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Behind the Scenes with the Mediums by David Abbott Behind the Scenes with the Mediums
by David Abbott

A fascinating book by a noted conjuror that delves into the world of bogus spirit mediums. You almost have to admire their audacity and the subtle methods they employed to fleece the public.

If you're into real-life ghost busting, or you're a magician who's always wanted to host a (for fun) séance at a haunted house, now you'll know how to go about making it an attraction that audiences will talk about years later.

Take a look at the table of contents pages, and you'll recognize that many of the mental tests included here were sold by dealers at several times the price of the entire book.

CONTENTS

  • HALF HOURS WITH MEDIUMS
  • I. Introduction 1
  • II. Washington Irving Bishop’s Sealed Letter
  • Reading in a New Dress 5
  • III. Test Where a Trick Envelope with a Double
  • Front is Used 14
  • IV. Test Where the Medium Secretly Filches a
  • Letter from the Pocket of the Sitter 20
  • V. The Mystic Oracle of the Swinging Pendulums, or Mind over Matter—A Rapping Hand—Light and Heavy Chest 27
  • VI. Tests Given in a Large Room with Curtains for Partitions, Using Telegraphy, etc. 34
  • VII. A Billet Test Using a Trick Envelope—Spirit Message Written on a Slate, in the Sitter's Presence 38
  • VIII. Flower Materialization 49
  • IX. The Dark Séance—A Deceptive Grip— Mental
  • Tests—Spirit Voices, Taps, and Lights 52
  • X. Materialization—Preparation of Luminous Costumes, Method of Presentation, etc. 68
  • XI. Tests Given in a Room in a Hotel—Slate Writing on Slates Selected, Cleaned, and Held by Sitter—Test Wherein the Sitter's Own Slates are Used—Billet Work in Connection Therewith—The Prepared Table 74
  • XII. Reading Sealed Billets in a Room in which Absolute Darkness Reigns 80

  • MEDIUMISTIC READING OF SEALED WRITINGS
  • I. Introduction 85
  • II. Preparation of the Writings 89
  • III. Reading the Writings—Production of a Spirit Message 92
  • IV. The Secrets Explained—Slate Trick Requiring a Special Chair 98

  • SPIRIT SLATE-WRITING AND BILLET TESTS
  • I. Introduction 111
  • II. Message Produced on One of a Stack of Slates, First Method—Method Using a Rug or Newspaper 114
  • III. Message on One of a Stack of Slates, Second Method—How to Pass the Slates From One Hand to the Other 119
  • IV. Message Produced When Two Examined Slates are Used—Some Expert Maneuvering, and the Importance of the “Pass” 122
  • V. Message Produced on One of Two Slates Selected from a Stack, Third Method, where the “Pass” and Some Expert Maneuvering are Introduced—Production of a Message Written with a Gold Ring Belonging to the Sitter 125
  • VI. To Secretly Read a Question Written on a Slate by a Sitter, when a Stack of Slates is Used— How to Secretly Obtain a Confession or Question, Written on Paper and Sealed by the Sitter, when a Stack of Slates is Used 128
  • VII. Message Produced on a Slate Cleaned and Held under a Table by a Sitter 134
  • VIII. Slate Trick Requiring Three Slates and a Flap—The Same Used as a Conjuring
  • Trick—Preparation of the Slates 138
  • IX. Slate Trick Requiring a Double-Hinged Slate and a Flap 146
  • X. Independent Paper Writing—Two Slates and a Silicate Flap Used 148
  • XI. Slate Trick with a Single Slate and Flap— Methods of Forcing the Selection of a Word—Methods of Forcing Figures— Same Trick with Two Slates—Same with hree Slates, and a Spoken Question Answered, with Words in Color 151
  • XII. Methods of Obtaining a Secret Impression of the Writing of a Sitter— A Storeroom Reading—A Test Using a Prepared Book— How to “Switch” a Question— Tricks Using this Principle—Tests Given by Various Chicago Mediums—Reading a Message while Wearing a Skull Cap 159
  • XIII. Tricks where the Sitter Brings his Own Slates—Various Traps— Psychometric Tests— Message on Slates Wrapped in Original Paper—Other Messages 173
  • XIV. Message on a Sitter’s Slate Produced by a Rubber Stamp—Message Produced by an Adroit Exchange of Slates—Chemical Tricks—Other Methods—Means of Securing Information 183

  • SOME MODERN SORCERY
  • I. Presentation of the Tests 188
  • II. Explanation of the Secrets 195
  • III. The Same, Adapted for Double Parlor Work 203
  • IV. The Use of the Card Servante and Blackboard 206

  • SOME UNUSUAL MEDIUMISTIC PHENOMENA
  • Some Strange and Unusual Tests 210
  • MATERIALIZATION
  • Additional Information 229

  • RELATION OF MEDIUMSHIP TO PALMISTRY, ASTROLOGY, AND FORTUNE-TELLING
  • Tests in Connection with a Reproduction of the Sitter’s Palm 239

  • PERFORMANCES OF THE ANNIE EVA FAY TYPE
  • Questions Written and Retained by the Spectators answered by a Blindfolded Lady on the Stage 247

  • VEST TURNING
  • Method Explained 253

  • AN IMPROVED BILLET TEST
  • Reading Billets for an Assembled Company 256

  • APPENDIX: CORRESPONDENCE WITH INQUIRERS THROUGH “THE OPEN COURT”
  • Mediumistic Séances 258
  • A Puzzling Case 272
  • Spirit Portraiture 286

  • ADDENDA
  • Another Billet Test 311
  • The Swinging Pendulums Again 315
  • A Billet Test Improved 318
  • The Dr. Schlessinger Act Improved 319
  • Wireless Electricity for Mediumistic Tricks 321
  • About the Author 324

A remarkable value, whether you're a performer, researcher or historian.


"The best thing of its kind that has yet been done. Every conjuror should read this book." (P. T. Selbit)

"Many of the slate tricks are worth at least $10 each. Some of the secrets have sold for $25 each; one was sold by a medium for $250.00." (Dr. A. M. Wilson in The Sphinx)

Format: Print book. 324 pages.


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