March 10, 2023

The Problem with Ghosts

The ghosts that visit us, the ghosts that never do, and the ghosts that walk among us.

From the 1933 animated short "Snow-White." (public domain)



Chaunte Vaughn’s mother recently died of Parkinsons. Even though Chaunte doesn't believe in ghosts, she is visited by her mom's ghost multiple times. And, to Chaunte’s disappointment, everything her mother's ghost has to say seems pointless. (8 minutes)

Act Two

Wedding Crasher

Abby Stein’s youngest sister got married last month, the last of 13 kids in their family. At the wedding, an uninvited guest showed up. (12 minutes)

Act Three

Seance Fiction

In the 1920s, at the height of the Spiritualism movement, a friendship blossomed between two men with opposing views on the topic: Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Houdini was a skeptic. Conan Doyle was the de facto leader of the movement. On a vacation in Atlantic City, the famous author tried to help his skeptical friend talk to the ghost of his beloved mother. Sean Cole reports. (13 minutes)

You can read more about Houdini's crusade against the Spiritualism movement in David Jaher's book The Witch of Lime Street.