The Ghost Accordion of Daniel Dunglas Home
Wikipedia turned this up as I was looking for something else (quickly forgotten when I read about this guy): I really should save this for Halloween, but what the heck.
Back in the 1870s in whatever you call Victorian America (no queen, hmm?) this guy Daniel Home was a famous clairvoyant member of the spiritualist movement, knocking on tables to speak with the dead and all that. Arthur Conan Doyle supported him, Houdini singled him out as a fraud.
Home was perhaps unique because part of his supernatural schtick was that he played a ghost accordion! (Unless it was ghosts that played it, you know, magically by having him play it for them, magically.)
Apparently he would hold the accordion with one hand in a basket under the table and it would play tunes, with the help of ghosts. I do not know what he would do if the ghosts he was paid to contact did not play accordion. Sort of limited his clientele I expect.
Not only could he play the accordion under the table with one hand, but I suspect he could also play it behind his head, and with his teeth, and light it on fire, but I have not confirmed those. The best bet seems to be that he had a very small harmonica in his mouth that he might help the ghosts out with. Somebody should totally revive his act and bring it to our Accordion Noir Festival. That’d be awesome.
Daniel Dunglas Home, Spiritualist Accordionist.
A little March treat from us and Wikipedia to you.
[Updated Mar 27, 2014 because I spelled his middle name wrong.]