William Cartheuser

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William Cartheuser
Cartheuser smiling at camera while standing at the edge of a body of water dressed in a suit and holding a hat.
Cartheuser (ca. 1927-1935)
Born(1890-01-19)January 19, 1890
DiedFebruary 25, 1966(1966-02-25) (aged 76)
Los Angeles, California

William Cartheuser (1890-2006) was an American spiritualist medium.[1]


Cartheuser originally worked as a mechanic.[2] He became a direct-voice medium who had utilized trumpets in his séances.[1] He was investigated by members of the American Society for Psychical Research. In 1927, he held a séance with Nandor Fodor in New York.[3] Psychical researchers suspected Cartheuser was fraudulent.[1]

In 1928, he conducted séances with the spiritualist Jenny O'Hara Pincock in Ontario, Canada.[4][5] Pincock originally endorsed Cartheuser as a genuine medium but later broke connections, suggesting that he had turned his mediumship into a financial scheme.[5]

Cartheuser was investigated by the psychical researcher Hereward Carrington. He concluded that "a high percentage of fraud enters into the production of Cartheuser's physical phenomena."[6][7]

Psychologist Henry C. McComas who observed Cartheuser at many sittings, detected his trickery. Cartheuser would get up from his chair, move the trumpets and produce all the voices himself.[8]


Cartheuser died February 25, 1966 in Los Angeles, California. He was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.[9]


  1. ^ a b c Anderson, Rodger. (2006). Psychics, Sensitives and Somnambules: A Biographical Dictionary with Bibliographies. McFarland & Company. p. 26. ISBN 978-0786427703
  2. ^ MacComas, Henry C. (1937). Ghosts I Have Talked With. Williams & Wilkins Company. p. 32
  3. ^ Guiley, Rosemary. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits. Guinness Publishing. pp. 124-125
  4. ^ Dagg, Anne Innis. (2001). The Feminine Gaze: A Canadian Compendium of Non-Fiction Women Authors and Their Books, 1836-1945. Wilfrid Laurier University Press. p. 239. ISBN 0-88920-355-5
  5. ^ a b McMullin, Stanley Edward. (2004). Anatomy of a Seance: A History of Spirit Communication in Central Canada. McGill-Queen's University Press. pp. 129-160. ISBN 0-7735-2716-8
  6. ^ Carrington, Hereward. (1946). Chapter Trumpet Mediums. In The Invisible World. New York: The Beechhurst Press.
  7. ^ Shepard, Leslie. (1985). Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. Gale Research Company. p. 210
  8. ^ MacComas, Henry C. (1937). Ghosts I Have Talked With. Williams & Wilkins Company. pp. 49-53
  9. ^ "William H Cartheuser (1890-1966)". Find A Grace. Retrieved 18 July 2018.