Canadian-born author, lecturer, astrologer and mystic Manly Hall was born on March 18, 1891. Hall is best known for his 1928 work The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Over his 70 year career, he gave thousands of lectures, including two at Carnegie Hall, and published over 150 volumes. In 1934, he founded The Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, which he dedicated to the “Truth Seekers of All Time,” with a research library, lecture hall and publishing house. See a video about Manly Hall at this link.
According to Mitch Horowitz, author of the critically acclaimed Occult America,the origins of the device known today as the Ouija Board can be traced back to the late 19th Century — although not reliably further back than that. Horowitz cites a March 28, 1886 article appearing in the Sunday supplement of the New York Daily Tribune entitled “A Mysterious Talking Board and Table over Which Northern Ohio is Agitated.” The article included an illustration and description of an early talking board very similar to today’s version.
On March 31, 1848 — a watershed date in American séance history — Kate and Margaret, just 12 and 15 years old, conducted the first American séance.
Allen Kardec, the 19th Century founder of “Spiritism” and a man who changed the course of Latin American religious movements, died on March 31, 1869.
Professor Black Herman died on April 17, 1934, while on tour in Louisville, Kentucky. In an obituary, The New York Age, a leading African American newspaper, described him as one of Harlem’s most colorful characters — a magician, seer, herb specialist and fortune teller; a man who, among his followers, “had risen to the standing of god whom they expect to rise out of his grave.”