January 21, 1854
In Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Russia, Palladino seemed to display extraordinary powers in the dark: levitating and elongating herself, "apporting" flowers, materializing the dead, producing spirit hands and faces in wet clay, levitating tables, playing musical instruments under the table without contact, directly communicating with the dead through her spirit guide John King, etc. It was expensive to watch one of her performances.
Many Europeans regarded Palladino as a genuine Spiritualist medium, claiming that she did not employ the standard deceptions used by fraudulent mediums. As late as 1926, eight years after her death, Arthur Conan Doyle in his History of Spiritualism praised the psychic phenomena and spirit materializations that she had produced.
In the United States, she was described as a medium who resorted to trickery when her alleged talents failed her. As time passed, Palladino's alleged powers began to diminish. Her supporters claimed that it was because she was growing older, not because of the tighter controls demanded by conjurors (magicians) and the scientific community, or the many times she was eventually caught cheating.
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- ↑ Conjuring by James Randi (1992)