Seances of the Victorian Era Unveiled - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Seances of the Victorian Era Unveiled

Experience an original stage show that will take us through the history of seance, with a special nod to Harry Houdini's spiritual busting tricks.

Atlas Obscura presents a one-of-a-kind reenactment of an authentic Victorian-era seance in celebration of the birth of one of the world's great acts- Harry Houdini.

Harry Houdini's birthday approaches on March 24th. His legend lives on for his escape acts, but Houdini was also one of the most famous "ghostbuster" of the roaring 20s. Attending seances in disguise, he debunked fraudulent mediums quicker than some of the smartest scientists and academics. In preparation for his birthday, we're crashing our own seance as we reveal some of Houdini's tricks for catching frauds.

This original stage show is put on by Thom Britton of FreakShow & Tell (and costar of our Sideshow and Sleight of Hand series) and Jonathan Pritchard. Using original practices, this performance will take us through the history of the seance, tell stories of the participants and demonstrate the exact techniques used by psychics and mediums who claimed to contact the dead.

It is important to note that The Seance is not an “actual” seance, nor is it a cheesy ghost tour. This seance is a demonstrative performance of historical techniques and tell stories based on the real history of seance shows from the early 1900s. But that doesn’t mean you won’t leave feeling spooked...

This performance will take place in the Charnel House, a former funeral parlor turned theatre space. The gothic interior woodwork of the chapel dates back to 1928 and still features a few relics from its funerary past.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

  • Ages 21+ only.
  • Doors open at 7:30 pm; show begins at 8 pm
  • A cash bar will be open in the lobby with drinks available for purchase.
  • ADA: This venue may not be accessible for all guests. Please contact kirby.barth@atlasobscura.com for additional accessibility information/questions.

QUESTIONS?

Email Kirby Barth at kirby.barth@atlasobscura.com.

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Advance ticket sales only. All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.