Talking To Spirits: The Lily Dale Assembly
Is Death Just A Transition?
A Spiritualist By Definition
Someone who through their religious beliefs, upheld in the faith that everyone must accept individual responsibility for their life which is in continum. Some of these Spiritualists are believed to be Mediums and/or Healers. The ideology of the Spiritualists is to attempt to find the truth in all things, and to try to live their lives in that truth.
What Is Spiritualism?
"Spiritualism" is a religion that not many have heard much about in the past 50- 60 years or so. In the mid twentieth century Spiritualism was fashionably popular, boasting a thriving estimation of millions of members worldwide.
For the Spiritualists, the strongest basis of their belief system is that death, in the practical sense, doesn't exist. To the Spiritualist faithful death is just a transition; the deceased are still around us and active in our lives. The passed-on are called Spirit, not ghost. To the Spiritualitist the word "ghost" is to be looked down upon and avoided. A spirit is willing to communicate with those still in the physical plane, and are believed to do so through mediums.
Spiritualists generally believe in a God in much the same way as those in Christianity do. The major difference between a Christian and a Spiritualist is that Spiritualist mediums will give readings on past lives, though a belief in reincarnation is not an official belief for the Spiritualist's religion. Many of it's members believe in souls having multiple incarnations, but many Spiritualists do not. Church services are held in the religion, but members of the church speak openly as though delivering messages from Spirit during the church gatherings.
What Is Lily Dale?
An early group of Spiritualists bought some land in New York state, and named the grounds Lily Dale, after the abundance of water lilies on the lake. Lily Dale wasn't just a campsite, but also a meeting area where Spiritualists could come and discuss their beliefs; as well as practice their healing and mediumship. The grounds grew to become the world's largest center of modern Spiritualism.
The Lily Dale Assembly of Pomfret, New York, was established in 1879 as a gated community for members of the religion. To this day Lily Dale is residence to mediums, healers and members. During a few months in the summer, Lily Dale opens its gates, and thousands of people flock to this tiny town to get readings from the mediums. Many of these outside people also join the open sessions in hopes of being picked from the crowd, to have a message delivered to them. Classes are taught in Lily Dale, in everything from mediumship to energy healing. Spiritualism has been called by scholars, " a new religious movement, that has its roots in ancient traditions." While Spiritualism is not as popular as it once was. The religion is still, if not a rapidly growing influential movement today.
Lily Dale - Phantom Tour 13 Most Haunted Places
The Origins of Spiritualism: Kate and Margaret Fox
The Birth Of Modern Spiritualism
The modren Spiritualist movement is said to have been started in Hydesville, New York, a town near Rochester. When two young girls, the Fox sisters, on March 31, 1848, Margaret and Kate Fox claimed that, through rapping, tapping, knocking sounds, the girls had made contact with the deceased. The physical evidence of knocking spirit grabbed the attention, and the imagination of the scientific-minded American public. The two sisters, accompanied by their older sister Leah became a sensation overnight. This modern-take of an older based religion became popular especially with the women of the era. The thought of contacting those that have passed-on through trance, or channeling and recieving messages from the beyond was exciting, paticularly to the wealthy.
Later, Margaret Fox said they had made it all up, but years later the sisters retracted the statement, leaving many confused and skeptical. But even without Kate and Margaret Fox the religion of Spiritualism kept on rising steadily, until the 1920s, because of bad publicity and fraud claims.
Spiritualism today is gradually gaining ground once again, with thanks to novels, many paranormal television shows, as well as a public interest, "in life beyond this realm." The believers of Spiritualism, say they are able to contact the spirits of the departed through gifted members of the group, called mediums (the word psychics is not used).
In 1916, the infamous Fox family cottage was moved from Hydesville to Lily Dale, where the Spiritualists of America held their annual camp meetings. Since the addition of the cottage, the community of Lily Dale had grown steadily. The Fox cottage was destroyed by fire in 1955, but Lily Dale continued to prosper.
Lily Dale has evolved into an industry based on contact with the spirit world. They offer a full program of summer workshops in topics ranging from astrology, paranormal investigation, past-life regression, channeling the "higher mind", intuitive medicine, Reiki, Falun Dafa, and using sweat lodges.
Spiritualist Village of Lily Dale, New York
Some Unique Experiences And Attractions
The Lily Dale Fairy Trail is marked by pink fairies on the trees. The trail has fairy houses, gnome homes and small villages located along the trail. The Fairy Trail shares part of the hiking trail for the Woodland Heritage, winding through the woods and offering natural beauty.
The Forest Temple is an area of extraordinary tranquility. It has been used as a site for meditation, prayer and connection to the world of Spirit since 1894.
Inspiration Stump is the site of some of the most profound spiritual energy in all of Lily Dale. It is not unusual for visitors to the Stump to experience a strong sense of heightened awareness and profound peace.
Dedicated spiritual healing, the Healing Temple was opened in 1955. It has remained a place of peace for all those who come to renew their energies through healing or quiet meditation and prayer. It is home to the Lily Dale Spiritualist Church.
Lakeside Assembly Hall
Since the 1880’s, the Assembly Hall has been a hub of activity in the community. Many portraits of the historical leaders in the Spiritualist Movement grace its walls. It is now the home of the Church of the Living Spirit.
Lily Dale Auditorium
The Lily Dale Auditorium is the historical center of Lily Dale and has been the scene of many remarkable events.
Marion Skidmore Library
The Marion Skidmore Library contains the largest collection of rare Spiritualist and metaphysical books in the world. Because the books are irreplaceable, they may not be taken from the premises. A reading room is available for research and study.
There is a place that honors the bond between people and their pets. Pets also find peace and joy in the afterlife, but remain connected to their beloved people still on the physical plane.
Fox Cottage (burned down in 1955)
The Fox cottage was considered so important to the religion that it was moved to Lily Dale in 1915 and set up as a shrine to Spiritualism. In 1955 a fire destroyed the cottage, but some artifacts were saved and can still be seen in the Lily Dale Museum.