Being a great admirer of Abraham Lincoln, Harry Houdini was angered by mediums who claimed to have made contact with the late president. JOE SCHWARCZ, SPECIAL TO THE MONTREAL GAZETTE
One day in the early 1900s, Robert Todd Lincoln, son of the assassinated president, was surprised to receive a photograph from Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician of the times. In the picture, Houdini is seen apparently conversing with “Honest Abe.” Since Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 and Houdini was born in 1874, the only way they could have appeared together in a photo was if Lincoln’s image was a manifestation of his “spirit.” Basically, the photo purported to show Houdini conversing with the ghost of the slain president!
Such spirit photos were quite the rage at the time. The Civil War had brought spiritualism to the forefront with distraught relatives of soldiers who perished in battle hoping to communicate with their spirits. Mediums capitalized on such folly by duping the gullible with photographs that were obviously taken after a soldier’s death but nevertheless clearly showed their image, which was claimed to be a spirit apparition. Please read more at: