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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Fay, Anna Eva (Anna Eva Heathman, 1851-1927) A spiritualist faker who was very popular in vaudeville in the late 1800s, where she was billed as, “The Indescribable Phenomenon.”
      She attracted the very favorable interest of Sir William Crookes in 1874, but Washington Irving Bishop, who had worked with her as an assistant, chose to expose her methods to a newspaper. She was also investigated by conjuror Harry Houdini, to whom she eventually admitted many of her tricks, after her retirement. The Magic Circle of London, a very prominent organization of conjurors, made her an honorary member, carefully designating her an Honorary Lady Associate, since women at that time were not eligible to be regular members.
      Her son, John Truesdale Fay (1877-?) also had an act with his wife, called simply, “The Fays.” The William H. Fay who worked with the Davenport brothers act was not related to this family of Fays.

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