Without doubt, the most successful follower of Lulu Hurst is Mrs. Anna Abbott, an American woman who, in 1891, took England and the European continent by storm with her wonderful performances. At that time she attracted the attention of the Prince of Wales, and such scientists as Dr. Oliver Lodge and Professors Crookes, Perry and others were attracted to her séances and were mystified. The newspapers spread her fame broadcast, and one of the prominent English electrical journals attempted, editorially, to account for some of her feats by attributing them to electromagnetism.
Mrs. Abbott performed the several tricks just described together with many others. A friend of mine who saw her in Winnipeg several years ago, when she was first starting out on her career, has described to me since I began writing this article one of her most effective tricks at that time. Holding a stout stick across the palms of her two hands, extended out horizontally before her, with only her two thumbs over the stick, she defied any one to take the stick away from her. The conditions of the test were that no jerking would be allowed, nor should she be lifted from the floor in the attempt to take the stick away. It is needless to say that although several men attempted to take the stick away from her, none succeeded. This certainly seemed very remarkable, for one needs only to think of it to realize how slight a grip even a very strong man can get on a stick when holding it simply by the pressure of the thumbs against the palms of his open hands. I never had seen this trick performed, nor had I tried it before, but bidding my friend place his cane in my hands, just as Mrs. Abbot held it, I asked him to try to take it away. He was totally unable to do so.