Monday, July 24, 2006


The Untold Story of Harry Kellar and The Tribune Spook Case

Jamy Ian Swiss, book review, Genii (May 2006):

“This is a terrific story that readers will not find in the recent Kellar biography...”

“All of this background is well designed by Mr. Pack to prepare us for the heart of the matter...”

“...once again, we must offer thanks to intrepid reporters and researchers like William Pack who rescue our own history from the dustbin of the past.”

The book Exposed! is an outgrowth of my Chicago Magic History Project. One of the things that I realized early in my work is that my process of writing the history of Chicago Magic was going to take 10 to 20 years. So, I wanted to find smaller stories to tell. Plus, the income derived from the smaller books could be shoveled into the furnace of research.

This book is a brief look at Spiritualism in Chicago during the 19th century. It touches three spirit medium stories.

First, the Bangs Sisters, of spirit painting fame, starting as children, ran their spirit swindle in Chicago for over thirty yearsand elsewhere for more. Information in the book includes a detailed account of their séances and a spectacular police raid on one of those séances.

Second, Carrie M. Sawyer, now forgotten was a nationally known spirit medium, who also worked her fraud for nearly forty years. Kellar exposed Carrie in New York and testified against in Chicago. I continue to research Carrie, and there is actually more information being discovered all the time.

Third, there is a comical look at medium Harry Archer, who may be one of the worst mediums in history. It is odd because he worked quite successfully with other mediums outside of Chicago, but solo...well, you have to read it.

Now, for the commercial, I have twenty of these books left. They are $40 post paid. Just e-mail for availability.

Many of those who bought the book have sent me nice letters. The most exciting letter arrived by e-mail:

“William, I wanted to thank you for the welcome copy of the Kellar/Tribune book...I’ve enjoyed the book very much, and if it is all right with you, I may publish a few excerpted paragraphs from it on my web page sometime...” –James Randi

And yes, it was okay with me.

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