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The Spiritualist Movement and Its Influence on Modern Divination

Author: CerrayaSlaughterHouse
Posted: May 22nd. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,391

As I sit here listening to Rob Zombieís song ďLiving Dead Girl Ē, I am reminded of my curiosity. It was yesterday that I began to research the Spiritualist Movement. I had an idea for a dance piece I will make in the future, and upon listening to the song I was to put it to, it clicked- the whole storyline: I was to expose the very phoniness of Victorian Era mediums in the act of sťances. Before I began writing down costuming and choreography, I had to research this movement, as I wanted to know why society still doubts and turns down the reality of mediums.

The Spiritualist Movement started in the month of March of the year 1848. This began with the well-known Fox sisters in Hydesville, New York. Margaretta and Catherine Fox became creative while making contact with a so-called spirit in their home. They stated that a spirit, who had been a previous occupant, was killed and now residing forever in the home. Upon realizing the presence of the spirit, the Fox sisters created a method of contact- knocking. Supposedly the spirit would respond with mimicking knocks. They became incredibly famous, and somewhat responsible for the widespread Spiritualist Movement. However, in the future, it would be noted that the sisters confessed to being fakes, lying the entire time about their medium abilities. This didnít stop the wonder and obsession with spirit communication though.

Sťances were becoming a very popular method for mediums to entertain people with. They claimed to make contact with spirits of participating peoplesí dead relatives and such. Plenty of these mediums were probably faking these communications for entertainment value, but not all mediums could have been fakes- right? This was becoming a very social activity, but surely not every medium was a scam artist.

We still carry many of these materials, methods, and beliefs into modern times. Of course, who can resist seeing the fortuneteller at The Renaissance Festival, and Fairs? But most of us just go for the thrill, for fun, and donít believe it. Many of we Pagans/Wiccans use our own Tarot cards at home, and Tarot cards have been around since the time of knights and kings as a simple playing card game. These Tarot cards were also used during the Spiritualist Movement to tell of the future or fortune. Do we not still participate in such things as sťances and fortune telling to this day?

It is hypocritical for one to proclaim his or her beliefs as true for every living human being, and yet put down the very possibility of another personís beliefs to be possibly true, or to provide an explanation for this earth as well. We all seem to do this though, whether we see it or not. I know someone who doesnít believe in the abilities of a medium. This person questions that, if we ďtruly, Ē have mediums, why do we have so many unsolved murders and crimes? Why do we have missing people, and no answers as to where they are that is valid?

I countered this personís view with the response that maybe that is not what all mediums see/sense. Maybe they cannot tell of a missing personís location, or an unsolved murderís clues to the reason why that person died. Maybe that is out of reach. Perhaps it is the ability of only seeing/sensing the presence of spirits and demons, ones that are already gone, and entities of harm, that they can help and rid of. I do not know if this is true, just a theory of mine.

Whoever said that all, if any mediums can predict missing people, or the reason of an unsolved murder? Maybe it is so that they can, maybe not, but the only portrayal of this type of medium Iíve ever seen was the TV show ďMedium.Ē The whole concept confuses people, makes them ponder what they really believe. I can say that Iíve always been interested in such things from a young age. Iíve always loved horror books and movies, mystery, occult, and the paranormal. (Not to connect any of these with each other, but with such an interest in these things. I canít help but be defensive about them, and have so much faith put into the belief of mediums.)

I am quite curious about mediums, and although I have a psychic friend, I havenít wrapped my head around why they can do what they do. The Spiritualist Movement, whether with phony intent or not- couldnít still be influencing the acts of people today- could it? I believe in mediums, but why do some people doubt their abilities or completely turn down the idea they can do what they do? Is this because of entertainment TV? Are shows like ďMedium Ē the reason why some people donít believe in mediums? Or is this the exact opposite? Could it be both? I believe that it is possibly a divider of beliefs, a way to influence the thoughts of one to either choose to believe in such a thing, or to not.

Are you a believer of mediums?

Without the Spiritualist Movement, I donít think a lot of modern means of spirit communication would have been discovered and evolved. Perhaps we wouldnít have even cared so much about communication with the dead, or with spirits and elementals. We can see the influence of the Spiritualist Movement to this day in movies such as Paranormal Activity, Drag Me to Hell, and in TV shows such as Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State. We see that in our thriller/horror movies the shaking or levitating table is still used and other means of communication with the dead, such as Ouija boards, EVP, and EMF meters are also used and have evolved.

We have a fascination with psychics, or as some might call them- mediums. Psychics are people who have the ability to see and/or sense the presence of spirits. We can see an example of this through the (now) cancelled (but still airing occasionally) show ďMedium.Ē This show portrays the real life of psychic Allison Dubois. I know these are just mere shows, and that the producers sometimes dramatize events for entertainment value, and the vents therefore cannot be fully proven, but they are a glimpse into the real life these people lead.

I researched the spiritualist movement and found a most helpful site with this information. my notes are from

Nothing is copied, I give this site credit for the information.

"LIving Dead Girl, " song, by Rob Zombie.

Alison Dubois Reference: TV show Medium

Paranormal Activity: Movie

Drag me To Hell: Movie

Ghost Hunters: TV show, SyFy channel

Paranormal State: TV show.

Copyright: This is my original typed essay. Any copying and/or posting this essay anywhere without my emailed permission, and acknowledgement that this is my essay, with full credit given to me, is PLAGIRISM which is ILLEGAL, and therefore PUNISHABLE under law.

In short: if you wish to post this anywhere else or share it you must email me and recieve my reply stating that I have given permission. Post it with full credit given to my display name Gothic Rainbow, or whatever it may be at the time, with a link back to this page and/or my profile. email me when its posted elsewhere.

also let me know if you see my work elsewhere if an individual who has posted it does not give me credit or claims it as theirs. this goes for all my work.



Location: mesa, Arizona

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