A review of The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World by David Jaher
This is a story of Spiritualism in America in the early 1920s. The darling of the psychic scene was Margery (a faux name) intended to hide the identity of Mina Stinson Crandon, a young, outgoing wife of surgeon Dr. Le Roi Crandon, called “Roy” in the book. The title is a reach that comes from Margery’s claim that she would have been called a witch 150 years ago. Instead, they sent scientific committees to examine her.
Witch has a few things going for it:
- Good research sources directly from the time period that reveal how popular this phenomenon was.
- A number of positive blurbs to promote it.
- Several impressive insights into the characters and institutions of the time.
- A snazzy glow-in-the-dark cover that represents the glowing paint used on mediums to judge whether they were moving their extremities.
But I was not too impressed overall and would only give a rank of 2.5 out of 5. Continue reading