Are Seances Real?
Are Seances real? Pat and Rebecca conclude their séance series with Mary Todd Lincoln. While at the White House, Mary Lincoln famously hosted at least 8 seances. She also attended many more throughout her tragic life. Do they prove that seances are real?
Questions Explored in this Episode
Who was Mary Todd Lincoln? What was her childhood like? How did she and Lincoln meet, break up, yet still get married? What was she like as First Lady? How did tragedy shape Mary Lincoln’s life? Why did she go to seances? What interested her in Spiritualism? Why was Spiritualism so popular during the Civil War? What happened at the seances she attended? Did President Lincoln ever attend a séance? Was she able to speak to those she lost?
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History of Mary Todd Lincoln
Pat dives into the fascinating history of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln. From how she and Abe Lincoln met to how she dealt with tragic loss throughout her life, Pat helps us better understand a misunderstood, important figure in history.
The Debate on Lincoln
Rebecca and Pat debate several instances of seances around Mary Todd Lincoln and her husband President Abraham Lincoln. Once her son Willie died while they were in the White House, Mary started to speak with mediums and people in the spiritualist movement. Was she able to reach her sons and husband after they died?
Find out what listeners said for the Houdini Séance episode with Jacob Mayfield – Are seances real? Still need to listen to our previous episode? Check it out here.
Ghostly Book Club
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Sources for this Week’s Episode
White House History: https://www.whitehousehistory.org/seances-in-the-red-room
Smithsonian Magazine: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-spiritualist-who-warned-lincoln-was-also-booths-drinking-buddy-180954317/
Lincoln Cottage: https://www.lincolncottage.org/mary-lincolns-seance-at-the-soldiers-home/
The History Reader: https://www.thehistoryreader.com/us-history/spiritualists-lincolns-white-house/
The Search for Life After Death: https://thesearchforlifeafterdeath.com/2016/07/04/seances-in-abraham-lincolns-whitehouse/
The Lincoln Collection: https://lincolncollection.tumblr.com/post/90364316649/the-lincolns-and-the-spiritualists
Music for this episode was performed by Michael Rivers
Intro: “III. Allegro moderato from Gargoyles” by Lowell Liebermann
Outro: “Dream Images (Love-Death Music)” by George Crumb
Bumper: “Ghost Waltz” by Lowell Liebermann