- Religion and Philosophy
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Where the Spirits Are
APPARENTLY, SUNNY FLORIDA is as popular with the 'Afterlife set' as it is with Joe and Jane Suburbia...
WHAT HAPPENS TO US WHEN WE DIE?
The good folks of the North-East Florida town of Cassadaga offer a no-frills theory: Our personality separates from the physical body; Assumes a new 'astral' body, gains a somewhat expanded view of the universe- and, for the time being, sticks pretty darned close to its loved ones who are still living life on this plane...Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, the freed soul's influence often falls on deaf ears.
However, if the on-living are particularly lucky, perhaps one or more of their loved ones will visit a place like Cassadaga, where the corporeal residents speak to the dead, dispensing wisdom and healing based upon this specialized interaction.
According to those Cassadagans who adhere to the philosophy known as Spiritualism,
THERE IS NO DEATH, THERE ARE NO DEAD
...just infinite life.
Steeped in History
AS IS OFTEN THE CASE with settlements established around a religious ideal, legend has it 'twas Divine Guidance that led the burg's founder, spiritualist medium George Colby, to the shores of what is now known as Lake Colby. First affiliated with the Lily Dale Assembly in New York State, it was there that Colby contracted bacterial Tuberculosis. His spirit guide, a Native American by the name of Seneca, suggested he venture to Florida where he would find conditions right for healing. Colby's journey culminated on the bank of the healing waters of Blue Springs- But Seneca indicated the actual settlement would be established further east, on the land "of the seven hills" -which the Spiritualist Camp now occupies.
One thing you WON'T find in Cassadaga- the run of the mill Fortune Teller - Don't even ask (you'll get 'the look')- can't say I didn't warn you.
While fortune tellers might be mediums...Mediums are not fortune tellers- HOWEVER, at some point in a reading they might tell you about something that will happen in your future. All mediums are psychic but not ALL psychics are mediums. CONFUSED YET?
Luckily, when you visit Cassadaga you have your choice of about 40 Spirit Mediums that have been certified as such by the Spiritualist Church. Certified mediums train for years and must pass several stringent tests of their abilities. Fledgling mediums read for their mentors and fellow students and must produce specific information from Spirit that only the Subject could identify. Students are encouraged to work with the public giving mini-messages during special services listed on the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp monthly schedule of Events and Activities.
Certified mediums available for readings through the SCSCMA (Southern Cassadaga Spiritual Camp Meeting Association) can be contacted via their information on the "wall of business cards" located in the Andrew Jackson Davis Building on Stevens St.
Variety is the Spice of Life!
Specialized services run the gamut from physical (offering table-tipping and trumpet seances for groups) and mental mediums to counselors to healers to astrologers to (I'm sure I missed something)-
Fees range from $50 to $125 for a session of predetermined length, some are more liberal than others...I've been to Readers who work by a stop-watch and others who couldn't care less about the time, as long as Spirit is ready, willing and available (always ask first). Each Specialist will fill you in on how he or she 'works' and what to expect or not.
Generally, if a medium is unable to 'make a connection' with a particular individual, the reputable individual will say so and suggest someone you might see instead. The DIS-reputable medium, unwilling to give up the money, will forge ahead utilizing what is known as 'the script.'
The script is a list of probable concerns and situations surrounding you that are readily discernible to anyone with half a brain. FOR INSTANCE- If you're obviously over 50, it's a safe bet that, "There's a woman coming thru...mother, grandmother?" will be met with an affirmative response- and they take it from there. People love to talk, most will give away the store if you ask the right questions. A good medium doesn't do this- his or her reading 'points' are specific and direct- no fishing for responses, NO "20 QUESTIONS."
That doesn't mean you shouldn't give the medium a positive response when they hit on something in particular...and go easy when you don't immediately identify with someone or something mentioned during the process. Certainly everyone has an 'off' day now and then...When a truly talented medium is involved, chances are you'll drive away and totally remember the person they were trying to get you to recognize in the car on the way home.
Video- Cassadaga: A Spiritual Experience - cinematic glimpse...
AS A PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR/EVP TECH who doesn't like to spend her nights wandering around dark, abandoned lunatic asylums- recording Spiritualist mediums at work is a preferred and often fruitful alternative. As an added perk, Spirit messages gleaned like this either substantiate the medium's abilities or 'out' them (I keep less than positive specifics to myself of course). For instance, I and several of my extended family members went to see a medium who is well thought of in the Central Florida area. I volunteered for the task of transcribing all of the readings and found that probably 75%, if not more, of the content of the individual readings was EXACTLY the same info, said in EXACTLY the same way! Not a happy discovery.
Furthermore, when people find out I record Spirit messages, they inevitably mistake me for being psychic- which I am not. So I'm always on the look-out for good Spirit helpers to recommend.
WHEN WE GOT INTO CASSADAGA, I didn't have any idea which medium I'd be seeing. I know enough about Serendipity to let it work itself out. Wasn't long before the name Mathew L. emerged and I called to schedule an appointment for later in the week.
I'm a tough 'read' at this point due to the fact that Spirits seem to somehow know what I do and they collect whenever I record- good for investigation, bad for mediumistic purposes (confusing energy). Mathew sorted it all out, his reading was SPOT ON.
I easily identified all of the points he relayed to me, with the exception of one- the description of a "mother energy" around me who turned out to be the mother of a friend of mine who was desperate to get through with messages for her family- she spoke on recording the very next day, effectively clearing up the mystery.
In process he got that I am a medium, that spirits are around me a lot of the time, that I am clairaudient (HEAR SPIRIT- which I do, on recording), that I meditate and connect with them in the morning...who my husband was in my last life, about a relationship I'd recently dealt with in a particular way, about individual family members, who my principle guide is- his character, physical description, and his political leanings- etc., etc.
Not to mention the sheer volume of Spirit interaction DURING the reading (CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO HEAR ACTUAL CLIPS OF SPIRIT SPEAKING ON THE AUDIO FILE).
Don't know what else to call it-
At one point in the reading, the dialogue turned to "safe driving." Mathew said Spirit advised that I need to pay particularly close attention while driving the Interstates. "They're saying you really need to be careful when you're on the highway...It's not you...It's the people who aren't paying attention," he went on, "They're saying it again, BE CAREFUL ON THE INTERSTATE- Really watch...look around you- I've seen bad accidents..."
On the audio file, one of the most pronounced Spirit messages appeared immediately after the preceding statements, "THERE'S A CRASH!!"
14 hours later, just north of our town, smoky conditions on I-75 caused a terrible 20 car pile-up that Highway Department officials labeled as one of the deadliest on record- 10 people lost their lives that night.
Yes, Mathew's the real deal.
I'm definitely looking forward to working with him in the future.
Hear Mathew's 'Spirit-side' advisers in action:
EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena; Disembodied sounds (and voices)- not detected by human hearing- imprinted on digital recording devices
The EVPs you'll hear on the link below are not scary (Spirit voices sound as they did in physical life), just loud and clear.
- www.CassadagaVoices.org/Mathew EVPs
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See how your opinion stacks up-
Every year, thousands come to Cassadaga looking for answers...for solace. Many go away feeling as though they've touched the "Great Beyond" -reconnected with a loved one or friend.
How do you feel about consulting a Spirit Medium?
Is it something in the water??
Located behind George P. Colby Memorial Temple, Spirit Pond is a favorite place for visitors and townspeople to meditate. Rumor has it there is an 'energy vortex' in the Pond. I've also read that at least one medium requested for his or her ashes to be sprinkled over the water- which makes perfect sense. Whatever the cause(s), in Cassadaga there seems to be an incredible energy source available to both Spirit and medium alike.
Rev. B. Anne Gehman, Spiritualist Medium, Author
Ms. Gehman is one of the spiritualist medium stars of the HBO Documentary, "No One Dies in Lily Dale" (which I highly recommend, by the way).
How she fits in all of this: I love listening for spirit-speak on recordings- ANY recording (You'd be surprised where messages turn up); So naturally, while watching "Lily Dale," it occurred to me that I might listen to the unadulterated audio segments of the movie for possible activity.
At one point in the film, Anne gives a reading to a father who is grieving for his son. The young man was killed when a member of a gang boarded the bus on which he was riding and opened fire on a rival gang member. I had a 'feeling' about this particular clip and decided to listen in...As I suspected, Spirit spoke several times during the exchange.
From what I could hear, there was nothing that I would call significant on the rest of the sound track. Intending to let her know about the clips, I "Googled" Anne. Lo and Behold- according to her history, she studied in and taught Spiritualism classes right here in Cassadaga. Coincidence? Don't know.
Accommodations and so much more!
THE CASSADAGA HOTEL is the only hotel in town, though there are also a couple of B&B's in close proximity. The Hotel is not considered part of the Camp Association. In the early 1920's it mysteriously burned to the ground, was subsequently rebuilt and reopened for business in 1926. It was sold soon thereafter to a private interest in order to settle massive construction debts.
The hotel offers readings by mediums as well as its own monthly schedule of events.
For further info, click on the link below:
All the info fit to know- rates, services, monthly schedule of events
The Official site
"Would you say the hotel's inhabited by Spirit?" - Honey, I'd shout it from the rooftops-
I wouldn't exactly call myself a skeptic, but I'm not an 'airy-fairy' new-age believer either. I'm a paranormal investigator of sorts, an EVP tech...Not going to go into my background, but suffice it to say I've seen and heard too much to ever deny the existence of an 'Afterlife'. (More info @ the SQUIDOO LENS LINK below).
January 26, 2012 I returned to Cassadaga after a 15+ year absence. The first place I recorded was the Cassadaga Hotel- to say results were spectacular would be a grievous understatement.
TO HEAR WHAT I HEARD THAT DAY, CLICK ON THE "CASSADAGA VOICES" SITE LINK BELOW.
"The Science Behind the Seance"
The Spiritualist religion's information states it is based upon "scientific fact." The lens linked below lays out the latest findings in a readily digestible fashion.
- www.Squidoo.com/the Science Behind the Seance
An info-lens I created to take the 'mystery' out of Spirit Contact Phenomena.
Hear actual 19th C. Hotel guests and staff as they go about their day:
Up to date, I'd never experienced EVPs of the complexity or clarity of those imprinted on the audio files @ the link below...
Still shaking my head over these.
- www.CassadagaVoices.org/the Cassadaga Hotel EVPs
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Curious about the ways of the practicing Spiritualist?
George P. Colby Memorial Temple
SANCTUARY - The inside of Colby Memorial Temple looks pretty much like the heart of any church...
WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THAT HUGE ORB ON THE RIGHT (couldn't resist).
Spiritualist services are predictably structured- announcements, singing, sermon.
After Sunday Morning Service, student mediums 'serve Spirit' by offering mini-messages to those attending.
The actual schedule is as follows:
Healing Service (Sunday): 10:00 a.m.
Church Service (Sunday): 10:30 a.m.
Adult Lyceum (Sunday School offering basic instruction on the Science, Philosophy and Religion of Spiritualism):
9:30 - 10:00 a.m.
Sunday afternoon Message Service: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. (Located in the Andrew Jackson Davis Building)
Before you go and get too cozy...
YES, A WALK DOWN THE STREET IN CASSADAGA is a stroll back in time, but you can't just pre-qualify for a mortgage and make an offer on a house in this hamlet; Doesn't work that way.
As I understand it, under the umbrella of the SCSCMA, the houses aren't 'owned' in the typical manner; It's a lease for life thing. So in all actuality you'd have to (1) Find a sponsor to (2) Join the Association, (3) Be a member in 'good standing' for at least one year; THEN (4) Apply to the Association Board of Directors to obtain a house within the town limits.
In your favor- you don't necessarily have to be a medium to live within Camp boundaries, just a practicing Spiritualist.
In the end-
Cassadaga's a great spot for a day-trip, there's always something going on. Of course, you could spend a night or two- don't know how much actual SLEEP you'll get but, hey, it's worth the experience; And you just might leave with a story or two to tell 'round the camp fire.
For further information and to see what's going on this month, click on the link below.
Cassadaga.org - Everything you ever wanted to know about Cassadaga and the Spiritualist philosophy
-Including the list of certified mediums and healers and their contact numbers, and a current schedule of events.
Official site of the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association
Stop the Presses!! Whaaat? Video proof you say? - Absolutely. The following stills were gleaned from the video below:Click thumbnail to view full-size
Digital technology rides again! - Ambient electrical particles grouping together into detailed forms-
During a 'night shot,' the stuff we know as "SNOW" is actually tiny electrical particles. Captured this footage during a table-tipping seance. HMMM -these look like distinct forms deliberately created by intelligent being(s)...But what do I know?
A trip to Cassadaga is one of those enigmatic experiences that can change the way you feel about yourself- about life and our perceived limitations here. No doubt the experience has helped start more than a few people on 'the seeker's path.'
I'd love to hear from you!