The Medium Who Baffled Houdini: Margery Crandon
by Elaine Kuzmeskus
"Houdini the Magician Stumped," proclaimed the Boston Herald in 1924. Who was this medium who baffled Houdini? None other than Margery Crandon, the wife of a prominent Boston surgeon. "Margery the Medium" made headlines throughout the 1920s. She captivated not only Harvard professors, but the editors of Scientific American with her amazing physical mediumship. Margery was very much a woman of her time – the Roaring Twenties. By the time the Twenties were in full swing, Margery and her second husband Dr. Le Roi Crandon became interested in psychic phenomena. In May of 1923, Dr. Crandon invited two couples to join them in a table-tilting séance. During the evening, he discovered that his wife had a genuine gift for communicating with the spirits. Within months, Margery produced psychic music, direct voice, trumpet séance, and even apports. She not only fascinated her husband, but the scientific community in the United States and England. While Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle championed Margery's mediumship, Harry Houdini denounced her as a fraud. Was Margery Crandon too good to be true or was she the last of the great physical mediums?