Lady Wonder with her letter board.

Do you believe people can be telepathic? What about animals?  In 1951, the police in Quincy, Massachusetts, were on the verge of abandoning their months-long search for four-year-old Danny Matson. In desperation, they turned to Mrs. Claudia Fonda and her twenty-seven-year-old psychic mare, Lady Wonder.

Lady Wonder was already famous. Each day, from noon to three, her stall was open to visitors and she would answer three questions for a dollar. According to her followers (and there were many), the mare could predict the outcome of horseraces, boxing matches, and even presidential elections, by spelling out answers on her letter board. (This board consisted of tin letters attached to an iron bar. Lady Wonder operated it by touching the letter levers with her nose.)

When the Massachusetts police questioned the horse about the whereabouts of Danny, Lady Wonder spelled out “Pittsfield Water Wheel.” Since there was no Pittsfield Water Wheel in the area, the police decided to search Pit Field Wilde Water Quarry, where they found the little boy’s body.  Later, in 1955, she also helped to find the corpse of a three-year-old Indiana boy named Ronnie Weitcamp.

So, was Lady Wonder truly psychic, or was she just an extremely well trained and lucky entertainer? According to the parapsychologist J.B. Rhine of Duke University, Lady Wonder had a bond of telepathy with humans. However, the illusionist Milbourne Christopher maintained that the well-trained mare was reacting to cues from her owner.

What do you think? I’m curious!