Girls Who Survived Without Eating
In Victorian times, if you wanted to have your faith strengthened by seeing something miraculous, you needed only to go make a trip to see one of several "fasting girls." This girls were said to live for years on end without eating anything, and they also sometimes boasted of other powers. Every one of these girls were frauds. You might notice we provide no source saying that they were all frauds, because the only source you need is the knowledge that people need food to survive, duh.
via Wiki Commons
They ate food when visitors weren't looking. This isn't a hard mystery to solve.
Frauds or not, the girls attracted visitors who gave gifts and donations, or sometimes, the entrance would be guarded by a more traditional huckster who charged admission. Watching someone not eat couldn't have made for great entertainment, but these were simpler times. And even today, you get people willing to, say, throw money at streamers who don't do much of anything, so if you gave those people today the chance to go into a private home and watch a teenager lie in bed, they'd throw dollar bills in your face.
Okay, that might not be fair of us to draw a connection there. We don't see any record officially saying people found these girls at all attractive. They weren't healthy anyway, from spending years on end wasting away in bed. And they did occasionally put on more of a show than just lying there. Take Mollie Flancher. She spent a total of 16 years in bed following an accident with a horse, and after an early period of spasms and trances, people said her mind had become free and gained psychic powers. A bandage over her eye, she'd be able to describe objects visitors carried with them, describe events outside the house, or even read letters in sealed envelopes. Here too, we are let down by the official record, with no one laying for us exactly how she did all this, so we've got to pick our own explanation. Maybe someone else fed info to her by tapping on her arm or something. Maybe she wasn't as blind as people said.
via Wiki Commons
Maybe she always guessed wrong but people were too polite to correct her.