Tag Archive for: spiritualism

The history of Spiritualism

The History of Spiritualism

Explore the roots of Spiritualism, from the Fox Sisters and their haunted home in Hydesville, to the seances, spirit cabinets and ectoplasm of the early 1900s.

Morris Pratt Institute school of Spiritualism in Whitewater, Wisconsin

Haunted Whitewater – Witches, Spirits and Lake Monsters

Witches, spirits and lake monsters. Did experiments to commune with the dead leave Whitewater haunted and cursed?

Spiritualist Thomas Bradford committed suicide to prove the afterlife

Thomas Bradford Killed Himself to Prove the Afterlife

Is there really life after death? For Thomas Bradford, a devout Spiritualist, there was only one way to prove it.

Ghostbusters star Dan Aykroyd's real life roots in ghost hunting

Ghostbusters Star Dan Aykroyd’s Roots in Real Life Ghost Hunting

When Dan Aykroyd wrote the original Ghostbusters film, he was drawing from a rich family history of spiritualism and the paranormal.

For those of us who grew up in the 80s, the 1984 Ghostbusters film was probably one of our earliest introductions to the occult, inspiring a lifetime of obsession with all things paranormal. Sure, I was disappointed when I learned Tobin’s Spirit Guide wasn’t real, but my hope was renewed when I discovered real occult texts.

And of course Ecto-1, a 1959 Cadillac combination car built by the Miller-Meteor company, kick-started a love for creepy cars and all things hearse-shaped.

Ecto-1 in the Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer
Ecto-1 goes for a spin in the trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis?

I grew up reading about these topics. My mother passed down to me a rabid interest in the unexplained. But since I was 3 when Ghostbusters hit theaters, it was surely my earliest introduction to fortean subject matter.

Dan Aykroyd, who portrayed Ray Stantz and co-wrote the original Ghostbusters film, is a 4th-generation ghost hunter with a lifelong interest in the paranormal. He still lives on the family farm in Ontario where his great-grandfather Samuel Augustus Aykroyd used to conduct seances.

Vintage seance photo

“My mother speaks about a time when she was nursing me and an old couple came to the end of the bed,” Aykroyd told The Telegraph in 2012. “The image faded away. She pulled out an album and saw that it was my great grandfather Sam and Jenny, his wife, coming to approve the new child.”

In an interview with the late John Belushi, Belushi said he and Aykroyd would visit the farmhouse, turn off the lights, and wait for the spirit of Aykroyd’s grandfather to appear.

“I am a Spiritualist, a proud wearer of the Spiritualist badge,” Aykroyd said in a 2009 issue of Psychic News. “Mediums and psychic research have gone on for many, many years. Loads of people have seen spirits, heard a voice or felt the cold temperature. I believe that they are between here and there, that they exist between the fourth and fifth dimension, and that they visit us frequently.”

Watch the first trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the upcoming sequel to the original Ghostbusters films:

Spectralites: New Web Series Explores the Roots of Spiritualism

New occult web series from photographer Rik Garrett explores the beginnings of spiritualism with the story of the Fox Sisters.

Photographer Rik Garrett is exploring the “historical exchange between art, science and the occult” in his new web series Spectralites. Episode zero begins fittingly with the story of the Fox Sisters, Leah and Margaret, whose supposed ability to communicate with the dead kicked off the spiritualism movement in the 1800s.

See Garrett’s bewitching photography at www.rikgarrett.com

via Haute Macabre

The house where the Fox sisters lived and spiritualism began