Cartheuser, William (ca. 1930)

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Cartheuser, William (ca. 1930)

American direct voice medium. His father was a photo engraver who had lived near Vienna, and his mother was of Hungarian origin. Cartheuser was taken to Europe as a child and lived in Besztercze, Transylvania, until age 16, when the family returned to the United States. During the 1930s, Cartheuser resided at the famous Lily Dale Spiritualist Center in New York State.

Malcolm Bird reported in Psychic Research (1927, p. 166) on two series of séances that Cartheuser gave in October 1926 to the American Society for Psychical Research. He found that one of the voice communicators was actually a living person. Cartheuser's voice mediumship was also investigated by noted researcher Dr. Nandor Fodor in 1927 at the house of medium Arthur Ford in New York. Fodor noted that although Cartheuser had a harelip, there was no impediment in the voices manifesting during a trumpet séance. Finally, Cartheuser was investigated by Hereward Carrington, who concluded that "a high percentage of fraud enters into the production of Cartheuser's physical phenomena."

In 1933 nine gramophone recordings of Cartheuser's mediumship were made at the studios of the World Broadcasting Company in New York. The "spirit voices" were so loud that engineers had to ask for them to be lowered. Some voices were recorded by a microphone at ceiling level.


Carrington, Hereward. The Invisible World. New York: The Beechhurst Press; B. Ackerman Inc., 1946.

Pincock, Mrs. J. O'Hara. The Traits of Truth. N.p., 1930.