Carlos María de Heredia

Carlos María de Heredia (1872-1951) was a Mexican magician and Jesuit priest.

Carlos María de Heredia


Heredia was born in Mexico City and spent his life investigating and exposing the tricks of spiritism.[1] He worked as a professor at the College of the Holy Cross. At the Catholic Club of New York in 1920, he held a mock séance for five hundred people. He showed the audience how easily one could fake mediumship tricks such as the levitation of objects and how easily people can be fooled in the séance room.[2] Heredia had revealed how the fake ectoplasm "spirit hand" was made by using a rubber glove, paraffin and a jar of cold water.[3] The work of Heredia in debunking the tricks of fraudulent mediums has been praised by the skeptic Daniel Loxton.[4]

His book Spiritism and Common Sense (1922) has been described as a "highly critical examination of paranormal phenomena."[5]

Heredia was a friend with the magicians Harry Houdini and John Mulholland.[6] In his Magician Among the Spirits (1924), Houdini cited a fraudulent method that Heredia had used to produce a spirit photograph.[7]


  • Spiritism and Common Sense. New York: P.J. Kenedy & Sons. 1922. OCLC 421406262.
  • True Spiritualism (1924)
  • Los Fraudes Espiritistas y los Fenómenos Metapsíquicos (1931)
  • The Quest of Ben Hered: Memoirs of a Reporter in the Time of Christ (1947)


  1. ^ Peabody, J. L. (June 1923). "Spirit Pictures and a Speaking Skull". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 39, no. 6. pp. 817–820.
  2. ^ Samuel, Lawrence R. (2011). Supernatural America: A Cultural History. Praeger. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-313-39900-8
  3. ^ "Spirit Hands, "ectoplasm," and Rubber Gloves". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 40, no. 1. Hearst Magazines. July 1923. pp. 14–15.
  4. ^ Loxton, Daniel (January 22, 2013). "Same Darkness, Same Light". Skepticblog.
  5. ^ Rooney, David M. (2009). The Wine of Certitude: A Literary Biography of Ronald Knox. Ignatius Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-313-39899-5 "A highly critical examination of paranormal phenomena published in 1922 by C.M. de Heredia, a Mexican Jesuit and former magician who earned some fame as a debunker of Spiritualist phenomena."
  6. ^ "El jesuita mexicano que fotografiaba espíritus - CSI". 16 May 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  7. ^ Houdini, Harry. (1924). A Magician Among The Spirits. Harper and Brothers. p. 114

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