wildly curious
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Man Who Captured Lincoln's Ghost

Mary Todd Lincoln with Abraham Lincoln's "spirit" behind her.
Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana

William Mumler was a 19th-century photographer who took portraits of people and the ghosts of their departed. And he made a good living at it until he was arrested for fraud. (Rebroadcast)

RadioWest divider.


Americans after the Civil War yearned for signs from the other side, and that’s where the Spiritualist movement stepped in. But William Mumler didn’t just knock on tables and walls. He was a photographer who captured faint images of ghosts caressing those they had left behind. And he made a good living at it until he was arrested as a fraud. Historian Peter Manseau joins us to tell Mumler’s story and the story of a nation clinging to belief. (Rebroadcast)

Peter Manseau is a writer and historian. He’s curator of American religious history at The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. His book is called The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man Who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost. [Indie bookstores|Amazon|Audible]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Related Content