Stuff You Missed in History ClassStuff You Missed in History Class

‘The Rev’ Rose Mackenberg

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Rose Mackenberg spent decades working to uncover fraud taking place in the name of Spiritualism, first working for Houdini, and then on her own. In her work, she said she received messages from 1,000 dead husbands that never existed.


  • “Says Lawmakers Consult Mediums.” New York Times. Feb. 27, 1926.
  • “Houdini to Appear.” Evening Star. Feb. 21, 1926.
  • Edwards, Gavin. “Overlooked No More: Rose Mackenberg, Houdini’s Secret ‘Ghost-Buster.’” New York Times. Dec. 6, 2019.
  • Williamson, E.W. “Spirit Fakers of City Fatten on War Grief.” Chicago Tribune. Aug. 5, 1945.
  • Mackenberg, Rose. “Her Business Is Exposing Spirit Fakers.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Sept. 12, 1937.
  • “Houdini Urges Bill to Curb Mediums.” Evening Star. Feb. 26, 1926.
  • Hartman, William C. “Hartmann’s Who’s Who in Occult, Psychic and Spiritual Realms.” 1925.
  • “Christ Coming in 2,000, Says Pastor.” Inidianapolis Star. Dec. 1, 1924.
  • Lee, Karen. “The Astonishing Adventures of Houdini’s Favorite Detective.” July 20, 2021.
  • Welshimer, Helen. “Made a Frump out of Herself to Expose the Fake Mediums.” Ogden Standard Examiner. Aug. 15, 1937.
  • “Pastor Defends Klan.” Indianapolis News. Oct. 2, 1922.
  • “HINTS OF SEANCES AT WHITE HOUSE.” New York Times. May 19, 1926.
  • “Magician Pulls Local Minister Out of Audience.” Indianapolis Star. October 13, 1925.
  • “’Not Interested,” Say Coolidges of Spiritualism.” Atlanta Constitution. May 19, 1926.
  • Mackenberg, Rose. “When Crime Poses as Spiritualism.” San Francisco Examiner. March 12, 1939.
  • Polidoro, Massimo. “Final Seance: The Strange Friendship Between Houdini and Conan Doyle.” Prometheus Books. 2010.
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