Lily Dale, New York

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Entrance to Lily Dale Spiritualist community, New York
The dominant architectural style in Lily Dale dates from the 1800s
The former site of the Fox Sisters' cabin is now a small clearing in the woods
The Lily Dale Museum has exhibits on the history of the Spiritualist community

Lily Dale is a spiritualist community of the Modern Spiritualist movement located in Chautauqua County, New York, USA.[1] Lily Dale became renowned for Spiritualism when members moved the home of its American founders, Kate and Margaret Fox, to the town after it was purchased in 1927.[2]

Lily Dale is a hamlet located in the Town of Pomfret on the east side of Cassadaga Lake, next to the Village of Cassadaga. Located in southwestern New York State,[3] it is one hour southwest of Buffalo, halfway to the Pennsylvania border. Lily Dale's year-round population is estimated to be 275. Each year approximately 22,000 registered visitors come for classes, workshops, public church services and mediumship demonstrations, lectures, and private appointments with mediums.[1] Typical guest lecturers include John Edward, James Van Praagh, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and Deepak Chopra.


Lily Dale is located on the east side of Upper Cassadaga Lake at an elevation of approximately 1325 ft. Its coordinates are 42°21'06" North, 79°19'27" West (42.351725, -79.324211). Its main route of access is New York State Route 60, which is located about .5 miles east of the hamlet and runs north and south to the cities of Dunkirk and Jamestown. The Cassadaga Job Corps Center can be seen across the lake from Lily Dale.[4] Another very small lake, Mud Lake, is located between Lily Dale and Route 60.

Spiritualism and the Lily Dale Community[edit]

Lily Dale became the center of the Spiritualist movement when the childhood home of Kate and Margaret Fox was moved from Hydesville, New York to Lily Dale in 1916. This established Lily Dale as the home of Spiritualism in the United States, although other communities, such as Summerland, California, were founded on the same principles. On September 21, 1955 the Fox Sisters cottage was destroyed by a fire.

Lily Dale is a place of pilgrimage for many Spiritualists and others interested in the paranormal. A large population of mediums and Spiritualist healers reside in Lily Dale.

The Lily Dale Spiritualist Assembly[edit]

The Lily Dale Spiritualist Assembly holds year round meetings and provides seminars on topics such as mediumship, spiritualist studies and the paranormal. Well-known speakers such as Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer and John Edward have been frequent speakers at Lily Dale. This private community is home to The Marion Skidmore Library, Lily Dale Museum and Historical Society, the headquarters of The National Spiritualist Association of Churches, numerous residences, hotels, private bed and breakfast inns, a spiritualist bookstore and related shops. Printed programs announce events such as mediumship demonstrations, religious services, thought exchange meetings, healing services, among others. The town of Lily Dale has a volunteer fire department, a private water supply, a cafe, camp grounds, recreational vehicle accommodations, picnic grounds, and a lake-front beach for sunbathing. An admission fee to the grounds of The Assembly from mid-June through Labor Day is charged to manage the number of visitors. Admission is waived on Sundays to allow for church attendance.

In fiction[edit]

Lily Dale is the backdrop for a series of young adult paranormal novels by New York Times bestselling author Wendy Corsi Staub, who grew up a few miles from Lily Dale, New York. To-date, the series includes four titles published by Walker Books for Young Readers: Lily Dale: Awakening, Lily Dale: Believing, Lily Dale: Connecting and Lily Dale: Discovering. They have been optioned for television by Freemantle Entertainment. Staub has also written an adult bestselling thriller set in Lily Dale entitled In The Blink Of An Eye, published by Kensington Books in 2002.

A place called "Lily Dale" was the setting for "The Mentalists," a seventh-season episode of the TV series Supernatural,featuring the Fox Sisters as Good and Evil Spirits.

Lily Dale was also visited in the series Grave Academy, in the 14th chapter by the monsters, who had their fun in the city, scaring people in Halloween, it was actually a deal made by their, fictional, mayor and the monster's principal, that they should do that every year.


  1. ^ a b Schwartz, Stephan A. "Spirit World" American Heritage, April/May 2005.
  2. ^ Brown, Slater (1970). The Heyday of Spiritualism. New York: Hawthorn Books. p. 106. 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Lily Dale, New York
  4. ^ Cassadaga Job Corps Center

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′06″N 79°19′27″W / 42.35167°N 79.32417°W / 42.35167; -79.32417