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Ken Silverman on:

Ken Silverman
Ken Silverman Houdini’s interest in spiritualism, you know, was sort of over-determined. There was always the very vague possibility that he might be able to reach his mother. There was a lot of competition and anger with the spiritualists. Spiritualists really invented the escape act. And they were getting credit really for doing things that Houdini claimed no supernatural means for. I mean, he always said that whatever he did, if he escaped from a locked box, it was by natural, not supernatural means, although some people were sure that he really managed somehow to dematerialize himself. He knew how most of them were doing what they did, and it annoyed him that they were making supernatural claims for it. He also had a kind of social conscience, and he was outraged that they were ripping off the poor and ripping off people who were bereaved, who’d payed 2 or 3 bucks for a fake seance to get in touch of somebody they deeply mourned for.

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