Colin Fry was exposed in 1992 when during a séance the lights were unexpectedly turned on and he was seen holding a spirit trumpet in the air, which the audience had been led to believe was being levitated by spiritual energy. In 1997, Massimo Polidoro and Luigi Garlaschelli produced wax-moulds directly from one's hand which were exactly the same copies as Gustav Geley obtained from Franek Kluski, which are kept at the Institute Metapsychique International.
I was 13 when my mom dragged my brother and me to a "psychic." We were visiting family in Malaysia and somewhere amongst a few palm oil plantations was the house of an old woman who claimed to be able to channel Buddha. My mother was enthralled during the hour-long ordeal, during which the woman basically rolled her eyes often so the whites were showing, dropped her voice a few octaves, and made astonishingly mundane statements that could've applied to anyone (examples: our house had ants out front; my grandma was old and having some health problems). Combined with my love of Harry Houdini (who spent the last few years of his life debunking psychics and mediums) and teen angst that made me hate everything my parents liked, the experience left me convinced that psychics were con artists who separated vulnerable and desperate people from their cash in exchange for poor acting.
The magician Samri Baldwin exposed the tricks of the Davenport brothers in his book The Secrets of Mahatma Land Explained (1895). The medium Swami Laura Horos was convicted of fraud several times and was tried for rape and fraud in London in 1901. She was described by the magician Harry Houdini as "one of the most extraordinary fake mediums and mystery swindlers the world has ever known".
After Valentine's Day, it only got stranger. Callers asked about lost jewelry and I'd instead tell them about their children or partners, which only pissed them off. HR called and told me to stop doing that—if someone wanted "remote viewing," I was to tell him or her to call a psychic who had that skill listed on their profile. I was, and still am, impressed by how seriously my employer treated "real psychic powers" instead of just racking up minutes. But I also noticed that bad reviews never made it to my profile or anyone else's, which sickened me.
In a series of experiments in London at the house of William Crookes in February 1875, the medium Anna Eva Fay managed to fool Crookes into believing she had genuine psychic powers. Fay later confessed to her fraud and revealed the tricks she had used. Frank Herne a British medium who formed a partnership with the medium Charles Williams was repeatedly exposed in fraudulent materialization séances. In 1875, he was caught pretending to be a spirit during a séance in Liverpool and was found "clothed in about two yards of stiffened muslin, wound round his head and hanging down as far as his thigh." Florence Cook had been "trained in the arts of the séance" by Herne and was repeatedly exposed as a fraudulent medium.
Yes, it was! When I used to work [there], I felt the spirits which were from the old days of the begining of the 19th century. Also, at the end of my shifts, the girls that worked with me would always ask me to read their palms. Considering the amount of energy that is required for palm reading, the Clubhouse was the perfect place for me to do it. I felt that the spirits there would appreciate me, considering the fact that I could feel them. I also felt a good energy. The spirits made me feel that I could make good money when I worked there.
Illusionists, such as Joseph Rinn have staged 'fake' séances in which the sitters have claimed to have observed genuine supernatural phenomena. Albert Moll studied the psychology of séance sitters. According to (Wolffram, 2012) "[Moll] argued that the hypnotic atmosphere of the darkened séance room and the suggestive effect of the experimenters' social and scientific prestige could be used to explain why seemingly rational people vouchsafed occult phenomena." The psychologists Leonard Zusne and Warren Jones in their book Anomalistic Psychology: A Study of Magical Thinking (1989) wrote that spirits controls are the "products of the medium's own psychological dynamics."
ESP Net’s online “guidance site” asserts that it is an “unrealistic expectation” for callers to assume psychics are psychic. But its contract is more ambiguous about occult powers. While it stated I could not claim a call was “anything more than entertainment,” on the next page, awaiting my signature, was this sentence: “It is my personal feeling or understanding that I possess psychic or clairvoyant abilities.” How could I sign this? Then I thought of my supernatural ability to read my husband’s mind. Take the other morning when the dog, suffering from diarrhea, started whining at 4:45 a.m. I looked over at my husband, and despite the darkness I could see this sentence forming in his brain: “If I pretend I’m still asleep, she’ll walk the dog.” I signed.
In 1908 at a hotel in Naples, the psychical researchers W. W. Baggally, Hereward Carrington and Everard Feilding attended a series of séances with Eusapia Palladino. In a report they claimed that genuine supernatural activity had occurred in the séances, this report became known as the Feilding report. In 1910, Feilding returned to Naples, but this time accompanied with the magician William S. Marriott. Unlike the 1908 sittings, Feilding and Marriott detected her cheating, just as she had done in America. Her deceptions were obvious. Palladino evaded control and was caught moving objects with her foot, shaking the curtain with her hands, moving the cabinet table with her elbow and touching the séance sitters. Milbourne Christopher wrote regarding the exposure "when one knows how a feat can be done and what to look for, only the most skillful performer can maintain the illusion in the face of such informed scrutiny."