Cart 0
Through a Glass, Darkly is a terrific book, lively, well-researched, and a great way to catch up on one of the strangest, most mysterious, and largely forgotten moments in American history. Focusing on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who risked everything to prove that life after death exists, is a brilliant way to present the larger story of spiritualism.
— Christine Wicker, New York Times best-selling author

Through a Glass, Darkly

Written by Stefan Bechtel and Laurence Roy Stains

Is it possible to make direct contact with the dead?

Is it possible to make direct contact with the dead? Do the departed seek to make contact with us? The conviction that both things are true was the cornerstone of spiritualism, a kind of do-it-yourself religion that swept the Western world from the 1850s to the 1930s. Prominent artists and poets, prime ministers and scientists, all joined hands around the séance table. But the movement's most famous spokesman by far was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose public quarrels with Houdini over the truth of spiritualism made headlines across the country.

Known to the world as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle had undergone what many considered an enigmatic transformation, turning his back on the hyper-rational Holmes and plunging into the supernatural. What was it that convinced a brilliant man, the creator of the great exemplar of cold, objective thought, that there was a reality beyond reality?

Though most modern sources make Conan Doyle out to be a kindly but credulous old fool, and though the spiritualist era was rife with fraud, Stefan Bechtel and Laurence Roy Stains take a closer look. They reexamine the old records of trance mediums and séances, and they discover that what Conan Doyle and his colleagues uncovered is as difficult to dismiss now as it was then.

The book is published by St. Martin's Press and is availble for purchase online and in your favorite bookstore.


Videos from Through A Glass, Darkly



Read an Excerpt from Through a Glass, Darkly

Through a Glass, Darkly is a wonderful read, covering the key events of both spiritualism and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life with gusto. It is consistently entertaining, and, more important, thought provoking.


Purchase Through a Glass, Darkly on Amazon, in hardcover or for your digital device.