Primarily based on the e-book through which he invented Christmas, you possibly can in all probability guess that Charles Dickens was fairly into ghosts. He even believed that he himself had “magnetic powers” that he used to remedy associates of hauntings, however when it got here to everybody else, he was fairly keen on proof. Dickens additionally felt dangerous that his fictional ghost tales had boosted curiosity in spiritualism to the purpose of flooding the market with phony mediums. In the meantime, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, regardless of the devotion to logic of his most well-known character, was so enamored with the thought of the supernatural that he insisted Harry Houdini had magic powers irrespective of what number of occasions Houdini tried to appropriate him.
Collectively, this unlikely duo shaped the ragtag staff of Victorian ghost hunters they known as the Ghost Membership to analyze claims of paranormal exercise. Okay, Dickens really based it in 1862, and Doyle got here on board shortly thereafter, however that is not pretty much as good of a film. They really garnered some acclaim after one among their first and most well-known investigations of the “Davenport spirit cupboard,” which they proved moderately conclusively was the product of intelligent engineering moderately than ghosts, however even in death-obsessed Victorian England, they have been just about instantly a laughingstock.
Annoyed with the dangerous press, Dickens left in 1870, which opened the floodgates for his extra credulous companions to go full Historical past Channel. The subsequent yr, Ghost Clubber and supposedly famend scientist Sir William Crookes claimed that he’d found the unquestionable bodily existence of a “psychic pressure” that defined why mediums might contact the lifeless, and the Ghost Membership by no means lived it down. They disbanded for slightly greater than a decade, however the Ghost Membership was revived (get it?) by famed spiritualist William Stainton Moses, who believed, amongst different issues, within the kind of “spirit images” that may lead Sir Doyle to shame in 1920 when some little women confirmed him footage they’d taken of fairies and he was like “Yep, appears legit.”