The Spirit World and Lizzie Gasser

In July of 1900, the New York Times reported that Miss Lizzie Gasser of our village was in Chicago, where a convention of mediums was being held, on the trail of two spirit mediums who had separated her from a large sum of money.

Miss Gasser’s misfortune began in Syracuse, where she met a woman named Mrs. Williams, who claimed to be a medium. The lady, in turn, introduced Miss Gasser to her “son,” who agreed to tell her fortune. The Times noted:

“The son, who was an adroit talker, looked into the future and announced that she was soon to fall heir to a large fortune. In order to secure this money, however, he told Miss Gasser she would have to pay them $11,000.”

Miss Gasser, possessed of a surplus of trust, and not one to pass up a large fortune, parted with a small one. Predictably, the “mediums” disappeared. The newly shorn Miss Gasser contacted the Syracuse police, with no result. But after reading a newspaper article about a convention of mediums in Chicago, and ever the optimist, she traveled west hoping to find the couple. In the absence of a follow-up from the Times, we can only guess how she fared.

* * *

“Says Mediums Got $11,000. Woman Victim of Skaneateles, N.Y., Searching Chicago for Swindlers” The New York Times, July 27, 1900

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