Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ouija Crime Fighting

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1920-05-26
Ouija Leads Sleuths Right to Liquor Cache

Disconsolate Custome Officers Water Hours in "Tips, Then Spirits Get Busy

How a Ouija board was used to successfully locate a ship with liquor on board, became known than eight of Uncle Sam's custom insprectors yesterday returned from the American steamer Lake Superior, lying at 34 North Wharves.

The "liquor" detail had been out all the morning, with a submarine chaser, boarding American craft, anchored or lying at thier berths, all the way from Port Richmond to Marcus Hook, without so much as getting a whiff of the beverage that cheers.

The hour had come for the detail to go out again on a still hunt for smugglers, but where, that was the burning, sizzling question that demanded an answer. Some one said, "Why nt try the ouija board, just for once?"

"Agreed," said the chief, and from a dark closet some one brought a Ouija board. The first number indicated by the tapping of the planchette was 34. Not satisfied they had the ouija make the planchette repeat the number seven times and each time, it repeated the numerals 34.

"But," the chief said, "there is a 34 North and a 34 Couth Wharves". Again the toy said 34, and like a lot of schoolboys going to ta ball game, they rushed to Walnut street wharf and boarding the submarine chaser was soon alongside the steramer Lake Superior.

Two hours later they returned to 334 Sotuh Second street, bearing 55 bottles of as fine a selection of domestic and imported brands as ever came through the worm of a legalized still in pre-Prohibition times.

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