Fox, in her later years noted:- "They [the
neighbors] were convinced that some one had been murdered in the
house. They asked the spirits through us about it and we would rap
one for the spirit answer 'yes,' not three as we did afterwards.
The murder they concluded must have been committed in the house.
They went over the whole surrounding country trying to get the
names of people who had formerly lived in the house. Finally they
found a man by the name of Bell, and they said that this poor
innocent man had committed a murder in the house and that the
noises had come from the spirit of the murdered person. Poor Bell
was shunned and looked upon by the whole community as a
The two women were sent to sibling
homes, Kate to Leah's and Margaret to their brother David's home.
The Fox parents felt it might be good for them to get away from
the fervor that the rappings had caused in an ever-expanding area
Unfortunately sending them away
wasn't the answer. The goings-on followed them. This,
of course, convinced everyone that the mediums were genuine and
the contact with spirits was very much real. Friends of the
family, Amy and Isaac Post, Quakers, had the girls visit their
"In this way, appeared the
association between Spiritualism and radical political causes such
as abolition, temperance and equal rights for women."
By mid 1850, the girls had
channeled for both famous and not famous people of the time,
conducting sťances and spirit communication. The sisters
began to travel in circles of high society because of their
apparent gift of talking to the dead. Wine drinking and late
nights took their toll on the women.
In the fifties, Margaret married a
man named Kane, a skeptic who tried to keep her from her sisters
by moving her away and having her convert to Roman Catholicism.
After Kane's death however, she returned to her sister Kate in
England and the mediums continued.
Kate's husband passed away in 1881, leaving her with two kids.
William Crookes, a scientist of
some note between '71 and '74, said that Kate was a powerful
medium, producing raps with authenticity.
"I have tested them in
every way that I could devise, until there has been no escape from
the conviction that they were true objective occurrences not
produced by trickery or mechanical means." Crookes
In later years, both Margaret and
Kate drank far too much, causing Leah and other spiritualists to
be concerned for her children. The sisters feuded with Leah
and took money for a confession of fraud and Margaret was seduced
by the offer. She went into detail about how her toe joints
caused the crackings and rappings, that she and Kate had devised
methods to convince those attending that the messages were real.
Within five years of Margaret's
recanting of her expose, both sisters were dead, in pauper's
graves, turned away by former followers and friends.