Radical Occult: Spiritualism Tour
Public Tours run Sundays 11am-1pm
A century before Salem became a sanctuary for modern witchcraft, another spiritual movement challenged the biased institutional structures of the time - social, political, and religious. Known as Spiritualism, it not only promoted the power of the individual to connect with the spirit realm (regardless of gender), but openly embraced the belief in the continuance of life after death through séances and trance mediumship. Yet until recently, the influence of Spiritualism has been almost entirely erased from our collective memory. Join local clairvoyant and DIY historian, Melissa Nierman as we explore the very concept of the “occult” and the power of bringing “radical” histories to the forefront.
- Visit unexpected sites hidden within Salem’s most beautiful and historic neighborhoods
- Understand the direct correlation between Spiritualism and modern-day witchcraft
- Explore the Victorian relationship to death + “occult forces” considered mundane today
- Learn about related non-conforming groups, such as Quakers, suffragists, and Transcendentalists
- Examine how and why we identify certain belief systems as “occult” and not others
- See how present-day technologies were once understood as paranormal forces
- Discuss belief systems around the afterlife, ghosts, ectoplasm, materialization, and trance mediumship
- Talk about the commercialization of spirit communication as a sellable product
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