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Ada Maud Besinnet Roche


 Spiritualist medium

An internationally known medium and very popular with Toledo's aristocrats, Besinnet was known for materializing 'phantom' faces, producing voices and 'psychic' lights in her séances. Researchers found the phantom faces suspicious, commenting that they had a strong resemblance to her own face.


Despite the doubters, Sir Author Conan Doyle visited with Besinnet twice in Toledo to participate in her séances. 

Besinnet refused to sit with the magician Harry Houdini after he offered her $10,000 if, after attending three of her séances, he could not figure out how she staged her phony sessions. After seeking Doyle’s advice, she ignored Houdini’s offer. Houdini's offer created a rift between him and Doyle that never healed.

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