In the 1860s and 1870s, trance mediums were very popular. Spiritualism generally attracted female adherents, many who had strong interests in social justice. Many trance mediums delivered passionate speeches on abolitionism, temperance, and women's suffrage. Scholars have described Leonora Piper as one of the most famous trance mediums in the history of Spiritualism.
It’s asking a lot for a psychic reader to blow someone away within the first five minutes of a psychic reading, but I knew it was possible, and I knew mine could do it. That means, within the first five minutes, they should say something that convinces you that they aren’t just guessing or keeping you stringing along – that they’ve linked in with you and your situation using genuine psychic skills and giving you detailed psychic information not boring generalities. Because of that we have gone from strength to strength and most of the people who have a psychic reading here everyday are people that are returning and have had a reading with us before.
Many 19th century mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud. While advocates of mediumship claim that their experiences are genuine, the Encyclopædia Britannica article on spiritualism notes in reference to a case in the 19th century that "...one by one, the Spiritualist mediums were discovered to be engaged in fraud, sometimes employing the techniques of stage magicians in their attempts to convince people of their clairvoyant powers." The article also notes that "the exposure of widespread fraud within the spiritualist movement severely damaged its reputation and pushed it to the fringes of society in the United States."