The famed spirtualist Woodhull sisters counted Cornelius Vanderbilt among their most ardent supporters. When, Vanderbilt one day resolved to seek financial advice from his deceased friend Jim Fiske, Victoria Woodhull agreed to contact his spirit. During the seance, however, she first materialized the spirit of Vanderbilt's dead wife, Sophia.

Was Vanderbilt delighted by Woodhull's surprise? Not exactly. "Business before pleasure," he declared. "Let me speak to Jim."

[Vanderbilt, an insomniac and longtime believer in the occult, was unable to fall asleep unless each leg of his bed was planted in a dish filled with salt -- to kept out evil spirits.]

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