The Medium Exposed?; or, a Modern Spritualistic Seance (1906)

UK, 1906
black and white
silent

A British fantasy film directed by J.H. Martin.

Plot Summary

A group of men expose a fake medium’s duplicity and take their revenge. The notion of a fake medium exposed by the diligence of their less gullible clientele was a staple of early British horror cinema and its roots lie in the stage acts of two British stage conjurers, Maskelyne and Cooke. In the 1860s, the duo had begun to include in their acts routines which debunked the claims of the Davenport Brothers, fellow performers who billed themselves as the “American spiritualist mediums.” Maskelyn and Cooke (billing themselves the “anti-spiritualists”) took great delight in exposing the Davenport’s claims to be in touch with the dead and gleefully debunked their fake seances. Ian Christie, in his book The Last Machine: Early Cinema and the Birth of the Modern World has claimed that the Maskelyn and Cooke stage shows also influenced the work of Georges Méliès.

Credits

Crew
Director: J.H. Martin
Producer: R.W. Paul