Fay, William M. (1839– )
Nineteenth-century medium who took part in stage demonstrations
by the Davenport brothers, which were claimed to be
caused by spirit agency. He was born in Darmstadt, Germany,
and emigrated to the United States at age 11. Fay claimed that
he initially experienced physical mediumship while residing
with his widowed mother in Buffalo, New York, and that the
phenomena led to his association with the Davenports. He took
part in their performances, which involved rapid release from
rope tying.
An exposure of Fay as fraudulent, published in the Toronto
Globe during 1864, was later proved unfounded, since he was
not in America at the time and had been confused with H. Melville
Fay, husband of the claimed medium Annie Eva Fay.
Sources
Houdini, Harry. A Magician Among the Spirits. New York
Harper & Brothers, 1924. Reprinted as Houdini A Magician
Among the Spirits. New York Arno Press, 1972.