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.
Everybody loves suave superspy James Bond, but sometimes international espionage can be a hell of a lot less glamorous, and even downright disturbing. On this spooky spy-themed episode, Tom and Jenny discuss the creepy weirdness of numbers stations, plus the intensely fucked-up and mysterious unsolved murders of probable secret agents The Somerton Man (aka the Tamam Shud case) and The Isdal Woman.
To listen to lots more unsettling examples of numbers stations, visit The Conet Project, and if you’re interested in recent attempts to crack the Tamam Shud code, check out this Reddit thread.