Lily Dale, New York: Psychic Since 1879

Forest Temple in Lily Dale, NY

We’ve been exploring several of the more famous destinations that dot the American landscape, which boast well-earned reputations as hubs of psychic activity. Each year, these places attract both believers and skeptics yearning to discover their own truths and draw their own conclusions when confronted with the people and spiritual energies that inhabit these teeming hot spots of psychic phenomena.

In New Orleans, thanks to a tradition that dates back to ancient African tribal beliefs imported to these shores as a byproduct of the slave trade, voodoo, fortune-telling, and a myriad of other arcane occult pursuits are woven into the very fabric of the city’s history and culture. Likewise, Sedona, Arizona–with its stunning red rock formations that serve as natural cathedrals to the spiritual animus that has been revered and worshipped there since the earliest Native Americans settled the area–is considered one of the most psychic-friendly spots in the nation.

The History of Lily Dale

But unlike these other locales that saw their psychic communities grow in step with their own unique cultural evolutions, the town of Lily Dale, New York was actually incorporated with the specific purpose of serving as a haven, retreat, and home for members of a flourishing spiritual movement that was introduced in the 1840s and grew tremendously over the ensuing decades, only to suffer near-universal decline with the onset of the 20th Century–except, that is, in Lily Dale, and several other longstanding bastions of the faith. (1)

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The town, officially known as Lily Dale Assembly, bills itself as the “World’s Largest Center for the Science Philosophy and Religion of Spiritualism,” with a town charter that states its purpose as follows:

• To further the understanding of the science, philosophy and religion of Spiritualism.

• To promote activities and discussions concerning modern benevolent, charitable, literary, scientific and civic thoughts.

• To promote a greater understanding of all mankind.

Spiritualism 101 

From its inception, followers of Spiritualism considered it akin to a religion. The belief system was founded on the assumption that a supernatural world awaits us after our earthly existence ends, but Spiritualism also incorporates core elements of Judeo-Christian teachings and the belief in one God. Spiritualists maintain that in the afterlife, human spirits that have “passed over” not only continued to evolve, but grow in wisdom that outstrips the breadth of knowledge the person had while alive. They also believe these enhanced spirits can and do communicate with the living, often via a medium, with the intent of imparting important information and guidance.

As with followers of Animism, mediums who communicate with the departed often do so with the assistance of “spirit guides” who facilitate the process by serving as otherworldly interpreters for those living who desire to make contact with specific relatives on the other side.

A Modern Psychic Mecca

Lily Dale is located an hour southwest of Buffalo, New York. Its permanent population numbers just under 300, and of those citizens, a large number are certified mediums. During the annual visiting season, which runs from the end of June through the beginning of September, the Lily Dale Assembly welcomes as many as 22,000 guests with a wide variety of spiritually-oriented activities that include daily lectures on “mediumistic phenomena and the basic truths of God and Man, which Spiritualists adopt as their standard for living.” (Gate fees do apply during the season, so if you’re planning a visit, check ahead for rates and event schedules.) Also on offer are daily demonstrations of clairvoyance, and meditation at The Healing Temple, which is staffed by spiritual healers who “work with those who desire individual healing energies.”

In addition to the town itself, Lily Dale has several attractions to tempt tourists of a psychic bent. The Forest Temple, in operation since 1894, is an open-air venue for those wishing to receive Spirit messages. Daily services are held every day at 4.p.m., except on Sundays. The Lakeside Assembly Hall serves as the focal point for summertime workshop activities, while the Fairy Trail and Inspiration Stump provide additional woodland venues for meditation and communing with nature.

Many visitors attest to the veracity and accuracy of Lily Dale’s psychic mediums. With 135 years of experience to their credit, and faith in the spiritual realm that has been unwavering in all that time, it’s small wonder that the connection Lily Dale shares with the spirits in the afterlife is so powerful.

In Lily Dale, psychic mediums are a known commodity, but to find someone a little more accessible whom you can trust with your spiritual quest, you need look no further than your nearest KEEN advisor.


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