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The Davenport brothers and William Fay with their spirit cabinet. Library of Congress
The Davenport Brothers: The act that divided Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini
March 1865 Liverpool, England. It stood in the center of the stage, at least six feet tall, perched on two-foot-tall supports, with a decorative crown of wood carved vines and fleur-de-lis. To approach it, one would likely feel an instant unease mixed with an odious sense of familiarity. Its three dark wooden doors held secrets that would shake the Spiritualist movement of the late 19th century to its core and forever divide the worldviews of two of the most prominent...
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