In the early 1800s, portions of upstate New York were known as the “Burned-Over District” because so many new religions were springing up with the passion and intensity of an unconstrained wildfire. By the mid-1800s, the practice of spiritualism—which initially gained popularity in upstate New York—became popular nationwide. Practitioners of spiritualism believed that the spirit exists and continues to thrive long after one’s physical body has ceased to function.
In 1875, prominent spiritualist George Colby was instructed by a spirit guide during a seance to found a spiritualist camp in rural Florida. Colby’s camp—known as Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp—continues to thrive to this day. Cassadaga is home to mediums who claim to have the ability to contact dearly departed loved ones, tarot readers who will offer insight into future or current events, and a haunted bed and breakfast which is rumored to be home to numerous spirits.
Cassadaga also features a haunted museum full of nightmarish dolls, a graveyard where local legend says that the devil makes frequent appearances, and authentic spiritualist church services which are open to any person who is interested in learning more about the nuances of communication between the living and the dead. There is also a fairy garden dedicated to nature spirits, and several curious energy vortexes which defy explanation.
Even the staunchest skeptics can’t deny that the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp is a hotbed of psychic and spiritual activity. Please be respectful if you do decide to pay the mediums of Cassadaga a visit. The history of spiritualism features many tales of skeptics who were made into believers after they connected with the right medium. Cassadaga is home to a bookstore and library for those who are curious to learn more about a belief system which fully embraces logic and science, in addition to the unknown and unexplainable.
Lake Helen, Florida, 32744