The birth of Spiritualism began at the home of the teenage Fox sisters in a small village in New York State. On 31st March 1848, the sisters began to communicate with a spirit through the method of table rapping, the sisters asked a question and a series of knocks stated yes or no. The Fox sisters were a sensation and for many years would hold séances with many famous dignitaries and researchers who believed that they were authentic.
The Fox sisters started a trend and various forms of mediumship developed. Italian, Eusapia Palladino, soon followed the Foxes and claimed to be a physical medium with the ability to manifest three-dimensional entities using ectoplasm and perform acts of psychokinesis – the moving of objects with her mind.
To investigate the claims of the new mediums and clairvoyants, the Society of Psychical Research was formed by distinguished scientists of the time; indeed the society is still in existence after 120 years. In the early years they uncovered many frauds and hoaxes that were rife and took advantage of people’s circumstances.
It is amazing that something started from a game played by three teenage girls has now become a worldwide phenomenon and is a belief widely held by millions of people.