Lulu Hurst, also known by stage names such as “The Georgia Wonder” and “The Electric Girl”, began performing as a stage magician when she was only 14 years old. She said that she gained a mysterious power that she called the “Force” during an electrical storm in 1883. This power allowed her to perform amazing feats of physical strength. Lulu dazzled American audiences with her act. The Electric Girl performed for only two years during the early 1800s. Before she passed away in 1950, she wrote a tell-all autobiography admitting that her “powers” were due to her knowledge of deflection of force and the application of body mechanics. Still, she was a legend! We hope you enjoy this electrifying tale.
Fun Facts About Lulu Hurst
1Lulu Hurst was born in 1869 as Lula Hurst. However, she was called Lulu more often.
2Most of Lulu’s feats of strength were based on the principles of the lever and fulcrum.
3Lulu’s audience loved her. At one show a woman stood up and screamed, “Glory to God! The Great Jehovah! I’ll go to Lulu Hurst! I’ll come to you, Lulu! I’ll go to Lulu Hurst! God bless you, Lulu! God bless you!”
4Lulu Hurst retired at age 16 and married her manager, Paul Atkinson.
5The home Lulu shared with her husband, The Jessup-Atkinson House, is a popular home to tour when Madison GA has its historic gardens and homes tour.
Read the Transcript of This Stories, Secrets & Sagas Episode
Amidst the southern charm of Madison, Georgia, lies the story of a mysterious woman with unspeakable powers…her name was Lulu Hurst.
There was nothing unusual about Lulu Hurst when she was born in 1869 in rural Polk County, Georgia. But, by the age of 14, she was mystifying people around the country with unbelievable acts of power.
According to her autobiography, it all began on a stormy night on September 18th, 1883.
Lulu and her cousin were frightened by the severity of an evening storm and lay awake waiting for it to pass. Suddenly, they were startled by a “quick, muffled, popping sound that, on the instant, seemed to come from anywhere or nowhere.”
The room was searched and it was determined that this noise came from the electricity in the air from the storm. But the sound never went away, and soon, the house became an attraction for many curious minds.
But the “Force” as it was called, was inside Lulu and according to her book, “When I placed my hands upon a chair which was held firmly by another person, or any number of persons, it became uncontrollable…Several strong men attempted to hold it with my hands upon it. They tore that chair rung from rung and post from pillar trying to hold it. They swung all their weight on it, they braced against it, - they pulled off their coats and wrestled with the ‘unknown power’…”
Once word got out about Lulu’s strange powers, people started flocking to the family home in search of wonder. Four months later, Lulu was performing in Atlanta as “The Electric Girl.”
From there, Lulu toured Georgia and then the country and to thousands of people.
The public was astounded and amazed. And then, as quickly as it began, it was over. Lulu announced that after two years of fame, she was finished and would be retiring.
Her followers were shocked.
On February 8, 1897 she married her manager, Paul Atkinson, and the couple settled into normalcy in the peaceful town of Madison, Georgia.
So, whatever happened to the Lulu, The Electric Girl?
It turns out she wrote a tell-all autobiography in 1897, which basically told of manipulation of natural laws on her behalf. There were no magnetic or electrical or spiritual powers aiding her…just the ability to use physics and delusion. As Lulu writes, “When I was on the stage it was always astonishing to me how easily people were deluded, and led away from the path of reason, and how prone they were to allow themselves to become victims of their imagination and superstition.”
Lulu passed away in 1950 at the age of 81. Over her short career, she had earned up to $100,000. In today’s equivalent, that’s about $1 million.
We’ll see you next time on Stories, Secrets and Sagas.
Visit Madison GA
Visit Madison GA to see The Jessup-Atkinson House and the old historic cemetery where Lulu and her husband, Paul, are buried.