There’s something strange happening in Morgan City, Louisiana and Travel Channel’s latest paranormal team is ready to get to the bottom of it.
There’s something strange happening in Morgan City, Louisiana and Police Chief James “Bo” Blair is ready to get to the bottom of it. With a surge in unusual emergency calls related to unexplained paranormal encounters, Chief Blair has reached out to Police Chief Mike King of Shepherdstown, West Virginia, who not too long ago was in a similar situation. Following Chief King’s advice, Chief Blair decides to recruit a team of specialists including local paranormal investigator Jereme Leonard, former FBI agent Ben Hansen and psychic medium Sarah Lemos. Together, these three make up the cast of the new Travel Channel series, Ghosts of Morgan City, premiering on Friday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
In each of the eight 1-hour episodes, Jereme, Ben and Sarah attempt to figure out what’s causing the recent uptick in bizarre activity around Morgan City by looking for patterns and clues in every case they investigate. Local historian Diane Wiltz helps the team dig up disturbing history associated with the area. As it turns out, the hauntings aren’t isolated to Morgan City — they’re happening throughout the entire St. Mary Parish (a parish is Louisiana’s equivalent to a county).
In the premiere episode of Ghosts of Morgan City, Jereme, Ben and Sarah get word from the police department that there’s a shapeshifting mist in the area. The puzzling details take on new meaning when they discover that the mist has ties to the first female executed in Louisiana. As the case wraps up, more calls start to come in from outside Morgan City, sending the team to every corner of the parish in search of answers. From a plantation with a history of voodoo and a violent Civil War battle, to a family home haunted by the spirit of a young girl and the team’s own headquarters within the city’s historic archives, each clue brings the group one step closer to ending a haunted tug of war.
Follow @TravelChannel and #GhostsOfMC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for exclusive content and updates. And check out Travel Channel’s latest paranormal team on social media, too: follow Jereme Leonard on Facebook, Ben Hansen on Twitter and Sarah Lemos on Instagram.
Ghosts of Morgan City premieres Friday, June 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
The door opens in the upstairs room at Sacred Circle on King Street and the sounds of relaxing Native American flute music float through the room. The shaman can feel her guardian angels, animal guides and star systems in the room. “I feel them; their presence is here.” She says, “I have a number of clients who can feel them as if they are tuned in.”
#Deb Heisel has been a practicing shaman and energy healer for almost 15 years. “I needed to heal from suffering depression that was a lifetime task to cure. I had no intention of being a healer. I am my own walking testimony.”
#Heisel explains to her client she will use a rattle, a drum and stones to open up all of the chakras, lift up the luminous bubble. “This is not a religion; it works with the energy of the body and dates back 50,000 years; it’s in every culture.” She continues, “A lot of people associate it with Reiki, but I feel it goes deeper.” Heisel works with past lives, where parts of the soul have gone into hiding, and seeks to free the person to be what they were intended to be.
#She explains the person may feel tingling sensations to almost convulsions to a filmstrip as past lives march by. Floating, nothing, sinking into the table. It doesn’t matter. The person may feel nothing on the table but be emotional days later.
#The client takes off her earrings, shoes and lies on the table covered with a soft lavender sheet. A bandana is placed over the eyes to block out the light. Heisel sprays a mist of sage back and forth over the table to clear the space so she can begin. The rattle shakes in her hand. “See you at on the other side.”
#Heisel carefully places rocks of different sizes and shapes in a line up the person’s body. In a moment Heisel waves a large feather through the air to open up all of the person’s chakra points to clear out the body first before moving into past lives. It takes just a few moments to pull it out. Then Heisel connects with the ankles to show what is going on with the aura. She explains, “There is heavy energy in the feet.”
#Heisel shuts her eyes and stands still in the room. Back to the rattle. “It is still clearing. I like to do a deep clean and pull healing energy to the chakra points.”
#The large drum begins slowly … boom boom BOOM “to shake a lot of stuff free that doesn’t respond.” Heisel’s left hand is raised in the air to bring in the good energy. “You don’t want to leave the chakras empty. This takes out the bad and replaces it with a beautiful light.” If the body is balanced the energy will come through.
#The second part of the ceremony is the trauma timeline ceremony “with all of these old souls to help move through the timeline as quickly as possible so you can get as many swaths as possible.”
#Heisel waves a smoky quartz over the client’s body and places large deer antlers tightly wrapped with copper over the abdomen. “Copper is a good conductor. I just learned about this part of the ceremony several years ago. Guides come in to teach me something for a year and then move on. A lot of people are working right now. Breathe out.”
#Heisel waves the crystal in circles above the antlers. Fffffft. The wind blows through the room, which helps move the trauma up and out. Heisel strikes a tuning fork and holds the reverberating sound near the person’s head to help balance the brain. Finally she shakes the rattle up from the stomach with a final burst. An essential spray ends the ceremony to leave a nice smell at the end.
#The person’s toes wiggle under the sheet. Heisel brings her back into the room and asks what she has experienced.
#“My arms and fingers were so heavy.” Heisel says, “You are going deep.”
#“When you placed your fingers on my body, they were hot like fire. I could feel the energy moving down through my body.”
#The person stares at the deer antlers. “I couldn’t imagine what was on my body.”
#“I felt ooooooooh I was going up in the air. I had two bodies, one was above me. I fought it because I wanted to keep control.” Heisel says, “Your body is floating.”
#The client added the boom boom BOOM wasn’t very pleasant. Heisel says, “It was shaking things loose.” Heisel advises the drum takes a lot of stuff out so drink a lot of water. She adds, “Your guardians go out with you and continue to work on you the next few days. Heisel says, “The goal is to give them the healing they are meant to get. I’m just the conduit.”
Well, it’s not as tricky as you might expect. You don’t need to be a spiritual healer, a psychic intuitive or have your third eye wide open to see the light which emanates out beyond every human’s physical body.
Training yourself to actually perceive the colors of people’s energy fields just takes the right approach and a little time. But first of all, let’s talk about what auras actually are…
WHAT IS AN AURA?
The definition of this elusive energetic body is usually the “energy field” or “electromagnetic field” which surrounds a physical form. In humans it’s comprised of seven different layers of light – you can learn about these HERE – extending outwards in all directions. It is usually made up of a beautiful array of different colors, from golden yellows, through to reds, blues, grays and sometimes even murky browns and black. Closely connected to the chakra system, in its entirety, it forms a large, cocooning oval, or egg-shape which extends out around 90 cm from the surface of the skin.
FEELING INTO THE AURIC FIELD
Whilst most of us may not have the ability to see into the energy body straightaway, it’s likely that you can already feel into it, without being consciously aware that’s what you’re doing! If you’ve ever walked into a room full of people, and had the sensation of a certain “vibe” or atmosphere, then you were probably intuitively tapping into the auras of others. Or if you’ve ever been in a crowd, at a music festival or public event and had a sense of your emotions lifting (or dropping), the energy you were feeling came from a collective auric field!
Seeing the energy body, however, takes just a little more concentration.
Here’s a quick and super-simple method you can use to see your OWN aura. And afterward, we’ll share a technique you can try with a friend.
METHOD 1: HOW TO SEE THE ENERGY AROUND YOUR HANDS
First, sit somewhere comfortable with both feet touching the floor. This is important as it will help to ground you.
Close your eyes, still your mind and take a few deep breaths.
Next, bring your hands up in front of your heart and rub them together firmly and quickly for about 30 seconds.
Open your eyes and pull your hands slightly away (about a hand’s width) from each other and gaze through the space between them. This is important. You’re not looking at your hands and you’re not looking at what’s behind them. Soften your gaze so that your eyes are unfocused and see the blurred space which lies between.
Gently move your hands together again, and then pull them apart, still gazing at this in-between space. You should start to see something fuzzy, cloudy, misty or even like tiny specks of dust in the sunlight. Don’t forget that your perception is unique to you, so there is no right or wrong way to see.
Experiment with direct and peripheral vision (many people report that it’s much easier to see the invisible emanation when looking out of the corners of the eyes, and not directly at something).
This new way of seeing (whatever form it takes) may take a little practice so don’t worry if you can’t ‘see’ anything yet. Practice again. Don’t put any pressure or expectation on yourself and most importantly, trust what you are being shown.
This method is great training for the next step, which is to see the aura of somebody else.
METHOD 2: HOW TO SEE THE AURA AROUND ANOTHER PERSON
For this practice, you will need a partner and a plain white wall.
Get your partner to sit or stand in front of the wall, in such a way that they’ll be comfortable (this may take a little while!).
Stand or sit some distance away from them, so that you’re able to see their whole body. Ensure that your feet are both flat on the floor, to help you to ground.
Now using the same technique of softening your gaze and seeing into space, direct your attention to the top half of your partner’s body and their head, and simply let your eyes rest there.
Don’t focus. Don’t look AT your partner and don’t look AT the wall, simply see into the space around them. Allow whatever comes into your field of perception. Again, try not to put any pressure or expectation on yourself and really try to trust what you are being shown, however it looks.
Keep practicing, but be sure not to overdo it. Be aware that your perceptive abilities are growing and evolving by simply doing this, so don’t force it. Before long, you will start to see shimmers of energy around your partner and then colors will also start to emerge before your eyes!
*Note: It IS possible to use this technique to see your own aura, by using a mirror. Simply sit in front of a white or plain background, and place the mirror facing you, far enough away so that you can see your whole body. And repeat the method above.
AURA COLORS EXPLAINED
Once you start to actually see the energetic vibrations of your own and others auras, it’s highly likely that certain colors will appear. It’s vital, especially if you offer aura readings to others, to understand that aura colors will change and shift according to the present mental and emotional state, and the environmental experience, of an individual. So the colors that you see in any one moment are not a definition of their personality! It’s better to perceive them as a snapshot, much as the famous Kirilian photography technique is a single moment, caught on paper.
The shade of an aura color also has a bearing on its meaning, so always consider it’s tone and density when giving readings.
YELLOW AURA COLORS
Yellow relates to spirituality, learning, and ascension. A bright, vibrant yellow can indicate the onset of a spiritual awakening. This color is connected to the solar plexus chakra.
ORANGE AURA COLORS
Orange relates to personal power, health and creativity. It is connected to the sacral chakra.
RED AURA COLORS
Depending on its tone, red can indicate strength, belonging and rootedness; or negativity, anger and an inability to let go. Connected to the root chakra
PINK AURA COLORS
Pink is closely aligned with love, but a very dark shade can indicate feelings of mistrust or deceit. Connected to the heart chakra
PURPLE/VIOLET AURA COLORS
Purple relates to higher consciousness and visionary states. It’s connected to the third eye and crown chakras.
BLUE/INDIGO AURA COLORS
Blue is related to connectivity: both to other realms, through clairvoyant or psychic abilities, or simply through honest and truthful communication here on the earth plane. Blue is connected to the throat chakra.
GREEN AURA COLORS
Green relates to healing. It can be found in abundance emanating from natural and gifted healers. But a dark or murky shade can indicate stored resentments. Also connected to the Heart.
GOLDEN AURA COLORS
Gold is a highly spiritual shade and can indicate angelic protection. A golden glow is often seen around those who are truly aligned with their life’s work and being generously rewarded for it.
BLACK/GRAY/BROWN/MUDDY AURA COLORS
These colors all indicate blocked or stagnant energy and often precede physical illness.
THE ETIQUETTE OF SEEING AURAS
When you get good at perceiving auric fields, you may find that you can see them without even trying. You may see the aura of the person packing your shopping, or the aura of your neighbor as she leaves the house in the morning.
Seeing into someone’s aura is peering into a private space, especially if you’ve not been given permission. In which case, don’t tell them what you see! Don’t judge or make assumptions about them based on the colors contained in their aura. Remember, many colors are fleeting so all you are seeing is a momentary snapshot, it is not the same as getting to know somebody as a friend. On the other hand, though, if you develop auric vision as a refined skill, then offering to share it with others – with their consent – can be an incredible tool!
Every angel sighting is a one-of-a-kind encounter.
How to Tell If You’ve Encountered an Angel in Physical Form
Angels are always near—sending us wise guidance, offering us healing energy, protecting us or fighting our battles, and sometimes simply being present with us through life’s ups and downs so we’re never alone. As I explain in my book Angel Insights, we know angels are near because we sense their presence, hear their voices in our inner ear or thoughts, dream about them, receive signs and synchronicities from them, see images they place in our mind’s eye, and are gifted with angelic insight into complex situations where there is no logical basis for our understanding. At times people even get proof that angels are near in one of the most powerful ways of all—angels appear before humans in physical form.
Why don’t angels always appear in physical form? The angels tell me that if they did, it would be too overwhelming and distracting for humans. Angels are really part of another dimension, called heaven, and simply don’t match the dense physical matter of earth and its inhabitants. And there are so many angels surrounding and watching over humans that they wouldn’t all be able to fit here amongst us in physical form. The short answer is: The veil between the dimensions of heaven and earth exists for a reason. Angels will appear in physical form (usually as humans) if they need to interact with you in a practical way to accomplish a clear objective (push your car out of a snowdrift when you’re stuck on an isolated road, or pay your grocery bill when you discover that you’re short on money in line). Angels will also appear in physical form (sometimes with wings) if they feel that being seen by you will increase your faith or peace of mind.
There are many ways an angel can appear in physical form. If you think you’ve seen an angel, the list below should help you clarify and better understand the experience. If you’ve never encountered an angel in physical form, read the list below carefully—you may have seen an angel and just don’t realize it! Most people see an angel in physical form very rarely, if ever. Some folks will go their whole lives having great faith and yet never see an angel. Just remember, angels are nondenominational beings who love and cherish each human equally. An angel’s love for you is unconditional and absolute—you can never do anything to change it. Whether you see an angel or not, angels are always near, always just over your shoulder!
Angels Appear as Light
Is it any wonder that angels sometimes appear to humans in physical form as light? Light can be seen but is still abstract in this dimension, an ethereal form of energy that matches the angel’s vibration (as opposed to other denser forms of matter like rocks, pencils or humans). Common ways that angels will appear to humans as a light source include: bursts of small, colored lights across your field of vision; glowing orbs; a constant stream of very bright white light which, like the sun, is difficult to look into directly. Angels could appear as small bursts of colored light at anytime, like when you’re sitting at your desk or making dinner (if you see this continually, get an eye exam to rule out any issues with your vision). Glowing orbs and streams of bright light are a touch more dramatic and showy, and will usually happen when you are alone and can give the experience your undivided attention!
Angels Appear as Shadows, Clouds and Mist
Ever swear you saw something out of the corner of your eye, then turned around and peered at that spot for a good look, only to see…nothing? You may have gotten a glimpse of an angel. Have you ever seen a cloud that looked just like an angel, maybe when you were down and needed a reminder of Spirit, or when you were feeling carefree and peaceful? Very likely it was an angel or group of angels forming their energy into a giant cloud in the sky to give the people below a reminder of the angels’ presence in our lives. Angels can also appear as what looks like mist—a white, gossamer substance that may take on the loose outline of a figure, perhaps near your bed when you wake up from a dream.
Angels Appear Wearing Wings
When people think of angels, they usually think of wings. Wings that are big and white and full of feathers. The stereotypical or traditional angel image is an angel with two enormous wings, wearing a long white robe with a golden belt. It’s important to note that I’ve spoken with hundreds of people who’ve seen angels of this description—and in all ethnicities (African, Inuit, Western European, Native American, Japanese). This imagery of the winged angel does not come from myth but experience: Sometimes angels really do appear to humans in this manner. It is the most disarming and alarming way an angel can appear to a human, which is why the angels in the Bible instruct humans to “fear not” when they encounter an angel with wings. I saw an angel with wings and a flowing robe once, and it is one of my most cherished—but also most shocking and terrifying—memories. While angels would never harm a hair on our heads, it is still very unsettling to be suddenly confronted with a winged being of great power and strength from another dimension. Why do angels take this form? Is this what angels “really” look like? The angels tell me they sometimes take this form because angels know this form is familiar to humans, so it’s an easy way for angels to identify themselves without a shadow of a doubt. Likewise this physical form is close to what a human looks like, but different enough that it registers as an angel to us.
Angels Appear as Humans
It is far more common for angels to appear in physical form as humans than wearing wings. Often an angel will appear as a human because the angel wants to offer you assistance—a good Samaritan who changes your tire, a fellow shopper who helps you pick the perfect outfit for a first date. And the best way for angels to work in public around other people unnoticed is in human form. Maybe an angel appeared to you as another patient in a hospital waiting room, a stranger who loaned you kind words or a hand to hold while you waited for news on a loved one’s condition or some test results of your own. Maybe an angel appeared as a stranger walking along the road by your farm just as some hay caught on fire, and with this stranger’s help you were able to get the fire under control before it spread to the barn. Angels who appear as humans usually disappear just as quickly as they arrive, and often without a trace. You might return to a restaurant where a kind waiter helped you settle your screaming toddler down a few days before, only to be told by the manager that there is no waiter working at this restaurant who fits that description. Or you might go to thank the woman who just rescued your husband from drowning, but when you turn around you see there is no sign of this stranger on the beach—not even a single footprint in the sand walking away. Angels who appear as humans often have very kind eyes and a peaceful, calming energy. They are remarkably helpful, and usually don’t say much though what they do say is very poignant.
During the near-death experience (NDE), the New Zealand woman apparently saw a heavenly being whom she believes is an angel.
All religions, including Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, proclaim that humans will live after death, and the real eternal journey of all living beings begin after taking the last breath. Adding heat to their views, a New Zealand woman named Katrina has now shared her near-death experience (NDE) where she apparently saw a being whom she believes is an angel.
Katrina made these revelations on the Near Death Experience Research Foundation (NDERF). As per Katrina, she died for some moments after attempting suicide following episodes of depression. The NDE victim revealed that her body started floating in a dark place soon after the last breath, and she claimed that someone literally cut her soul’s cord connection to the body.
“My spirit body was floating in the darkness and it was a lonely place. It felt like someone came up behind me with scissors and cut the cord connected to my body. I knew I was dead and couldn’t go back. My thoughts were very fast, like lightning, and my mind was so clear and sharp. My senses were all heightened and my emotions felt more intense,” wrote Katrina in her NDE testimonial.
Katrina also added that she saw a bright being during the near-death experience episode. She revealed that this being was pure white, and it was almost 8 to 9 feet tall.
“I tried to fly or direct my floating towards the light, but my progress wasn’t very good. The light came to me in a zigzag, erratic pattern and at great speed. It was at that moment that I realized the light was a Being. The Being of light was pure white and about 8 to 9 feet tall. I had a peaceful, loving feeling being in this Being’s beautiful presence. I believe that Being was an angel. However, I felt like the Being was waiting for something,” added Katrina.
The New Zealand woman claimed that she is now living as God has given her a second chance. She also made it clear that she felt pure bliss after the death, and all she experienced was intense euphoria.
Katrina’s testimonial has now gone viral on the internet, and many religious believers claim that life after death is a reality. As per these people, the afterlife is real, and humans used to live in the form of souls even after death.
Chakras are considered one of the many energy systems that directly affect and influence our physical body. While Westerners may have you believed that there is no such thing as chakras, Asian cultures state that there is truth to this particular energy system.
Medical practitioners know that should there be any imbalance in one of the seven chakras in your body, symptoms of certain illnesses and diseases will start to show. These energies of specific chakra points should always be balanced to ensure that there is no diminished or increased energy flowing through your body.
Understanding the relationship between your health as well as that of the seven chakras in your body entails that you familiarize yourself with each category. By comprehending each of these categories, you’ll be able to better understand what caused you to be ill and what can cure you.
The Sahasrara is also known as the Crown Chakra. It is responsible for your body’s connection to the spiritual realm. If you have any mental disorders, neurological disorders or light sensitivity, it means that your connection to God, hope and faith has been altered.
Also referred to as the Third Eye, the Ajna pertains to your perception, psychic abilities, mind, thoughts and intuition. This is manifested through any emotional or mental stagnations as well as neurological disorders.
The Throat Chakra is the home of your communication center. It is manifested psychologically through one’s feelings of isolation, fear and anxiety. It is manifested physically through overactivity and may result in jaw dysfunction, sore throat and nasal cavity.
The Anahata is in your heart. Thus, it is considered the Heart Chakra. Any issues with the self are related to this energy point. If you have pneumonia, asthma, breast cancer or heartburn, you should pay attention to matters of the heart.
Since the Manipura is located in the diaphragm and stomach area, its manifestations include eczema, acne, obesity, difficulty in sleeping, allergies, lack of self-confidence, gut feelings and more.
Svadhisthana is located at the base of the spine. Some of its psychological manifestations include unbalanced emotions and low self-esteem. As for its physical manifestations, pay attention to low libido and gynecological problems.
Muladhara, which is located at the base of your spine near your tailbone, is associated with finances, survival and security. Also known as the Root Chakra, the Muladhara, when overactive, may let you experience depression and anxiety.
Travel Channel sends Portals to Hell’s paranormal investigators to New Orleans’ notorious house of torture.
“Mad” Madame Delphine LaLaurie was a New Orleans Creole socialite. After her house burned, she went dark. Known as the “Cruel Mistress of the Haunted House,” she is infamous as a serial killer who tortured and murdered her slaves amid tales of medical experiments performed in the household. An all-new episode of Travel Channel’s Portals to Hell will make supernatural history as investigators Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman will become the only paranormal team to investigate New Orleans’ notorious LaLaurie Mansion. The episode airs Friday, June 7 at 10 p.m.
“The historic home in New Orleans is known for its sadistic history and legendary hauntings, inspiring various books, movies and TV shows, including American Horror Story,” reads the official synopsis. “According to local historians, the mansion’s matriarch, Madame LaLaurie, kept many dark secrets in her house and had a twisted desire for torture and suffering. Now, the Portals to Hell team hunts for the truth behind the terrifying rumors that surround this real-life house of horrors and attempts to make contact with the numerous spirits believed to be trapped within its walls.”
Portals to Hell‘s official website claims hauntings exist all over the world, but there are “a few locations with sordid pasts and dark histories that are especially sinister and purported to be doorways to the spirit underworld.”
Ozzy Osbourne’s son Jack is best known for MTV’s reality show The Osbournes, SyFy’s Haunted Highway,” and A+E Network’s Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour.” He is also an adventurer and paranormal investigator who has documented “harrowing face-to-face encounters with the unexplainable in some of America’s darkest and most remote regions.” Katrina Weidman rose to national recognition in her role on A+E’s Paranormal State, working on hundreds of cases of unexplained supernatural phenomena. She was also the co-host and producer of Paranormal Lockdown on TLC and Destination America, and Chiller’s Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies (2012) and its followup The Truth Behind More Movies (2013).
Portals To Hell‘s “LaLaurie Mansion” episode airs Friday, June 7 at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel.
Culture Editor Tony Sokol cut his teeth on the wire services and also wrote and produced New York City’s Vampyr Theatre and the rock opera AssassiNation: We Killed JFK. Read more of his work here or find him on Twitter @tsokol.
CASSADAGA — Sunflowers, the universal symbol of those who believe that life continues after death and some people have the ability to communicate with the deceased, are sprinkled throughout this tiny hamlet.
The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, a home to mediums and healers about 35 miles north of Orlando, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, marking the evolution of a community on a “vortex of psychic energy” where the gifts of spiritualists can thrive and believers can worship in peace.
On Saturday, the camp will kick off a monthly series of celebrations, culminating with a masquerade ball in December, at the sanctuary for 78 residents immersed in the metaphysical world that draws curious visitors from around the world.
“Karma and destiny” brought Reverend Don Zanghi from Buffalo, N.Y., to the camp 28 years ago. He teaches a Sunday morning service, Lyceum, for anyone who wishes to learn about spiritualism.
“The whole idea of having a camp is because the energy is here, you’re surrounded by it all the time — you’re breathing it, you’re living it, you’re feeling it — it’s like going to school,” said Zanghi, a 70-year-old medium and healer.
The Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp Meeting Association began as a 35-acre winter haven in 1894 founded by George Colby, a trance medium from New York who was guided by a Native American spirit named “Seneca” to Central Florida.
It was designated as a historic district in 1991 and operates as a nonprofit organization under a board of trustees.
Dawn Medley, camp activity director, said visitors are welcome from sunup to sundown — even skeptics — and that spiritualism isn’t an evangelical religion.
“We demonstrate. We don’t go out and feel the need to have people come here and believe what we believe,” Medley said. “We really encourage free thinking — we want people to come to their own conclusion.”
Many residents offer services in their homes and apartments at an independently determined rate. Mediums and healers advertised on signs around the camp are labeled as “certified,” a distinction that applies only to members who have undergone training and a verification of experience and skills.
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
It’s been 125 years since George P. Colby, a trance medium from New York, traveled to Central Florida and set up camp in what later became known as the spiritualist community of Cassadaga, unofficially dubbed as the “psychic capitol of the world.” May 2, 2019.
Camp guidelines discourage the use of “gimmicky” tools such as pendulums and crystal balls.
“We’re going to give you evidence of who we’re connecting with – it could be could be a physical description, could be a shared memory, could be how they passed or something about their personality … any number of things,” Medley said. “And then we’ll give you the information they wish to bring.”
The long, curved pavement of Cassadaga Road serves as a physical divide between the camp and a cluster of businesses that also offer spiritual services but have a long-standing disagreement over the tools of the trade.[
“They’re just trying to separate themselves because they feel that we’re hokey,” said Varney Pearce, store manager for Purple Rose Trading Company, a third-generation family owned shop. The 119-year-old building with an attached haunted history museum sells “esoteric accessories” — crystals, stones and astrology charts.
“As far as tools go, I know readers that prefer tarot because it’s a visual representation of what they’re telling you,” Pearce said. “People will see the devil or death card and freak out but it can actually mean change or the death of a career into something new – it’s a good thing, something new. It’s all perspective.”
Although camp members don’t use tools, they do embrace technology such as cameras and voice recorders that document physical phenomenon.
Medley gives a nighttime tour of the camp — often accompanied by Gretel, one of several outdoor feline inhabitants — using flashlights, which spirits can employ to announce their presence.e
“When that light turns on, it’s something everybody sees,” she said.
Cassadaga, the camp and town immortalized in a Tom Petty song, has been known for decades as a quirky travel destination. It’s listed on RoadsideAmerica.com, dubbed as an online guide to “offbeat tourist attractions.”
Visitors are drawn to landmarks like Hotel Cassadaga, a reportedly haunted structure with “friendly spirits” that dates back to the 1920s. It was sold by the camp during the Great Depression and now operates under private ownership.
The camp recently created an elaborate outdoor fairy trail, in collaboration with the West Volusia Tourism Office, which feature 6-foot tall pastel butterfly wings that are already making the rounds on Instagram.[
At Saturday’s event, Volusia County Council member Barbara Girtman will read a proclamation and camp residents will unearth a time capsule that was buried during the 100-year mark.
The camp is also raising money for the upkeep of its seven historical buildings, including Colby Memorial Temple, to preserve its legacy into the next century.
“Death has always been scary for people and when they see proof that life continues on, it’s quite comforting and soothing,” Medley said. “There will always be generations looking for these answers.”
Lisa Maria Garza covers Winter Park, Maitland, Eatonville and east Orange County for the Orlando Sentinel. She previously reported general news for Reuters, based in Dallas, and graduated from the University of North Texas. Lisa, a San Antonio native, moved to Florida with her two cats but remains a loyal Spurs fan.