- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Every summer, 20,000 people flock to Lily Dale, a tiny Victorian lakeside village of 250 year-round residents in upstate New York. Lily Dale is a town of wide porches bedecked with American flags, where neighbors help one another as a matter of course, old people are looked after and included in gatherings, children play outdoors on crime-free streets, and the citizens talk to the dead.
A belief in psychic phenomena -- the ability to communicate with the dead -- has had proponents in every civilization in recorded history. And Lily Dale is the place where American Spiritualism was born. People have always found strength in beliefs that can't be proven by scientific means. In all religions, faith is its own reward.
The mediums of Lily Dale don't feel they are special -- they believe all those with faith have the ability to talk with the dead. As author Wicker notes, with reference to philosopher William James, "a good way to judge a religion's validity is by the effect it has on people's lives." She visited Lily Dale on more than one occasion, and marveled at the warmth of its denizens and the giddy possibility of communication with the dead. As a journalist, she began as a skeptic. Upon leaving, she concluded, "Did I believe it? Sometimes yes. Sometimes no. But I'd like to." (Spring 2003 Selection)