Lionel Weatherly (1852–1940) was a respected psychiatrist who advocated a more modern and sympathetic approach to mental illness than many of his contemporaries. In this work, first published in 1891, he discusses a variety of supernatural phenomena, seeking scientific and rational explanations for ghostly apparitions and paranormal experiences. Weatherly scrutinises stories of mirages, prophetic dreams and the experiences of historical figures like Joan of Arc. Also included is a chapter by famous illusionist and inventor J. N. Maskelyne. Maskelyne famously exposed the fraud of a number of spiritualists, and created illusions which are still performed today. His witty and colourful chapter examines the truth behind a number of famous Eastern magical illusions, sharing insights on trade secrets. Maskelyne also delves into mediumistic fraud, questioning the credibility of figures like D. D. Home and Madame Blavatsky, in an entertaining and carefully argued investigation of phenomena which have mystified for centuries.
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