Mysterious Noises: Affidavits from 1848 Fox Family Séances

A reprint of historic affidavits on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of America’s first séance.

E.E. Lewis’ A Report of The Mysterious Noises Heard in The House of Mr. John D. Fox, first published in 1848, is arguably the most historically significant document in the literature of American Spiritualism. In it, Lewis, through a series of contemporaneous affidavits, has created the authoritative record of America’s first séances.


This approximately 60-page reprint cuts through pervasive layers of myth surrounding the historic 1848 sessions — and particularly myths surrounding the principal protagonists: the sisters Kate and Maggie Fox; and their mother, Mrs. Margaret Fox. Significantly, A Report of The Mysterious Noises hardly references the sisters at all and instead places Mrs. Fox and town neighbors as principal facilitators behind the famous spirit sessions.

The Austin Séance has reprinted this historic document in pamphlet form on the occasion of the 175th Anniversary of the first Fox Sisters’ séances of March 31, 1848 — events so significant that scholars credit them with launching American Spiritualism and with informing the blooming Modernist movement of world arts and letters. For anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the origins of the American Spiritualist movement, early séance practices, and the Fox family itself, A Report of The Mysterious Noises should prove an invaluable resource.

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