In 1966 the son of Bishop Pike committed suicide. After his death, Pike contacted the British medium Ena Twigg for a series of séances and she claimed to have communicated with his son. Although Twigg denied formerly knowing anything about Pike and his son, the magician John Booth discovered that Twigg had already known information about the Pike family before the séances. Twigg had belonged to the same denomination of Bishop Pike, he had preached at a cathedral in Kent and she had known information about him and his deceased son from newspapers.
During a seance, a medium may be the method by which messages are relayed from the spirit world to the guests at the event. While some mediums may enter into a trance-like state, others may be completely awake and fully lucid while passing messages along. Sometimes, particularly if there are a group of fairly magically-aware people at the table, messages might be coming through all over the place, in no particular order. It can feel like the spirit world version of a chat room, with everyone just being bombarded right and left with messages from the other side.
Magicians have a long history of exposing the fraudulent methods of mediumship. Early debunkers included Chung Ling Soo, Henry Evans and Julien Proskauer. Later magicians to reveal fraud were Joseph Dunninger, Harry Houdini and Joseph Rinn. Rose Mackenberg, a private investigator who worked with Houdini during the 1920s, was among the most prominent debunkers of psychic fraud during the mid-20th century.
"Pull a card and put it under your pillow at night. Let the energy of that card seep into your dreams," she said. "Wake up in the morning; observe the card. Read about what its different meanings are. Is it the major arcana or minor? Is it connected to one of the elements - fire (wands), water (cups), air (swords), or earth (pentacles)? Then notice during the day what happens that might have been a sign from the cards. It's pretty cool when you start connecting the messages."