Calvin B. Braganza, mystic
by Alton H. Blackington, ca.1930
Calvin B. Braganza wore mystery well. Even the most basic facts about Braganza's background are scattered and uncertain. A scouring of city directories, census, and other records, hints that he might have been born at some time between 1887 and 1889 (or perhaps a decade earlier), in either Goa (India), California, or New Mexico, and in the 1930 census, he reported having been raised speaking Tuscarora.
Braganza first surfaced as a clairvoyant in the city directory for Fitchburg, Mass., from 1915 to 1917, and from 1924 to 1933, he was plying his craft in Boston as a metaphysical practitioner -- a phrenologist, astrologer, seer, and teacher. When he registered for the draft in 1941, having moved on to New Jersey, Braganza listed his occupation as a "Consultant, psychologist, and publicist." Wherever he was, he claimed an impressive array of degrees from hard-to-verify metaphysical colleges, and he reportedly founded several occult organizations, none of which are easily traced.
While Braganza was making plans for a 1930 World Occult Congress, claiming to have issued thousands of invitations, Walter Franklin Prince of the American Society for Psychical Research slammed his "pure rot and chicanery," predicting a couple of dozen attendees, not a couple of thousand. Wherever truth and fiction met with Braganza, one truth seems more certain: Braganza died in New Jersey in April 1956.