Letter to Houdini (19 november 1922)

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Letter in A Magician Among the Spirits p. 156-157 (1924)

This letter was written by Arthur Conan Doyle to Houdini on 19 november 1922 from Windlesham, Crowhorough, Sussex.

The letter was published by Houdini in his book A Magician Among the Spirits (1924).


November 19, 1922.

My dear Houdini:—

They sent me the New York Sun with your article and no doubt wanted me to answer it, hut I have no fancy for sparring with a friend in public, so I took no notice.

But none the less, I felt rather sore about it. You have all the right in the world to hold your own opinion, but when you say that you have had no evidence of survival, you say what I cannot reconcile with what I saw with my own eyes. I know, by many examples, the purity of my wife's mediumship, and I saw what you got and what the effect was upon you at the time. You know also you yourself at once wrote down, with your own hand, the name of Powell, the one man who might he expected to communicate with me. Unless you were joking when you said that you did not know of this Powell's death, then surely that was evidential, since the idea that out of all your friends you had chanced to write the name of one who exactly corresponded, would surely be too wonderful a coincidence.

However, I don't propose to discuss this subject any more with you, for I consider that you have had your proofs and that the responsibility of accepting or rejecting is with you. As it is a very real lasting responsibility. However, I have it at last, for I have done my best to give you the truth. I will, however, send you my little book, on the fraud perpetrated upon Hope, but that will be my last word on the subject. Meanwhile, there are lots of other subjects on which we can all meet in friendly converse.

Yours very sincerely,

A. Conan Doyle.