Who ya gonna call? Rose Mackenberg!
That’s right. Long before Peter Venkman and his crew showed up with their proton packs to fight the supernatural, there was Rose Mackenberg, Houdini’s top undercover spy in his war against crooked psychics and mediums.
Rose Mackenberg was described in a 1949 Hearst syndicate article as “perhaps the only woman ‘ghost-buster’ in the world.” In this episode, you’ll hear about the seance-gone-bad that essentially ended the friendship between Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and escalated Houdini’s crusade against Spiritualism, the tactics used by the famed magician to expose psychic con artists, and the important role Rose Mackenberg played in that battle. We guarantee you’ll be fascinated by the story of this truly fearless female.
Show Notes for Episode 23!
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, with their families/atlanticcityweekly.com
Rose demonstrates how the ghostly hands trick works/saturdayeveningpost.com
Rose demonstrating the table tipping trick/saturdayeveningpost.com
Rose, a woman of many disguises/New York Times
Criminal Podcast, episode 175, The “Ghost Racket Crusade,” hosted by Phoebe Judge, interviewing Tony Wolf
Rebekah Raymer Book (featuring a fictional meeting between the main character and Harry Houdini)
Gary Oldman in (just a few!) of his diverse film roles
The Fox Sisters & The Origin of Spiritualism: