In 1917, Edward Clodd analyzed the mediumship of the trance medium Gladys Osborne Leonard and came to the conclusion that Leonard had known her séance sitters before she had held the séances, and could have easily obtained such information by natural means. The British psychiatrist Charles Arthur Mercier wrote in his book Spiritualism and Sir Oliver Lodge (1917) that Oliver Lodge had been duped into believing mediumship by trickery and his spiritualist views were based on assumptions and not scientific evidence.
Saint after saint has pointed out the positives of spiritual reading. Reading features rather prominently in the 6th century Rule of St. Benedict. Sundays are to be devoted to reading and meals are to be held in silence, with one of the monks reading to the community. St. Alphonsus Ligouri noted that “we cannot always have access to a spiritual Father for counsel in our actions, and particularly in our doubts; but reading will abundantly supply his place by giving us lights and directions to escape the illusions of the devil and of our own self-love, and at the same time to submit to the divine will.” Many spiritual masters urged reading the lives of the saints for encouragement and models of holiness. Padre Pio recommended spiritual reading in general, but particularly for difficult times in our lives:
The physicist Kristian Birkeland exposed the fraud of the direct voice medium Etta Wriedt. Birkeland turned on the lights during a séance, snatched her trumpets and discovered that the "spirit" noises were caused by chemical explosions induced by potassium and water and in other cases by lycopodium powder. The British medium Isa Northage claimed to materialize the spirit of a surgeon known as Dr. Reynolds. When photographs taken of Reynolds were analyzed by researchers they discovered that Northage looked like Reynolds with a glued stage beard.
You may find it helpful know that what you are experiencing is fairly common, and you aren't alone. Lots of people from all over the political, religious, age, class, race, industry spectrum have pulled me aside to talk about this. (So relax, alright?) It's just something no one wants to discuss because they're afraid everyone will think they're crazy. It's a terrible isolation loop, really. But moving on . . .
The spirit photographer William Hope tricked William Crookes with a fake spirit photograph of his wife in 1906. Oliver Lodge revealed there had been obvious signs of double exposure, the picture of Lady Crookes had been copied from a wedding anniversary photograph, however, Crookes was a convinced spiritualist and claimed it was genuine evidence for spirit photography.