GHOSTS BY GASLIGHT SERIES
The Spiritualist movement, like jazz, was purely an American invention. Although the idea that man was able to communicate with spirits had existed already for centuries, modern belief in such a practice came about in March 1848 in Hydesville, New York. The movement, which would come to be known as Spiritualism, would remain strong for nearly a century, enjoying its greatest revival after the Civil War. The practice was founded on the belief that life existed after death and that the spirit existed beyond the body. Most importantly, it was believed that these spirits could --- and did --- communicate with the living. Troy Taylor's GHOSTS BY GASLIGHT series takes a in-depth look at the history of Spiritualism, those who practiced it -- and the scientists, magicians and researchers who investigated the claims of those who said that the dead still walked among us. For everyone who has ever read a ghost book or watched a paranormal television show, the dawn of the Spiritualist movement is where it all began! To truly understand the history of ghost research, we have to look back to its beginnings. It has been said that if we do not understand our history, we can never learn from it, so we invite anyone with a passion for ghost research to discover where the field truly got its start.
BOOK I: ...AND THE DEAD KNOCKED
The first book in Troy Taylor's GHOST BY GASLIGHT series delves into the earliest days of the Spiritualist movement, from the knockings in Hydesville, New York to the rise of the movement in the middle years of the nineteenth century. Few can fathom today how the belief in Spiritualism swept across America, creating converts to a belief in spirit communication from every walk of life -- man and woman, rich and poor and even to the front door of the White House. Discover the lives of the pioneers of the movement and how belief in talking to the dead spread from coast to coast. Find out who held the very first séances in the America White House -- and why! See how Spiritualism affected daily life, politics, newspapers and the great literary works of the nineteenth century! And then see how the Civil War -- and Abraham and Mary Lincoln -- saved Spiritualism and helped to create its "golden age" after the Civil War! This is a fascinating look at a little-known period in American history and one that will fascinate even the most jaded readers of historical research into ghostly phenomena -- told by one of the most acclaimed historians of the supernatural writing today. Don't miss it!
About the Author
Taylor shares a birthday with one of his favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, but instead of living in New York and Paris like Fitzgerald, Taylor grew up in Illinois. Raised on the prairies of the state, he developed an interest in "things that go bump in the night" at an early age and as a young man, developing ghost tours and writing about haunts in Chicago and Central Illinois.
He began his first book in 1989, which delved into the history and hauntings of Decatur, Illinois, and in 1994, it spawned the Haunted Decatur Tour -- and eventually led to the founding of his Illinois Hauntings Tours (with current tours in Alton, Chicago, Decatur, Lebanon & Jacksonville) and the American Hauntings Tours, which travel all over the country in search of haunted places.
In 1996, Taylor organized a group of ghost enthusiasts into an investigation team and the American Ghost Society was launched, gained over 600 members in the years that followed. The organization continues today as one of America’s largest and most honored research groups.
In 1997, Taylor launched the Haunted America Conference, regarded as "America's Original Ghost Conference" in Decatur, Illinois. After a number of years in Alton, Illinois, the conference has returned to its original site at the Lincoln Theater in Decatur. The Haunted America Conference remains the most imitated conference in the country and in 2012, held the 16th annual events in Illinois.
In addition to the tour companies and Haunted America Conference, Taylor is also the founder of Whitechapel Press, a publishing company for books about the supernatural that he started in 1993, and Dark Haven Entertainment. In 2011, he also became one of the principal owners of the haunted Avon Theater in Decatur, Illinois.
Along with writing about the unusual and hosting tours, Taylor is also a public speaker on the subject of ghosts and hauntings. He has appeared in scores of newspaper and magazine articles about the subject and in hundreds of radio and television broadcasts about the supernatural. Troy has appeared in documentary productions for TLC, The History Channel, A&E, Discovery Channel, & more!