ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Lily Dale

Updated on September 15, 2009

Lily Dale-Inspiration Stump

Lily Dale is a modern spiritualist community located in Chautauqua County, in New York State, at the end of Cassadaga Lake, about an hour south of Buffalo.

I went on a motorcycle trip to Lily Dale with a man friend of mine one summer. I'll never forget it, it was just such a beautiful and peaceful place. We discovered when we arrived that no vehicles were allowed in the little village itself--it's pedestrians only, so we parked the bike, removed our helmets, and just strolled through the most peaceful place I've ever been. Lily Dale has a special atmosphere all its own; a unique experience.

The Lily Dale community provides spiritualist seminars and meetings throughout the year. Summer is the height of the season in Lily Dale, and attracts people from all over.

We walked along the Fairy Trail holding hands. The Fairy Trail winds through the old-growth Leolyn forest. There were pink fairies in the trees, and a little gnome village in a clearing along the path. I was deeply enchanted. We sat in the Forest Temple for a while, soaking up the tranquil atmosphere. We visited Inspiration Stump, which was a great big stump of a tree with steps cut into it, surrounded by a beautifully landscaped garden area.

We wwent to a meeting in the Psychic Temple, where a psychic medium performed. I was somewhat impressed, more by the powerful atmosphere of the meeting and the powerful "presence" of the medium than by anything specific that she said or did.

Lily Dale Museum

We visited the Lily Dale museum, which is a restored 1890 one-room schoolhouse. There were some terrific old photos there, from the beginning of the spiritualist movement in the late 1800's, with the Fox sisters. Also, the Susan B. Anthony women's suffrage display was a wonderful step back into the 1920's.

The Fox Sisters

In 1848, two girls, Katherine (12) and Margaret (15), in the Fox family living in Hydesdale, New York, reported strange knocking sounds in their bedroom at night. Katherine spoke aloud to the unseen knocker, challenging it to a game of communication: a code was worked out for yes/no answers, and an alphabet strategy. Word spread throughout the neighborhood, then the state, then the country. Seeing was believing, and people thought the Fox sisters had proven ability to communicate with spirits.

This is how the Spiritualist movement of the late 19th and early 20th century began. It is a quasi-mystical belief system whose basic tenets include spiritual survival after death and the ability of some psychic people, empowered by God, to communicate with those who have passed on. There was a period in American history where many families would gather in their parlors with a Ouija board, or visit a medium's house for a seance, or get a Tarot card reading.

The Fox sisters went to stay with relatives in Rochester, NY, during the ensuing public tumult. They became celebrities, and performed for many members of high society as well as public performances, turning their situation into a career, touring music halls in both the United States and in Europe.

By the late 1880's, the Fox sisters began to quarrel, both with their older sister Leah, who also claimed to be a medium, and the proponents of Spiritualism in general. The two younger Fox sisters had become alcoholics over the years. They publicly confessed to the true source of the mysterious knocking before and audience of 2000 people in 1888 at the New York Academy of Music. The Fox sisters demonstrated how they could make sounds which reverberated all over the theater, by cracking their toes!

The jig was up, but there were still people who believed. The movement had gained ground; there were many people with "psychic" powers. The reasoning was, one bad apple doesn't prove the whole barrel is rotten.

The Fox sisters died penniless.

Their old family home was moved from Hydesville, New York, to Lily Dale, New York, in 1916, and was a centerpiece for the Spiritualist Community of Lily Dale. In 1955, the cottage was destroyed by fire.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Yes, I was with a man. What is rude? I didn't think so, jenelle. Maybe I'm not sensitive.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow thats rude

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      If you walked on the Fairy Trail holding hands, I'm assuming that you are a man who came to Lily Dale with a man friend of yours. Am I right?

      Cars are allowed in Lily Dale. Motorcycles are not.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)