Spiritualism: once a popular topic in popular fiction?

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Spiritualism: once a popular topic in popular fiction?

Post by Left Behind on Sun May 24, 2015 12:03 am

Much in the same 'spirit' (atrocious albeit unintentional pun) that situation comedies like The Honeymooners, and even cartoon shows like The Flintstones, used to portray Dad as being a member of some sort of whacky fraternal lodge. . . but similar shows today never do. . . a reflection on the declining popularity of lodge membership: have you ever noticed the same thing in movies and popular detective literature, 'then' versus 'now', on the portrayal of Spiritualism?

It matters not whether books and movies of the 1930's and 40's gave a positive or negative portrayal to sťances and mediums: the point is that the general reading and movie-going public in that era was sufficiently familiar with the idea of spirit contact that it was more frequently mentioned.

I thought of this recently after reading a couple of Agatha Christie stories from the 1930's: Peril at End House, and The Murder at Hazelmoor.

In End House, the sleuth Hercule Poirot presides over a fake sťance in which the apparent murder victim appears. In Hazelmoor, the information about his murder comes from the victim, in a sťance.

Another one I read recently is the Solar Pons detective tale The Adventure of the Circular Room (1946), where a woman claims to be receiving nocturnal messages from her late husband.

Seances and mediums and alleged messages from the great beyond don't seem to make such frequent appearances in contemporary detective fiction as they did in times past.


Last edited by Left Behind on Sun May 24, 2015 3:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Spiritualism: once a popular topic in popular fiction?

Post by Wes on Sun May 24, 2015 6:55 am

I do remember an episode of "The Duchess of Duke Street" where a minor character mentioned they were going to a spiritualist meeting, which was rather odd as the comment wasn't questioned or replied to by any other character. Perhaps the scriptwriter was a spiritualist doing some verbal "product placement" Razz
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Re: Spiritualism: once a popular topic in popular fiction?

Post by Left Behind on Sun May 24, 2015 3:55 pm

Is that a newer show but set in an earlier period, Wes?

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Re: Spiritualism: once a popular topic in popular fiction?

Post by Wes on Wed May 27, 2015 8:07 am

Left Behind wrote:Is that a newer show but set in an earlier period, Wes?

I'm afraid not, it was made in the 1970s and the episode in question took place during World War One, perhaps as a reference to people turning to Spiritualism then to try and find out what happened to loved ones lost in action?



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