attenborough) are a middle-aged couple who commit a crime in order to accelerate Myra’s career as a psychic.

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