A Brief History of Modern Spiritualism

There are many books and publications relating to the history of Spiritualism which make fascinating reading. However, for those not inclined to delve into all these archives, I have taken the opportunity of setting out below what I believe to be an honest and forthright account of the birth of modern Spiritualism that begins with the Fox Sisters.

fox-sisters

The Fox Sisters Left to right, Leah, Kate and Margaret

The date is 11th December 1847 and the Fox family have moved into a house in Hydesville New York, probably unaware that the previous tenants had vacated the property due to mysterious noises.

The next few months were uneventful, that is, until March of the following year when raps and noises of furniture moving around the house could be heard at night. Despite searches of the house, nothing could be found that would have contributed to this activity.

Kate, the youngest of the three sisters, noticed by chance, that the sounds they could hear, actually responded to her repeating the sounds herself and so began the first method of communication with Spirit in the modern history of Spiritualism. This basic communication consisted of one rap for yes and two raps for no and from this method, they discovered the communicator in Spirit was a man age 31, a peddler, who was murdered for his money and buried in the cellar.

In order to establish the authenticity of this information, they decided, in April to dig in the cellar to see what they could find. Unfortunately, nothing was forthcoming and as they encountered flooding in the cellar decided to postpone until the conditions were more suitable. In summer the dig resumed and they finally found human hair and bones which were verified by medics to belong to a human skeleton. Further skeletal remains were discovered some 56 years later along with a peddlers tin box when a rough wall of the cellar fell down.

FoxCottage2

The Fox sisters home in Hydesville

The mysterious noises and rappings continued and the house became renowned throughout the world, giving rise to the popularity of Spiritualism and from which came a demand for the services of Mediums as we know them today.