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Anna Eva Fay

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Anna Eva Fay

Cover of Genii (2005)
BornAnn Eliza Heathman
February 3, 1851
Southington, Ohio, USA
DiedMay 12, 1927 (age 76)
Melrose Highlands, Massachusetts
Resting placeWyoming Cemetery, Melrose, Massachusetts

Anna Eva Fay Pingree (1851-1927), born Ann Eliza Heathman in Southington, Ohio, was a Spiritualist popular in vaudeville during the late 1800s, where she billed herself as "The Indescribable Phenomenon".


Between 1870 and 1874 the eminent scientist William Crookes conducted a series of controversial experiments with some of the most remarkable mediums of the age, including Fay whom baffled him.[1]

Washington Irving Bishop, who had worked with her as an assistant and manager, exposed her methods to a newspaper. She was also investigated by Harry Houdini, to whom she eventually admitted many of her tricks, after her retirement. [2] Fay and Houdini would become good friends and he even visited her at her home in Melrose, Massachusetts.[3]

The Magic Circle made her an honorary member, designating her an Honorary Lady Associate, since women at that time were not eligible to be a members.

Her magic tokens are very sought after and listed in Kuethe.

Her son, John Truesdale Fay (1877-?) also had an act with his wife billing themselves as "The Fays."[4]


  4. The Indescribable Phenomenon: The Life and Mysteries of Anna Eva Fay by Barry H. Wiley. Hermetic Press, Inc. (2005)
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  • The Sphinx, Vol. 6, No. 7, September 1907, ANNA EVA FAY AND HER FAMILIAR "SPIRITS", by Henry Hatton, page 82
  • M-U-M, Vol. 56, No. 12, May 1967, Ask the Doctor, by Dr. John Henry Grossman – about Anna Eva Fay, page 31
  • The Linking Ring, Vol. 80, No. 3, March 2000, Vaudeville Magicians, by Bill J Weldon, page 52
  • Cover, Genii Magazine, Vol. 68, No. 4, April 2005, The Early Years of Spiritualism and Anna Eva Fay, by Barry Wiley, page 64
  • Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Vol. 1, (A-L), Fay, Annie Eva (ca. 1855–1927), page 551