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Ripley: Believe it or not

The history of witchcraft and magic have been of strong personal interest to me ever since I read Glen David Gold’s wonderful book Carter Beats the Devil which is a fictitious account of an early 20th-century stage magician in America. It was at this time, and most importantly during the great depression, that stage magic became more popular than ever as a form of entertainment and escapism – in both a metaphysical and a literal sense, as popularised by the notorious escape artist Houdini.

This documentary attempts to explain the phenomenon that swept America in the early 1900s.