This Day In Spiritualist History

Mar
18
Mon
1877: Birth of Edgar Cayce
Mar 18 all-day
1877: Birth of Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American attributed clairvoyant who claimed to speak from his higher self while in a trance-like state. During the sessions, Cayce would answer questions on a variety of subjects such as healing, reincarnation, dreams, the afterlife, past lives, nutrition, Atlantis, and future events. A devout Christian and Sunday-school teacher, Cayce said that his readings came from his subconscious mind exploring the dream realm, where he said all minds were timelessly connected. Cayce founded a non-profit organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment, to record and facilitate the study of his channeling and to run a hospital. Cayce is known as “The Sleeping Prophet“, the title of journalist Jess Stearn‘s 1967 Cayce biography. Religious scholars and thinkers, such as author Michael York, consider Cayce the founder and a principal source of many characteristic beliefs of the New Age movement.

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
20
Wed
1833: Birth of DD Home
Mar 20 all-day
1833: Birth of DD Home

Daniel Dunglas Home (pronounced Hume; 20 March 1833 – 21 June 1886) was a Scottish physical medium with the reported ability to levitate to a variety of heights, speak with the dead, and to produce rapping and knocks in houses at will. His biographer Peter Lamont opines that he was one of the most famous men of his era. Home conducted hundreds of séances, which were attended by many eminent Victorians

Mar
28
Thu
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
Sun
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.

1869: Death of Allan Kardec
Mar 31 all-day
1869: Death of Allan Kardec

Allen Kardec, the 19th Century founder of “Spiritism” and a man who changed the course of Latin American religious movements, died on March 31, 1869.

Guest Post:  How Kardec Influenced Afro-Latin Spiritual Systems

Apr
17
Wed
1934: Death of Benjamin Rucker
Apr 17 all-day
1934: Death of Benjamin Rucker

Professor Black Herman died on April 17, 1934, while on tour in Louisville, Kentucky.  In an obituary, The New York Age, a leading African American newspaper, described him as one of Harlem’s most colorful characters — a magician, seer, herb specialist and fortune teller; a man who, among his followers, “had risen to the standing of god whom they expect to rise out of his grave.”

Apr
20
Sat
1912: Death of Bran Stoker
Apr 20 all-day
1912:  Death of Bran Stoker

Abraham Stoker (8 November 1847 – 20 April 1912) was an Irish author, best known today for his 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.

Apr
21
Sun
1840: Birth of Cora L.V. Scott
Apr 21 all-day
1840: Birth of Cora L.V. Scott

Cora Lodencia Veronica Scott (April 21, 1840 – January 3, 1923) was one of the best-known Spiritualist mediums of the last half of the 19th century. Most of her work was done as a trance lecturer, though she also wrote some books whose composition was attributed to spirit guides rather than her own personality. Married four times, Cora adopted the last name of her husband at each marriage, and at various times carried the surnames Hatch, Daniels, Tappan, and Richmond.

May
3
Fri
1932: Death of Charles Fort
May 3 all-day
1932: Death 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.