May 4th, 2020

Who can tell your fortune in old Shanghai?

If you're a foreigner in 1931, you just have to turn to the last page of Shanghai Times and find numerous fortune telling ads scattered between advertisements for electrical and manual massage:

Consult Madame Eve if you are worried and anxious. Know your future. Readings by special Egyptian cards, Palmistry, Horoscopes and Numerology. Appointments phone 32508. Hours: 8–12 noon and 2–9 pm. Guaranteed confidential.

Madame Duval, famous Clairvoyant, Palmist, Crystal Reading, Egyptian Astrology, Tarot. Strictly confidential. 7 Carter Road. Tel. 32358.

Madame Fanchon – "The Woman Who Knows." Take your troubles and perplexities to her. Readings that really help. Try this gifted Clairvoyant and celebrated Psychic. Speaks English, German and Russian. Hours: 2–5 pm and 7–9 pm. 1013 Bubbling Well Road, 2nd floor (entrance at Wha Kee Lane).

And lastly:

Mme. Helen Piper – Clairvoyant, Palmost and Crystal Reader. Ordained medium and graduate from the School of Occult Science of Agra, India. Treatment and instruction given, also reading by mail. Six years phenomenal success here in Shanghai is a guarantee of the genuine power of this gifted woman. If you are not absolutely satisfied with your reading no fee will be taken. 304 Kiangse Road. Tel 17602.

Here she is, in 1927:

Needless to say, all these occultists were of Russian extraction. See my earlier posts on divination, fortunetelling and associated scams.

There were at least two fortune telling agencies in Linda Terrace (833 Avenue Joffre), the most Russian of all lane neighborhoods in Shanghai: