Skeptic: Telephone to the Dead; January 2009; Scientific American Magazine; by Michael Shermer; 1 Page(s)
¿Is Matthew there?¿ asked Cheyenne, directing her voice toward the box on the table in hopes that her brother would come through from the other side. ¿Yes,¿ the reply came. With the connection ¿validated,¿ Cheyenne shakily continued: ¿Was the suicide a mistake?¿ The speaker crackled, ¿My death was a mistake.¿ With tears cascading down her cheeks, Cheyenne asked to speak with her mother, and when the connection was made she sputtered out, ¿Do you see my children, your beautiful grandchildren?¿ Mom replied, ¿Yes. I see the children.¿
Cheyenne¿s life-affirming messages were coming out of Thomas Edison¿s ¿Telephone to the Dead¿¿or at least a facsimile of a rumored machine that the great inventor never built. It was just one of many readings that day (at $90 a pop) conducted by Christopher Moon, senior editor and president of Haunted Times magazine, and part of the spectacle that is Univ-Con, a paranormal conference organized by Ryan Buell, the telegenic host of A&E¿s television unreality series Paranormal State. I was invited to provide some scientific sensibility.