Doyle and Houdini
Despite differing greatly in their belief of spiritualism, Houdini and Doyle were actually good friends, having met in 1920 during Houdini’s English tour. Doyle had, by this time, halted his writing career to lecture about the validity and value of spiritualism. Doyle respected Houdini’s efforts to debunk fraudulent mediums because it shattered the credibility of the true, ‘legitimate’ ones and damaged the spiritualist movement altogether. Houdini, however, believed all mediums were frauds, and tried to show Doyle how they pulled off tricks. Doyle, however, felt Houdini’s effort was pointless – even though mediums could pull of tricks doesn’t necessarily mean they did. The two never agreed on the subject. Doyle soon claimed Houdini wasn’t actually a skeptic at all – that he was using spirit powers to pull off his spectacular magic. Houdini risked revealing his own secrets to debunk Doyle’s claim. The friendship between the two started to erode.