|Psychic investigators, 1897
Eugène Rochas Papers, APS
Across the Atlantic, however, William Mumler's spirit photographs inspired a different reaction. Shortly after Mumler's photographs first surfaced The Photographic Journal of London published an enthusiastic article on the new fantastic graphic trend followed by letters supporting Mumler's claim that the spirit photographs were authentic and that he was not a fraud but a reluctant medium. The journal while encouraging a cautious approach, at the same time also acknowledged that these photographs were the start of something big, alleging that "No single phenomenon could possibly awaken deeper interest than will follow this new revelation..."
Some maintain that while the general population was fascinated with spirit photography, they were not shocked by it. Some saw spirit photography as validation of their belief in Spiritualism, a movement that had started just before the mid-nineteenth century and was quickly gaining popularity. The Spiritualism religion or movement endorsed the theory that the human spirit lived on and that one could communicate with the dead through channeling and mediumship.