In the 1920s, the building hosted packed meetings where psychics would try to contact the spirits of people who had passed on. One regular visitor was writer Doyle who found solace in the practice after losing his wife Louise in 1906 and his son Kingsley just before the end of the First World War.
“You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Doyle's staunch belief in spiritualism ended of his friendship with magician Harry Houdini, who began to speak out against the practice after the death of his mother. He insisted that mediums used trickery and illusions to fool grieving relatives. But his claims didn't convince Doyle.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Well, spiritualism isn't 'fact'. Those who try to contact their beloved departed need to fulfill something deep inside them. At one time, my neighbor attended spiritualist meetings, longing to hear a message from her dead son. On the other hand, I think fondly of those in my family who have died, sometimes resorting to speaking to them in my mind. I don't know if they're listening. They've probably got better pastimes. Are people so lacking in faith that they need other people's help to make contact with their dearly beloved? If they believe the spirit lives on, why can't they wait until they are reunited?