The Hydesville Rappings

Events in Hydesville, part of the town of Arcadia, New York State, USA, were important in the development of Modern Spiritualism, (i.e. from approximately the middle of the 19th Century to the present day). A family had moved into a house in this area, and unusual noises were heard. For instance, the youngest of the two daughters would make a noise with her hands or fingers, and the raps would respond with the same number of noises. Further examples of this phenomenon were when the mother of the household would say to the noise – “count ten”, and ten strokes or noises were heard. Other people, said to number in the hundreds, were able to witness such events, which continued over a number of years. Some neighbours, including a Mrs Duesler, believed that they could make contact with the originator of the noises, and such was the agreement between witnesses that it was generally agreed that:

It is possible to communicate with the spirits of deceased persons, with such communication being made possible by the use of an easily understood code – and that certain people have skills in mediumship.

Because of the publicity surrounding these events, many circles, and Spiritualist Associations, were established all over America. Many spectacular phenomena took place.

With the visits of mediums from America to England and Gt Britain, the Spiritualist Movement in Gt Britain took hold and there were many societies promoting Spiritualism by 1870. Further development was to come – up to the present day.