Harry Houdini, of course, is the legendary illusionist whose unbelievable escapes still amaze, even a century later. But near the end of his short life, Houdini took on a new crusade, battling against the spiritualists and fraudulent mediums who he felt were giving people false hope that the living could talk to the dead. On this episode of 13 O’Clock, Tom and Jenny discuss Houdini’s entry into the murky world of spiritualism and séances, his famed debunking of medium Mina Crandon (aka Margery), his shattered friendship with spiritualist advocate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the ten-year quest by his widow Bess to contact Houdini after his death, using a special, agreed-upon code.
Published by Jenny Ashford
Jenny Ashford is a horror, true crime, and paranormal writer, graphic designer, and podcaster. Her most recent books are a three-volume true crime compilation collectively known as The Faceless Villain: A Collection of the Eeriest Unsolved Murders of the Twentieth Century. Volume One was published in 2017, Volume Two in 2018, and Volume Three in 2019. Her other books include four paranormal nonfiction books: The Unseen Hand: A New Exploration of Poltergeist Phenomena, The Mammoth Mountain Poltergeist (with Tom Ross), House of Fire and Whispers: Investigating the Seattle Demon House, and The Rochdale Poltergeist (both with Steve Mera); as well as three horror novels, Red Menace, Bellwether, and The Five Poisons; two short story collections, Hopeful Monsters and The Associated Villainies; and a graphic novel, The Tenebrist. A second edition of The Associated Villainies was published in 2019, featuring four new stories, an enhanced print layout, and an audio book version. A second edition of The Five Poisons was published in 2020. Her short stories have appeared in several anthologies, including The Nightmare Collective, History Is Dead, 2012AD, ChimeraWorld #3, and ChimeraWorld #4. Her horror blog, Goddess of Hellfire, contains writing news, short stories and articles, and her reviews and opinions on horror films and books. She also co-hosts a podcast with Tom Ross called 13 O'Clock, on which they discuss true crime, unexplained mysteries, paranormal weirdness, horror movies and books, food, and other fun, creepy topics. They recently collaborated on a 13 O'Clock cookbook. Jenny's graphic design work can be seen on everything from books and business cards to posters and packaging. She runs an online store called Gravecake selling products with her designs, and also has a board-and-card game concern called Giallo Games, which produces games based around the beloved Italian horror/crime genre, among many other themes. View all posts by Jenny Ashford