“welcoming believers and skeptics”
In the strange town of Lily Dale, the living reside happily among the dead... Tucked away beside a serene lake in New York is an idyllic little town with an odd secret: half of its residents are dead, but they're still interacting with the living locals. It's just another day in Lily Dale. Often described as a "summer camp for psychics", Lily Dale is home to the largest community of Spiritualists in the world. If you've never heard of Spiritualism before, that's understandable (its heyday was in the late 1800s), but the basic gist of the belief is that no one truly disappears when they die, they just change forms. As such, the dead can be summoned at will for advice, comfort, or even just as a fun party trick. Today, Spiritualism may not be popular, but its few believers are still drawn together in tiny, tight-knit communties. Purchased for $1,845, Lily Dale was originally founded as a 20 acre campground for Spiritualists in the 1870s. The group of psychics, mediums, and other dead-talkers called their land the Cassadaga Lake Free Association (another small community in Florida, the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, takes it's name from the lake) but it eventually went on to become known as The City of Light. Finally after Spiritualism came under fire from skeptics in the 1900s, they adopted the name Lily Dale. Despite the name changes, the purpose of the town has always remained the same: to commune with the dead. The residents take their beliefs seriously. So seriously, in fact, that you need to prove your skills as a medium just to join the Lily Dale Assembly. And unlike most who offer personal connections with the deceased, the Assembly offers refunds to clients who don't believe they've gotten a fair reading. During the summer, visitors can pay a small fee to enter the gated community, a payment that gives them access to any number of the town's daily activities, from healing sessions, to spiritual services, to spoon bending parties and private consultations with the medium of your choice. Many guests find themselves so entranced by Lily Dale's "strange vibes" that they opt to stick around for several days, staying at the beautiful Maplewood Hotel with other curious summoners. “This place radiates peace, love and a gentle, healing energy,” one medium told ABC News, “and everyone feels these things.” - Roadtrippers
This write up is about Cassadaga, Florida, not my Lily Dale, NY, except for a few sentences, and it is mostly inaccurate to say the least. To join the Lily Dale Assembly you must be a member of a recognized Spiritualist Church, not a medium. Most members are not mediums. The hotels here were built in the 1800's not the 1920's. The purple cleansing throne ? the Devils Chair? Spoon bending ? Those might be in Cassadaga, FL I don't know.
You might want to come to Lily Dale during the summer season and see for yourselves.
We did a seance/hotel ghost hunt which I thought was fun. My guy thought it was a bit hokey and overpriced but I enjoyed it as a once in a lifetime kind of thing. I mean, how often do you have the opportunity to do something like that? We both loved the 20s hotel, which is home to a delicious Italian restaurant. The town itself is very beautiful and peaceful, and the bookstore has a lot of cool titles about Spiritualism, the paranormal, and occultism. Many are local as well. Schedule a reading for sure, and go in with an open mind. Folks here are sincere in their beliefs.
This place is awesome. Quite small and easy to miss, but the shops are wonderfully quirky and the hotel is pretty amazing. Be sure to get a cleansing on the big purple throne, or head to the cemetery to sit in the Devil's Chair.
One of my favorite places in the US. Spend the night at the Hotel, it's reportedly haunted. Also, plenty of places to get readings, healings, and to brush up on your tarot skills!
I used to stay here back in the early 70's.. a friend of mines grandparents lived there Year round.. I remember them talking about trumpet Seances ' sp.??? And an old Indian cemetery...where I saw my first Spirit Animal... an owl...!!
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