Friday, 10 July 2009

Lily Dale

I've just finished reading the book "Lily Dale: the true story of the town that talks to the dead". The reason I had decided to read it was because Lily Dale is a familiar name to me.

My Great-Grandmothers, Grandmother, Mother and Aunts have all been to Lily Dale multiple times. I had heard stories of what spiritualists have told them and which were the preferred and trusted mediums of the town; a reading with one of the best can cost up to $200 per hour. I myself have never been inclined to have a reading and I don't ever foresee myself wanting one, but I do find it all intensely interesting.

The town is located approximately 1 hour south of Buffalo, New York off of the Interstate 90. Founded in 1879, Lily Dale is the oldest spiritualist community in the United States.

In the early 20th century spiritualism became very popular, almost fashionable in America. Many famous people made their way to Lily Dale, including Harry Houdini and Mae West- who was a regular client of a renowned medium of the time named Jack Kelly. Kelly once drove from Buffalo to Lily Dale blind folded, or so it is said. Also, many modern mediums including John Edward and James Van Praagh have visited.

Lily Dale is still going today, however it is mostly a summer community (you must be a spiritualist in order to own a home in the village). In 1949 the town outlawed physical mediumship, which is defined by the use of: raps, loud noises, material objects, spirit photographs (see above), levitation, dimly lit rooms, spirit cabnets and spirit trumpets.

You can visit the official Lily Dale website at

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