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What did Harry Houdini, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Horace Greeley have in common? They all believed in the possibility of communicating with the spirits of the dead, a central tenant of the American spiritualism movement, which raged throughout the U.S. from the decade before the Civil War through the early years of the 20th century. Spiritualism was alive and well in Illinois during this time; the prominent and long-running American spiritualist weekly The Religio-Philosophical Journal was published in Chicago from 1865 through 1905. This pamphlet by physician E.W. Stevens recounts the story of a Watseka, Illinois, girl named Lurancy Vennum, whose body, for sixteen weeks in 1878, was supposedly possessed by the spirit of Mary Roff, another Watseka native who had died in a mental institution thirteen years previously.