Phantoms, Fraud, and Photography

October 20, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
$5 general; Free to members of sponsoring organizations
Salem Athenaeum

Join us for a spirited book talk in the iconic gothic chapel at Harmony Grove with Peter Manseau, award-winning author and Curator of Religion for the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

More than just a ghost story, this is a portrait of a young nation struggling to separate fact from fiction. Manseau details the trial of William H. Mumler, the “spirit photographer” who claimed he could take pictures of the souls of the dead, along with the battlefield exploits of Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner, the fathers of photojournalism who created frauds of their own. These stories offer a view of our nation’s obsession with the afterlife and our reluctance to choose science over fantasy.

Following the talk, books will be available for sale and signing.

Reservations are strongly recommended. Admission is $5 and free for members of the hosting organizations.

The event is hosted by Harmony Grove Cemetery, the Salem Athenaeum, and the Salem Historical Society.