May 2, 1910: Duluth clairvoyant arrested in Seattle

On this day in 1910, Duluth Police Chief Chauncy Troyer announced that Seattle police had arrested Madame Mellie, “past grand seeress and prophetess of the moon and all the planets,” who was wanted in Duluth. Chief Troyer considered it doubtful that Duluth police could locate any of her victims, but if they did he promised to bring her back to Duluth to face charges. If classified ads are any indication, Mellie had operated out of 26 Fourth Avenue West from roughly November 1909 to April, 1910. She billed herself as an “Egyptian palmist” and claimed she could tell your entire history, past present, and future, what business you are best adept at, and even who you will marry. Not only that, but she could “explain love affairs and family troubles, [and] unite the separated.” She also promised satisfaction guaranteed or no charge. Mellie had convinced one female “customer” to give her all of the woman’s money and half of her wardrobe, for which she would engineer planetary influence to cure her husband “of the liquor habit.” Mellie was hardly the only “clairvoyant” in Duluth poaching on people’s problems. Mellie had competition from other clairvoyants, including Madam Sterling, Madam Anna, and Madam Vonger, a “real Hindoo” clairvoyant and palmist. Duluth’s male mystics included Professor Gerard, who operated out of the Pabst Hotel at 10 East Superior Street and was apparently good enough to see a person’s future via the mail, and “Carle, the “greatest clairvoyant on earth” who operated at 129 East First Street and advertised his services by claiming, “He calls you by name!” Read about how a “trance medium” swindled a prominent Duluthian here.

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