This Day In Spiritualist History

Jul
29
Thu
1889: Birthday of Margery Crandon
Jul 29 all-day
1889: Birthday of Margery Crandon

Mysterious rapping, eerie music, otherworldly voices — witnesses ascribed these strange phenomena and others to the historic séances of Margery “Mina” Crandon, one of America’s most celebrated spiritualist mediums. Read more here.

Aug
6
Fri
1874: Birth of Charles Fort
Aug 6 all-day
1874: Birth of Charles Fort

Charles Hoy Fort (August 6, 1874 – May 3, 1932) was an American writer and researcher who specialized in anomalous phenomena. The terms Fortean and Forteana are sometimes used to characterize various such phenomena. Fort’s books sold well and are still in print. His work continues to inspire admirers, who refer to themselves as “Forteans,” and has influenced some aspects of science fiction.

Fort’s collections of scientific anomalies, including The Book of the Damned (1919), influenced numerous science fiction writers with their skepticism and as sources of ideas. “Fortean” phenomena are events which seem to challenge the boundaries of accepted scientific knowledge, and the Fortean Times (founded as The News in 1973 and renamed in 1976) investigates such phenomena.

Aug
12
Thu
1831: Birth of Madame Blavatsky
Aug 12 all-day
1831: Birth of Madame Blavatsky

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, often known as Madame Blavatsky; was a Russian occultist, philosopher, and author who co-founded the Theosophical Society in 1875. She gained an international following as the leading theoretician of Theosophy, the esoteric movement that the society promoted. Read more about Madame Blavatsky here.

Sep
23
Thu
1838: Birthdate of Victoria Woodhull
Sep 23 all-day
1838: Birthdate of Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull (September 23, 1838 – June 9, 1927), a medium and carnival show clairvoyant, was the first woman-owned Wall Street brokerage house, the first woman to address a Congressional committee and the first woman to run for president. She championed free love, believed that marriage was institutionalized slavery and supported paid sex work.

Nov
1
Mon
1941: Death of Margery Crandon
Nov 1 all-day
1941: Death of Margery Crandon

Mysterious rapping, eerie music, otherworldly voices — witnesses ascribed these strange phenomena and others to the historic séances of Margery “Mina” Crandon, one of America’s most celebrated spiritualist mediums. Read more here.

Nov
14
Sun
1849: First Séance for Paying Public
Nov 14 all-day
1849: First Séance for Paying Public

On Nov. 14, 1849, Kate and Margaret addressed a sizable audience at the Corinthian Hall in Rochester. This is now marked as the first demonstration of spiritualism before a paying public.

Dec
11
Sat
1847: Fox Family Moves to Hydesville, NY
Dec 11 all-day
1847: Fox Family Moves to Hydesville, NY

Mrs. Fox had moved into the the tiny Hydesville, New York cottage with the rest of her clan on Dec. 11, 1847.

Mar
18
Fri
1891: Birth of Manly P. Hall
Mar 18 all-day

Canadian-born author, lecturer, astrologer and mystic Manly Hall  was born on March 18, 1891. Hall is best known for his 1928 work The Secret Teachings of All Ages. Over his 70 year career, he gave thousands of lectures, including two at Carnegie Hall, and published over 150 volumes. In 1934, he founded The Philosophical Research Society in Los Angeles, which he dedicated to the “Truth Seekers of All Time,” with a research library, lecture hall and publishing house.  See a video about Manly Hall at this link.

Mar
28
Mon
1886: First Reference to Ouija Board
Mar 28 all-day
1886: First Reference to Ouija Board

According to Mitch Horowitz, author of the critically acclaimed Occult America,the origins of the device known today as the Ouija Board can be traced back to the late 19th Century — although not reliably further back than that.  Horowitz cites a March 28, 1886 article appearing in the Sunday supplement of the New York Daily Tribune entitled “A Mysterious Talking Board and Table over Which Northern Ohio is Agitated.” The article included an illustration and description of an early talking board very similar to today’s version.

Mar
31
Thu
1848: First American Séance
Mar 31 all-day

On March 31, 1848 — a watershed date in American séance history —  Kate and Margaret, just 12 and 15 years old,  conducted the first American séance.