Flashback February: Celebrating Spiritualism with Kinsip Spirits
MacKenzie King did it, so did Susanna Moodie. In fact, many Canadians consulted the spirits as part of a religious experience, to seek guidance for themselves and others, and to attempt to learn what lies beyond the grave. Some came to the séance room to hear ancient wisdom while others came to understand the nature of psychic phenomena. Like the mechanisms that produced the flashing lights, cool breezes, and whirling trumpets that materialized in the presence of the medium, their beliefs and experiences have been mostly hidden, until now.
Join the Wellington Branch of the library and Kinsip House of Fine Spirits for a special talk by Stan McMullin, a retired associate professor and coordinator, Cultural Studies School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University and author of “Anatomy of a Séance: A History of Spirit Communication in Central Canada.”
McMullin draws upon séance notes, letters, diaries and special collections to create a fascinating picture of how educated people were drawn to spiritualism and psychic research. His book, Anatomy of a Séance, shows that for many Canadians attempting to sort out their religious beliefs and find an acceptable marriage between religion and science, the séance room provided an alternative to formal religious dogma. Despite the opposition of mainline churches, spiritualism offered the possibility of a “scientific” religion that could prove the existence of heaven.